To hear from socialist activists in Nigeria about the struggle against police brutality and for a socialist future, come to this Sunday’s Socialist Students and Young Socialists national rally over Zoom! Register for free over Event Brite here – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/socialist-students-and-young-socialists-national-rally-tickets-119810687993?fbclid=IwAR0YtQbsl63cs7kuaSoCRgbdI6nAz1o9xexlarlxwEJW_mT6jm9BGaJwV34
Socialist Students wishes to send solidarity to the ongoing mass movement in Nigeria against the Buhari government, which began nearly two weeks ago against police brutality and the hated, corrupt and murderous SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad). After announcing the disbanding of SARS following days of spontaneous youth protests, the Nigerian government has moved to replace it with Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) units – essentially the SARS by another name!
Young people have built this marvellous movement in the face of further violence and repression from the Nigerian police backed up by the army – Amnesty International estimates that 10 protesters were killed over last weekend, while further shootings against protesters by police have taken place in Lagos yesterday.
Since it began, the movement has quickly developed into a struggle against the corrupt Nigerian government itself. The current President Buhari and his All Progressive Congress party were elected by just 15.2 million people out of a population of over 200 million! Additionally his election took place on a promise to put an end to the corruption and inequality which has plagued Nigeria for decades. Five years on, nothing has changed for the millions of workers, youth and poor across the country.
The inequality gap between the rich and poor has reached new heights. 102 million now live in ‘extreme poverty’ – close to 50% of the population! Young and working class people in Nigeria face widespread poverty and unemployment, and additionally are now being threatened with fuel and electricity price increases by the Buhari regime. Now tens of millions of youth are mobilised in the streets demanding the end to the Buhari regime.
60 years after independence was won in Nigeria from British colonial rule, capitalism has failed to provide the very basics for the vast majority.
Meanwhile, a tiny minority at the head of a corrupt system get filthy rich. Oxfam in 2017 pointed out that while 112 million live in poverty, the richest Nigerian man would take 42 years to spend all of his wealth at $1 million per day.
Youth to the fore internationally in the fight against capitalism
In Britain and internationally, young people are being forced into a struggle against the system of capitalism for their rights and futures. Earlier in the year, we saw the development of a huge youth movement in Britain around Black Lives Matter. Thousands of working class youth poured into the streets across the country, demanding an end to police racism and violence, as well as an end to the huge class inequalities in society which were magnified by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Socialist Students stands in full solidarity with the movement in Nigeria and with socialists who are fighting to end the system of capitalism which relies on police violence and brutality to maintain the rule of the rich. Please send messages of solidarity to the Youth Rights Campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org.