Anti-police brutality demonstrations were held in major cities in the United States on Sunday in solidarity with the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria.
In the capital, Washington DC, hundreds gathered at the Nigerian embassy, waving placards with the words “End Police Brutality” and “Nigerian Lives Matter”.
Nigeria’s EndSARS movement comes as protests demanding the protection of Black lives continue in the United States.
Parallels have been drawn between calls to reform the police in Nigeria- the most populous black country in the world, and efforts in the US to end police brutality against African Americans in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
The protesters on Sunday called for a change in leadership, more transparency in government and an end to extra-judicial killings and alleged human rights abuses in Nigeria. They also called on the US to lend its support to the protests back home.
“Washington DC is the epicenter of US political power, and the protesters are trying to reach two audiences, the audience of Nigeria through the embassy, but also political leaders in Washington,” said Eric Ham, the ARISE News reporter on the scene.
“Not only does this bring attention to the US because its possible national leaders in Washington will get involved, but this forces the Nigerian government to respond to the protests.”
In New York City, candlelight vigils were held Sunday night to honor victims of SARS brutality at the Nigerian embassy and Bryant Park. Holding candles, protesters observed a minute silence and called out the names of the dead.
#EndSARS protests were also held at the Hollywood CNN building and the Hawthorne Memorial Centre in Los Angeles, and in Boston.