“We Are Asking for Justice”: #EndSARS Anti-Police Brutality Protests Grow as Nigerian Forces Kill 12
Mass protests against police brutality continue in Nigeria after security forces shot and killed 12 peaceful protesters in Lagos this week. Video widely shared on social media shows security forces firing directly into a crowd of demonstrators in Lagos singing the country’s national anthem. Authorities have imposed a curfew to clamp down on the growing demonstrations, which started as a demand to disband the notorious police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, or SARS, but which have since grown into a wider movement against police brutality and official impunity. “We are asking for justice. We are asking for our lives to be preserved, not to be killed arbitrarily by these officers of state,” says lawyer and human rights activist Aderonke Ige, who has taken part in the protests. We also speak with Omoyele Sowore, who says young people in the streets are also confronting other systemic issues. “They are fighting against police brutality, but they are also fighting against army brutality, they are fighting against unemployment, they are fighting against the incompetence and indifference of the regime that has been in power,” he says.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: A warning to our listeners and viewers: We turn now to a story that includes graphic video and accounts of state violence. We begin today’s show in Nigeria, where there’s growing evidence to confirm security forces fired without warning on peaceful protesters Tuesday night, killing at least 12 people, as authorities imposed a curfew to clamp down on growing demonstrations against police brutality. Video shared widely on social media shows security forces in Lagos firing directly into a crowd of demonstrators who were singing Nigeria national anthem.
PROTESTERS: [singing] Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey To serve our Fatherland With love and strength and faith. The labor of our heroes past Shall never be in vain, To serve with heart and might One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.