(LAGOS, Nigeria.) #EndSARSMovement Report: Before Tuesday, the mood among protesters in Lagos was optimistic, for more than two weeks, protesters across the country have taken to the streets calling for an end to police brutality and the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (or SARS) police unit that mainly targets women #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Oct.21: But after violence on Tuesday night, which rights groups say left 12 people dead, many are afraid. “A lot of us at the forefront are terrified for our lives. We’ve never lived through anything like this in Lagos. We watched people get killed yesterday on social media,” says Jola Ayeye, a 28-year-old screenwriter based in Lagos:

An on-the-ground investigation by Amnesty International confirmed Wednesday that the Nigerian army and police killed at least 12 peaceful protesters in two Lagos suburbs the previous evening, as thousands of people protested against police brutality as part of the #EndSARS movement: Witnesses said several unarmed, peaceful protesters were shot dead at Lekki toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria on Oct. 20, as video footage emerged on social media appearing to show the Nigerian military firing live rounds at a crowd protesting as part of the #endSARS movement. Eyewitnesses at a separate protest site in Alausa told Amnesty International that they were attacked by a team of soldiers and policemen, leaving at least two people dead and one critically injured. At least 56 people have died across the country since the nationwide protests began on Oct. 8, with about 38 killed on Tuesday alone, according to Amnesty International: The Nigerian Army Shot Dead at Least 12 Peaceful Protesters in Lagos, Rights Group Says. Here’s What to Know

The SARS unit has been the target of protests since 2017, but protesters say this latest wave is different than what came before. The movement is leaderless but driven by a younger generation of Nigerians, tired of being profiled by SARS operatives, who often carry out violent ambushes in plain clothes with little impunity. An Amnesty International report earlier this year documented at least 82 cases of torture, ill treatment and extra-judicial execution by SARS between January 2017 and May 2020, mostly targeting young men between the ages of 18 and 35. Although the Nigerian government announced that the SARS unit would be disbanded on Oct. 11, protesters are skeptical that will lead to real change—authorities have made and broken several promises regarding the disbandment and reforms of SARS over the past four years:

Protesters gather at Lagos' Lekki toll gate during a demonstration against police brutality on Oct. 15, 2020.

Nigerian DJ Obianuju Catherine Udeh, better known as DJ Switch, livestreamed on Instagram from Lekki on Tuesday evening and filmed the army shooting rounds of live fire at crowds. “Every Nigerian, especially the diaspora who had no other way to witness this, owe this woman everything,” says London-based Onis Chukwueke-Uba, 25, who was one of more than 150,000 Instagram users watching DJ Switch’s live video as events unfolded in Lagos:

DJ Switch is one of many women on the frontlines of these protests, which began in early October and are among the most widespread wave of perhaps protests in Nigeria campaigning against police brutality. Ayeye, and her podcast co-host Feyikemi Abudu, both based in Lagos, have also become a core part of Nigeria’s protest movement against police brutality, helping spread information on Twitter, raising and distributing funds for protesters and organizing security, medical assistance and legal aid. “This is the first time, at least in my lifetime here, that people are saying ‘enough is enough’,” says 27-year-old Abudu, who currently runs a start-up. She began fundraising a few days after the nationwide protests started on Oct. 8, wanting to provide breakfast for protesters in Lagos: I Really Thought My Life Was Going to End.’ Inside the Protests Taking on Police Brutality in Nigeria

“Young women are having a critical role in sustaining this movement, and young people across Nigeria feel like leaders in their own right,” says Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, a womens’ rights activist who was on last year’s TIME 100 Next list. Osowobi’s organization, Stand to End Rape, has been providing mental health support for protesters on the front line. As a service-provider helping young women survivors recover from gender-based violence, she knows first-hand the trauma SARS has inflicted on Nigeria’s young people. “Nobody is really safe. I know mothers who have lost their children, I know women who have been raped by these people, I know those who have died, so I have a responsibility too to make sure I fight for the rights of young Nigerians,” she says:

Abudu and Ayeye recall speaking about their frustrations with SARS on their podcast in 2017, during the first wave of campaigns against the unit: They didn’t imagine that three years later, they would be helping organize a support system for protesters, fielding calls in the middle of the night, and directing participants to safety via social media. “We joke that Feyikemi has built a state in ten days,” says Ayeye, referring to volunteers that have come together to organize food, medical assistance and legal aid to support protesters. “The organization and bravery of women really underpins this whole movement,” she says:

Nigeria has a history of women organizing protests. Aisha Yesufu, 46, was a co-organizer of the Bring Back Our Girls movement that called for the safe return of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014. She says she is proud of the young women who have mobilized during this protest movement. “The Bring Back Our Girls movement was a protest of empathy. #endSARS is more about survival. These are young men and women who are being killed by those who are supposed to protect them, and who are fighting for their life,” says Yesufu, whose photo with her fist raised at the forefront of protests in Abuja on Oct. 10 has been shared widely as a symbol of the protests:

Both Abudu and Ayeye, as well as Osowobi, are part of Feminist Coalition, a collective of Nigerian women who formed in July 2020 to work around feminist causes and the advancement of women’s rights in Nigeria: The group has been instrumental in fundraising to support the protesters on the ground through Bitcoin donations, and has issued daily reports of the money they’ve raised and distributed to ensure accountability. As of Oct. 19, the group had raised more than 74 million naira, equivalent to almost $200,000. All three women are hoping that their activities during the protests could improve things for women in the country more broadly, as well greater equality for other marginalized groups, including LGBTQ people who have experienced hostility and homophobia during protests. “It is incredible for me because especially in this country, where a lot of people have these backwards views about women in leadership positions, I’m hoping this will allow people to see that you need women at the top, at every level of society,” Abudu says. “Simply, we are able to get things done.”

All are reeling from the shock of the deaths at Lekki and Alausa on Tuesday night: Yesufu says she is numb, and Ayeye and Abudu say they are afraid for the dead and injured protesters in their city. The Feminist Coalition is now helping support injured protesters, as well as encouraging others to stay safe and stay at home.

There is also fear among protesters that the government will try to change the narrative of events: Witnesses told Amnesty International that shortly before the shootings, CCTV cameras at the Lekki toll gate were removed by government officials and the electricity was cut in an attempt to hide evidence. Abudu and others have been encouraging protesters on social media to document what happened to them to ensure the truth about what happened at Lekki is told. “Something has to give,” Ayeye said via WhatsApp on Wednesday. “We cannot keep living like this.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………………….Published: Oct.21: 2020:

#breaking, #books, #crime, #entertainment, #fashion, #international, #media, #people, #social, #world

(LAGOS, Nigeria.) JUST IN: A mob has set fire to the headquarters of Television Continental in the capital in an apparent arson attack came amid bloody anti-police protests, which saw security forces reportedly gun down droves of protesters #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Oct.21: As TVC’s ‘Your View’ aired on Wednesday morning, host Morayo Afolabi-Brown was interrupted by the sound of shouting in the studio. “I think you should just find a way to take cover,” she told her guest, as another voice chimed in: “They’re already at the gates.””They’re already at the gates” The moment programming on Lagos-based news channel TVC was suspended: https://t.co/EkgYjCdls8″>pic.twitter.com/EkgYjCdls8</a>— BBC Monitoring (@BBCMonitoring) https://twitter.com/BBCMonitoring/status/1318851184342466560?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 21, 2020: The broadcast cut out, and shortly afterwards, the station was on fire. Videos shared to social media showed the building engulfed in flames and smoke, as several cars parked outside burned.TVC which is one of Tinubu’s favorite company is currently on fire 🔥🔥

BUHARI and TINUBU please do the right thing, you can NEVER EVER win the MASSES:

As TVC’s ‘Your View’ aired on Wednesday morning, host Morayo Afolabi-Brown was interrupted by the sound of shouting in the studio. “I think you should just find a way to take cover,” she told her guest, as another voice chimed in: “They’re already at the gates.”

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The broadcast cut out, and shortly afterwards, the station was on fire. Videos shared to social media showed the building engulfed in flames and smoke, as several cars parked outside burned.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

“Every car has been burned down,” TVC presenter Tope Mark-Odigie said in a video of the blaze. “They’re burning everything.”

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Channels TV, another Lagos-based broadcaster, announced on Wednesday afternoon that it had halted transmission due to an “imminent attack on our staff and operations.”

The perpetrators of the attack are still unknown. However, Lagos has been consumed by violent protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a police unit accused of corruption, kidnapping, and extortion. SARS was disbanded earlier this month, but demonstrators are still in the streets calling for additional police reforms.

These protests have often spilled over into violence. After a police station was set alight, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu introduced a 24-hour curfew on Tuesday. Any peace was soon shattered when security forces opened fire on protesters on Tuesday night, reportedly killing as many as 12 people, and wounding dozens.

<a href=”https://t.co/53X6Yn8b9h”>pic.twitter.com/53X6Yn8b9h</a><a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lekkitollgate?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Lekkitollgate</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/StopNigeriaGovernment?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#StopNigeriaGovernment</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/LekkiGenocide?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#LekkiGenocide</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/LekkiMassacre?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#LekkiMassacre</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackTuesdayNigeria?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#BlackTuesdayNigeria</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/EndSars?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#EndSars</a>— Glory of Lagos (@gloryoflagos) <a href=”https://twitter.com/gloryoflagos/status/1318847185056899075?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 21, 2020</a>“Every car has been burned down,” TVC presenter Tope Mark-Odigie said in a video of the blaze. “They’re burning everything.”The TVC studio in Ikosi-Ketu, Lagos has been burnt to the ground, including cars of YourView hosts —Morayo Afolabi Brown and Tope Mark-Odigie. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/EndSARS?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#EndSARS</a&gt;

🎥 <a href=”https://twitter.com/tmospeaks?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@tmospeaks</a&gt; <a href=”https://t.co/XD4tUMjVM6″>pic.twitter.com/XD4tUMjVM6</a>— #EndSARS (@MoreBranches) <a href=”https://twitter.com/MoreBranches/status/1318877632235245570?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 21, 2020</a>TVC news in Lagos has been attacked…. <a href=”https://t.co/LE6AGWtRhL”>pic.twitter.com/LE6AGWtRhL</a>— Vina Theo-Adams (@vina4jos) https://twitter.com/vina4jos/status/1318849253347905539?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 21, 2020</a>Channels TV, another Lagos-based broadcaster, announced on Wednesday afternoon that it had halted transmission due to an “imminent attack on our staff and operations.”The perpetrators of the attack are still unknown. However, Lagos has been consumed by violent protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a police unit accused of corruption, kidnapping, and extortion. SARS was disbanded earlier this month, but demonstrators are still in the streets calling for additional police reforms:

These protests have often spilled over into violence: After a police station was set alight, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu introduced a 24-hour curfew on Tuesday:
Any peace was soon shattered when security forces: https://www.rt.com/news/504071-lagos-nigeria-soldiers-gunshots/”>opened fire</a> on protesters on Tuesday night, reportedly killing as many as 12 people, and wounding dozens:https://cdni.rt.com/files/2020.10/thumbnail/5f9021452030277200461ef0.jpg”>World heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua has called for the violence to stop. © Action Images via Reuters:

#AceNewsDesk report ……………Published: Oct.21: 2020:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

(ABUJA, Nigeria.) Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) In plain clothes operate with ‘ brutality against protestors ‘ with new demonstrations beginning in October …….as one protestor inside speaks out #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Oct.17: I had never been brutalized by the Nigerian police before last Sunday. A new wave of demonstrations began in early October, with protesters speaking out against the brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigerian Police Force that often operates in plainclothes. I’ve been helping communicate about the #endSARS protests in real time. Last weekend I tweeted about the protest we were attending in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, and shared our location: We were marching to the police headquarters in Abuja when police started spraying water cannons and throwing tear gas canisters at us to disperse the crowd:

Police officers ambushed my friend and I, grabbed my phone and smashed it on the floor: I was not aggressive, but it did not stop them from beating me up, from ganging up on me and hitting me. I was saying my last prayers. I really thought my life was going to end. It made me realize the danger of a system that has given savages the right to be unsupervised:

The officers transferred my friend and I to the police headquarters, and we met their superior: He told us we were lucky that the encounter was in the day rather than at night, because if it was at night, they would have killed us and erased every trace of our existence. According to Amnesty International, 10 people have died and hundreds have been injured in the protests so far: An alarm was raised about our disappearance on social media, and one of the things that saved us that day was Dr Oby Ezekwesili, the organizer of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, who came to the police headquarters and insisted on our release. There was also one dissenting police officer who argued against the treatment we received. If Dr Oby had not come to get us, and there had not been that lone voice of reason within the police force, our obituaries would be in the news now.

The problem is institutional. SARS, and the officers working within it, have the support of the police hierarchy. There is no penalty for any crime by the police and they are reluctant to punish one of their own. They don’t want to accept that there is rot in the system. Over the years, the police have been able to kill innocent citizens without any justice, and police brutality has become a culture here. An Amnesty International report earlier this year documented at least 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment and extra-judicial execution by SARS between January 2017 and May 2020. We have challenged this several times before in the streets, and nothing has happened. The political leadership has stopped listening to the masses. We had Occupy Nigeria in 2012, and there have been calls to disband SARS since 2017. What’s happening now is a long-awaited explosion of outrage:

On Oct. 11, the same day I was attacked, Nigeria’s government announced that SARS would be disbanded. This is the fourth time that the government has announced the disbanding of SARS. This time around, there is a replacement, but it’s nothing more than a change of name and acronym, to the Special Weapons and Tactics Team, or SWAT. It’s just like an old wine in a new bottle:

The current #endSARS protests stand out because there is no definite leader: every citizen is the head of this protest. The outrage now is not just about police brutality alone—it’s a result of years of people being undermined by the system. The government has not acknowledged that grievance. This pandemic has left Nigeria vulnerable, and even before it, 40% of Nigerians were living below the poverty line. During the lockdown, people were saying they’d rather be killed by COVID-19 than by hunger:

The people have been waiting for a channel to let out what they are feeling. Now is an opportunity for them to protest police brutality and also express disappointment in a system that has never cared about them. There have been years of bad governance, nepotism, and widespread corruption, and the government has refused to acknowledge these concerns:

The government needs to acknowledge the legitimate outrage, and not undermine it. They have to openly sentence the perpetrators and fully compensate all the victims. I hope there is reassurance that there won’t be business as usual. This is a generation that wants to do things differently, that wants to deviate from the path of their parents, that will no longer accept the old system of governance. The exchange of ideas across international borders has shown us new ways of fighting the system, and new ways of getting the political establishment to sit up:

This time around, people have finally defied the threats and finally defied intimidation. Now they are on the streets, and the government is afraid.

As told to Suyin Haynes

#AceNewsDesk report …………….Published: Oct.17: 2020:

#breaking, #books, #crime, #entertainment, #fashion, #international, #media, #people, #social, #world