If there ever was a time for our voices to be heard collectively, it is now. Now that we are united against a common enemy – the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS movement is one that is without tribe or religion or class or gender. It touches us all.
Over the past few years there have been several calls for the Nigerian government to reform, disband, end SARS. Anything to stop the countless reports of police brutality and murder. In the past few days, young Nigerians have once again come together to demand that their voices be heard as they have staged protests across the country. The protest is happening everywhere. Lagos State. Osun State. Abuja. Ibadan. Ado Ekiti.
This is not the first time this particular protest, with the same #EndSARS tag, is being staged. But hopefully this is the last.
At this time, the decision is on you on how you want to be an ally, amplifier or an advocate!
Here are some ways you can be a part of the #EndSARS movement:
One of the ways that you can be an advocate for the #EndSARS movement is by joining one of the numerous ongoing protests. A quick search or call out on Twitter will get you information about the closest protest to you.
Currently, there are protests going on in Agege, Alausa, Abeokuta, Abuja, Ibadan, Ado-Ekiti, Osun State and many more places. These protests are being led by every day Nigerians who are simply tired of being harrassed and brutalized by the SARS officials.
Things to note if you are going out to protest:
- There is still an ongoing pandemic so do not forget your mask
- Remember to carry essentials to sustain you like your power bank, some cash, water and snacks, milk (for tear gas situations), etc
- Be respectful of everyone around you
- Stay within the pack as there is strength in numbers
- Keep your energy up with songs and persistence
Besides milk, 3 spoons of baking soda per glass of water in a sprayer will help with tear gas.
It is important to remember that while you do not have to spend all day at a protest, you can talk a walk or drive to where a protest is happening near you to show your support and encourage those who are there. Let them know you see them, appreciate them and support them
If you cannot get out on the streets to protest, you can still be of help by amplifying the actions of those who are on the streets. You can retweet photos, hashtags and anything that can add to their voice online. It is important to verify the information that you are retweeting or amplifying and make sure it is accurate and timely. No old videos here.
If you have a medium page or a website, here’s the time for those many opinion pieces which facts and figures on why the protests are happening and how Nigerians are being negatively affected by the actions of SARS.
Amplify. Amplify. Amplify.
We want the world to hear our voice.
The people on the streets need water, data, food, blankets for those sleeping over, first aid kits, protest materials and so many other things. There are so many people who are giving their resources to assist the protesters by providing food and other items. You can also help with monetary contributions…
Take a minute to do your due dilligence and find out where you can donate reliably.
Send WhatsApp Broadcasts
It is mega important that we push our voices past Twitter and on to more mainstream platforms that the older generation will have access to so they can also be adequately informed about the movement. What better way that WhatsApp?
You can send this audio voicenote…
You can join this group that shares information which you may want to broadcast…
You can copy and past this message format for all your contacts.
Lend Your Expertise
If you are a medical practitioner, you can join the protest to provide first aid services to those who might get injured in the process.
If you work for a media house, amplifying the voices of these protesters is important; the world needs to know what is going on.
If you are a lawyer, it is time to step in and provide legal representation for those who may be illegally arrested by the police.
If you are in any position of power, it is best to use your position to ensure that the protesters are well catered to and safe as they clamour for a safer Nigeria.
Your Local Politicians
Here’s an amazing way you can do that. You can send a text message, an email, or even a phone call.
Your Fave Celebs & Brands
Naturally, most celebrities have a larger reach on social media platforms and it is important to call on them at this time to add their voices to the already loud voices out there. Tweet at them, DM them and let them understand how important it is for them to be a part of history and the #EndSARS movement.
Likewise, call on religious leaders, mega brands as well as local and international media.
One other way in which we can support the movement is to get our creativity flowing with songs, music videos, flyers, photos, and more. Now is the time to document the movement with art that cannot be erased from history. The revolution has to be documented.
Share your art on social media platforms, use the hashtags, and let us all work together to make our voices heard.
In all you do, remember to stay safe and do your due diligence. Be careful and remember that there is strength in numbers. We’ve got this!
Photo Credit: @Enitan_sam