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“End SARS”: Protesters gather in Leeds to campaign against police brutality in Nigeria

Protestors gathered this weekend in Millennium square, Leeds, to join the global movement calling for Nigeria to abolish its controversial SARS unit.

SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) is a police unit in Nigeria which stands accused of violating human rights through torture, abduction and other inhumane methods.

Conceived in 1992, the SARS unit has sparked protests which have led to mass civil unrest and violence.

Protests in Nigeria are ongoing and the event in Leeds was part of a global weekend of action which saw protests across the UK and all over the world.

Protesters in Lagos, Nigeria
Credit: Kaizenify Via Wikimedia Commons

The protesters are calling for an end to police brutality and for the replacement of President Muhammadu Buhari.

As a result of the movement in Nigeria, the unit was supposedly dissolved on Sunday 11 October but the protestors see this as an empty promise and are calling for “actions rather than words.”

Further to this, the Leeds rally highlighted the UK’s connection to the issues in Nigeria.

The protest in Leeds hosted a range of speakers including Victoria Ajayi, the chairperson of Nigerian Community Leeds, Marvina Newton, the founder of Black Lives Matter Leeds, and Orisun Abayomi, the President of the Nigerian Society at Leeds University.

The millennium square protest lasted from 2pm until 4pm and adhered to social distancing measures.

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