Students of the University of Texas (UT), on Friday gathered to protest police brutality in Nigeria in a from campus to the Texas Capitol building.
Protest organizer Angie Adeyemo, a chemical engineering fifth-year student said she and the African Students Organization held the protest to bring local awareness to injustices committed by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
“We’re all here, students of UT, the African Students Organization … to show our solidarity for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria, ”The protest started in front of Gregory Gym, where demonstrators chanted “End SARS Now!” as they walked to the UT Tower, carrying signs with sayings such as “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and “Say No to Police Brutality.”
“Buhari has been a bad boy,” a protest sign said, referring to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. In front of the Tower, several protest leaders gave speeches, and Adeyemo led a moment to honor SARS victims. Protestors took a knee while Adeyemo read out of dozens of victims’ names.
“No more lives need to be lost in Nigeria,” Adeyemo said in a speech. “No more lies from the government. They claimed to end (SARS) and replaced it with SWAT. A different name, the same wolf.”
As the protesters started marching towards the Texas Capitol building, they chanted phrases such as “No justice, no peace!” and “End SARS! End SWAT!” Several people drove by in cars, honking their horns and holding up fists of solidarity. Some marchers draped themselves in Nigerian flags
One of the protesters, Pearl Abue, a chemical engineering masters student, revealed why she participated in the rally, “SARS has been terrorizing Nigerian youth for the longest time,” Abue said. “If I can contribute to the fight that we’re all fighting in my country here, then I’m going to do it. Even if it’s just by coming out and letting the world know what we go through and what people in Nigeria are going through.”
In front of the Capitol, Adeyemo continued with her speech, encouraging people to support Nigeria by donating and reading people’s stories through the #EndSARS hashtag on Twitter.