Throughout the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria, young people mobilised and drove their message through social media; we witnessed some beautiful acts of kindness; celebrities added their voice; the movement attracted global attention; and Nigerians experienced a watershed moment quite unlike any other.
But behind the on-the-ground protests and social media coordination were organisations, across multiple industries, that also put their weight behind the #EndSARS movement and significantly contributed to its success.
Demonstrating the importance of widespread participation in the fight for justice and equitable systems, here are some organisations that supported, and are still supporting, the fight to end police brutality in Nigeria:
1. EndSARS Response
This organisation was launched by Feyikemi Abudu, an engineer and activist, as a direct support and funding mechanism for the #EndSARS protests.
Throughout the duration of the peaceful on-the-ground protests, EndSARS Response helped coordinate logistics, food, health care, funding, and legal aid in multiple states of the country.
With just 90+ hours in service, Response Unit has served 9 states and 39 Cities.— End SARS Response Unit (@EndSarsResponse) October 17, 2020
We are serving you from across 3 continents and 4 time zones.
Please continue to reach out with your resource needs#EndSARS#EndSWAT#EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeriapic.twitter.com/ZHF7hVf7r3
EndSARS Response also launched a helpline that included medical, legal, food, and mental health support for protesters. All forms of support were provided at no cost to the protesters.
2. Feminist Coalition
Perhaps one of the most prominent organisations during the protests, Feminist Coalition, a women’s rights advocacy group, led emergency response, fundraising, and logistic support for protesters.
A statement from The Feminist Coalition. October 22nd, 2020. pic.twitter.com/MG6deijfdG— feministcoalition (@feminist_co) October 22, 2020
The Coalition also supported the EndSARS Response helpline, raised more than N70 million ($180,000), and disbursed more than N20 million in seven days to cover medical costs for injured and illegally detained protesters.
3. Mentally Aware NG
One of Nigeria’s leading mental health nonprofits, Mentally Aware NG provided extensive support for #EndSARS protesters, often sharing helpful resources via its channels and offering free therapy for illegally detained and harrassed protesters.
Events from the past couple of weeks led to a massive rise in the number of people needing MH support. We're organising series of workshops in partnership with the Global Shapers community in Nigeria to support more people.— MentallyAwareNigeria (@MentallyAwareNG) November 3, 2020
Register here: https://t.co/N38dzQACMr
Please, RT. pic.twitter.com/EwB3bWZRZv
4. Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) Nigeria
From working to free illegally detained protesters to filing multiple suits against the government on behalf of harassed and extorted protesters, SERAP has done a magnificent job of putting pressure on the Nigerian authorities to fulfill their promises to the people.
The organisation was already doing a lot of work in advocating for human rights and campaigning against government abuse of office before the #EndSARS protests, and lent its weight fully behind the movement.
5. EndSARS Legal Aid
Throughout the duration of the physical protests, the Nigerian police responded with varying degrees of extreme force, often illegally arresting protesters and then denying said arrest. But the team of over 700 volunteers at the EndSARS Legal Aid organisation have been working tirelessly to date to get every illegally detained protester out of police custody.
We are still working to get folks who are unlawfully detained due to the peaceful protests out. If you suspect someone was arrested after a peaceful protest, please fill this form. https://t.co/zhGeU9Ci8F— Moe (@Mochievous) October 25, 2020
The organisation has so far worked to free more than 80 illegally detained protesters in 13 states, all for free.
6. The Food Coven
Not only did #EndSARS protesters get fed at many of the protest grounds across the country, in some locations there were several delicacies and meals to choose from — chicken and chips, banana bread, parfait, BBQ wings, plantain kebabs, you name it.
Gbagada: You’re eating Good today!!— Ikuku Malaysia 🧖🏾♀️ (@chefobubu) October 16, 2020
•Buttermilk chicken sliders
•Garlic butter and herb roasted corn
Instead make protest end Make belle burst! #EndSARSpic.twitter.com/xHONoYo94Q
The organisation behind this food fest was The Food Coven, a group of volunteer chefs who provided meals for the protesters for free.
This financial technology company was instrumental in coordinating the first batch of donations towards the #EndSARS protests and emergency health care for injured protesters, starting with a N2 million ($5,000) donation from its staff.
Update on donations towards the medical bills of injured protesters 👇🏾 https://t.co/018lrQn41s— Flutterwave (@theflutterwave) October 10, 2020
It also provided payment links at no charge for the Feminist Coalition and sparked a flurry of cash (and in-kind) donations from within Nigeria’s tech industry.
8. Domino's Pizza & Coldstone Creamery
This pizza and ice cream company donated free boxes of pizza and cups of ice cream to protesters at multiple locations in Lagos — demonstrating how cross-cutting the effects of police brutality are and why it is important that everyone adds their bit in the fight for justice.
Let it be known that @dominos of #lagos shared pizza to protesters .... And I hope we know that @dominos makes the best pizza in Nigeria...— Oghale_of_lagos (@NicholasOghale) October 14, 2020
Na pizza company wey feed protesters we dey patronize. #SARSMUSTENDNOW#SARSMUSTEND#EndSWAT#EndSARS#LagosProtests#LagosProtestsNowpic.twitter.com/589KXwIep6
To find out more about the #EndSARS protests, here is an explainer and if you would like to support the movement, here are some ways to go about it.
You can go here to tweet the Nigerian government to fulfil its pledge to end all forms of injustice and abuse against its citizens.
If you have experienced, or know someone who's experienced, a violation of human rights in Nigeria you can also anonymously share your story with Global Citizen here, and we'll share your stories far and wide to help pressure the government for change.