On protests: we are made for a different kind of revolution


I had this post written since the whole sars thing started but my thoughts were all over the place. I wanted to just forget about posting this but I am sure it is and will still be relevant considering the type of society we live in, plus I have friends who asked me to #justdoit.

I didn’t think that I will come back from my blogging hiatus with a post like this but here we are. The past few months have been clouded with gloom. We have moved from the black lives matter movement to seeking justice for women who have been continually raped and sexually assaulted, #justice for this #justice for that, and now it is police brutality. It is not as if racism or rape has stopped because it hasn’t. I don't think abuse of power and infringement of rights ever really stops here. 


Maybe it can be curbed to the barest minimum but it doesn't help that in Nigeria chaos, injustice and insurgency Is the order of the day. Right before we see to the end of one problem the system throws us even worse issues to manage by ourselves.

Nigerian youths protest
Photo by @buchwithlenses

I am not here to rant about the plethora of problems in Nigeria or the silent incompetence that is our government because time and time again they have proven to us that their pockets take precedence over the people and Abraham Lincoln was only speaking English when he defined democracy. We are clearly on our own.


It took the awareness and motivation on twitter to organize a protest and cater to youths who have been killed and assaulted repeatedly by officers who have no regard for humanity and the law. I see now more than ever the reason those old people in the corridors of power want to pass the social media bill. They cannot believe the backlash they are receiving.


I am most proud to identify as Nigerian because of the resilience of the people and the way we can break our backs in solidarity for something we believe in. They have successfully tried to shut down our voices in many ways including compromising the local media, some media outlets have a bias to the government, they don’t report anything until they are asked to and when they do, it is a creatively written sugar-coated headline that exempts the government from liability and paints them in a good light.


END SARS
Photo by @buchwithlenses

It is no news that our leaders are either waking up from sleep or claiming shock at the audacity and success of the protest; it is also hurting their impetus that they cannot control the streets of twitter. 


The special Anti-robbery squad (SARS) decided to use Nigerian Youth to practice BDSM, yes BDSM because there is no other way to rationalise the killing and arresting of Innocent people for dressing a certain way or carrying gadgets like laptops and iPhones. These people kill for pleasure. Dreadlocks, tattoos and piercings are a metaphor for shoot on sight for the power-drunk officers A.K.A SARS.

The protest is ongoing and women have proven that they are more than formidable by supporting and raising funds to end a system that predominantly affects men, maybe after this people who use indecent dressing to justify rape will receive sense. I want to say that I have grown a special type of fondness and respect for the likes of Fk Abudu, Rinu Oduala and Aisha Yesufu, their selfless contribution to the #EndSARS protest is both inspirational and commendable.

Aisha Yesufu

I want to speak to the attitude of people during protests. Sad as it is, we might still embark on more protests because our government have no regard for Due process. They don't hear until the people take to the streets.

In the fight for our voices to be heard, it is important to acknowledge that there are many ways to support a protest. The fact that you are not outside marching is not a crime or a mark of cowardice.  I have seen all sorts of call outs and insults on people who have chosen not to come out and march. I think we need to realize that not everybody was made for that type of revolution. Eg The end goal in the protest against police brutality is to #EndSARS and to do that all hands must be on deck, every voice matters. 


SARS ENDED
📷 @Tobijamescandids


I believe it is insensitive to be apathetic when there is civil unrest. Everybody has a role to play if we want to end the dangerous frolicking of SARS or any form of injustice in general but we will not make headway if some of us keep downplaying each other’s efforts. Some people think they are the next big thing after martin Luther king because they came out to protest. The fact that you risked being killed, raped or beaten to protest doesn’t make the average person who is unable to do so a subject of ridicule.


Stop police brutality
 @Tobijamescandids

We can all contribute by doing different things. If you are a writer write, if it's photos you can take, take it, if it's editing videos for awareness, do it. Don't let nobody make you feel bad for staying home (Kindly, remove some of your audio revolutionary celebrities from this classification) those ones have been shouting and pointing out all the cowardice and problems of the Nigerian people whilst selling themselves with our struggles, but when it is time to live up to their Audio Activism, shalaye!  I think it is safe to say that Fela is Fela and no matter how anybody burns or increases in tallness, that person can never measure up cheers. 


Photo by @buchwithlenses


Here are diverse ways to support a protest without  joining the march

This is what you should do

  1. DONATE: People are getting shot and arrested for no just cause, the protesters have to sleep on the floor, some of them have little or no food to eat and they need all the energy. Since we are learning that we need to rely on Twitter for serious updates, protesters need power banks and generators to charge their phones, Data too. You can Donate tents, food, blankets, footwear, change of clothes etc, it must not be money. Nothing is too small.

  1. CREATE AWARENESS:  Using #endsars as case study, most of our parents or the older generation are not very social media savvy and have no clue what is going on. You can engage your uncles and aunties in a conversation about Sars. Tell them about your experiences or the experiences of others, show them videos. Let them know that it could be anybody. You need to enlighten them, give them broadcasts messages to share on their Whatsapp. The media will not equip them with relevant information, I was watching the news with my dad and they showed the End Sarzs protest like it was a one-minute power point class presentation. So you need to speak up! While you at it, don’t forget to tweet, retweet and share information about it on all social media platforms. The #endsars became a global hashtag because of the passion we used to push it. Our leaders only respond to public embarrassment. You are not useless because you are not carrying a placard, you have a role to play.




  1. CREATE CONTENT / OFFER YOUR SERVICES:  Whatever you can create to help facilitate or help a protest or movement create it. Design placards for people, make skits, write poetry, create a blog post, write letters to brands and international agencies, sign petitions etc. If you know anyone who might be of help, please recommend. Eg a lawyer, an unbiased government official, a doctor. They system goes as far as arresting protesters and charging them for murder when the only thing they are trying to kill is a system that has continually buried all their  efforts to survive.  Be at alert! 


  1. Ready your PvC’s for the next election. You need to turn up o because Nigeria is on fire and our leaders are at the centre of it all expressing shock and looking for what to reform or micromanage to suit them.


  1. Pray. A good number of us agree prayer works, so do it. Ask divinity to set this country right. Let’s ask that no more lives would be lost, let's ask that conscience be redistributed because SARS and a number of corrupt organizations didn’t get enough when it was shared the first time.


Now here is what you will not do during any protest or match. 


  1. Turn #EndSars or any protest  into a gender war or call women out for not going out to march. Some women are being sexually assaulted there at the protest. Men are grabbing buts and groping breast instead of carrying placard. Not everyone can survive getting raped or beaten to a pulp

  1. Bring up conspiracy theories about the idea of protests; I have seen a couple of them on the internet. Instead of sounding like a frustrated psychologist just keep shut. 

  1. Don’t make anyone feel like a sinner for going out to protest or posting about it, my friend got a call to pull down her end sars post because according to the caller it was unchristian to post about injustice and oppression. Let's not say what Jesus did not say.

  1. Stay silent. If you are not outside, then do your part from the comfort of your home. Don’t just keep quiet. In Desmond Tutu’s voice, if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.


Aisha Yesufu leads protect


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