By Jakob Stein
This past Sunday, roughly 50 protesters gathered in uptown Charlotte in solidarity with the ongoing ‘End SARS’ protests in Nigeria. The protests against police brutality and murder have been raging for two weeks, and although they have already forced the government to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), they have continued demanding for the release of arrested protesters and restitution for the families of victims of police violence.
One protester, himself an immigrant from Nigeria, spoke with Tribune of the People, explaining the dire conditions like widespread poverty and lack of basic infrastructure that helped precipitate the protest movement. He mentions that the youth have been a leading force in the protests, as they are the most likely to suffer and die from police brutality.
While the protests have mainly focused on the police, the Nigerian government has also become a major target of the people’s anger. As the government is heavily indebted to Chinese social imperialism (to the tune of US$3.1 billion), it is no surprise that US imperialists like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden have attempted to paint themselves as champions of the anti-police movement, even while condemning the ‘violent’ protesters in the US movement for Black lives.
We should not fool ourselves, in situations like these, US imperialism can only think of its own interests and seek to influence mass movements to this end. Like Belarus and countless other popular protest movements, the US wants to undermine it rival imperialists while still colluding with them where possible.
The Nigerian ruling class, as lackeys of imperialism and puppeteers behind the murderous police, must be combatted the same as SARS. Additionally, the rival imperialists competing for influence over Nigeria’s economy represent two sides of the same bloody, miserable system that exploits and oppresses the people. Only through the complete defeat of imperialism and overthrow of capitalism can the people be truly free.