One year after bloody crackdown, young Nigerians plan protest memorials
Activists want to hold commemorations in several Nigerian cities on Wednesday, a year after security forces violently cracked down on protests. Messages calling on young people to gather in the capital Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt to "honor the memory of the victims" have been shared tens of thousands of times on social networks. Youth-led protests against police brutality in Africa's most populous country came to a halt after October 20, 2020, when security forces fired on thousands of peaceful protesters gathered at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos. The crackdown was broadcast live on social media and Amnesty International has since said it has confirmed that at least 10 people were killed. The Nigerian military denied firing live ammunition, telling a judicial panel that only blanks were used to disperse a crowd that had violated a curfew. The protest movement that has since grown is known by the hashtag #EndSARS on social media. It started as a campaign to shut down the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit, but it has snowballed into a broader protest movement against bad governance.