People Before Profit Statement In Solidarity With The #EndSARS Movement In Nigeria

Brid Smith

People Before Profit is pleased to stand in solidarity with the great #EndSARS people’s revolt against police brutality in Nigeria.  We strongly condemn the response to this revolt which has been brutal and repressive in the extreme, including the massacre of protestors at the Lekki Gate in Lagos yesterday (20 October) and other killings elsewhere in the country.

We note that SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) was set up in 1992 supposedly to deal with a wave of armed robberies but rapidly became an unaccountable law unto itself, legendary for its harassment, violence, extortion, torture and murder of ordinary citizens.  We note young people in Nigeria have been the main victims of this brutality and consequently the main drivers of this huge revolt. PBP salutes the young people of Nigeria for their brave resistance.

The disbandment of the SARS unit by the government a few days ago is a recognition that it was indefensible, but was also an act of PR and spin as SARS was immediately replaced by a similar unit, SWAT, employing many of the same people and continuing the repression. PBP also notes the striking parallels with the brutality of the police in the US which produced the great Black Lives Matter rebellion. We say Black Lives Matter in Nigeria too.

We are also aware that the SARS violence and murder is only the most visible tip of the iceberg of a regime that is rotten to the core, mired in a swamp of exploitation, inequality and corruption. The struggle to put people before profit is a worldwide struggle.

Finally People Before Profit declares its particular solidarity with the protests by the Nigerian Community in Ireland and demands that an Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, summon the Nigerian Ambassador to account for the reprehensible behaviour of the Nigerian Government.

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