Editorial note: All Guest Post authors share their views and experiences, and do not represent Week of Saturdays. This is one of the submissions of writers participating in a 21-day Don’t Break the Streak Writing Challenge. Details here.
Now more than ever, every Nigerian citizen and advocate should consolidate efforts to form a collective voice as we protest to push out and eliminate the menace that Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has become.
Thousands of Nigerians are out on the streets in protests voicing our demands: which are to end SARS and reform the Police in Nigeria. But for every person out there, there are two at home, who are unable or not sure of what to do to help in the protests and cause.
If going out to protest is not a possibility for you; here is a list of activities you can do or get involved in, as an individual and professional in your chosen field.
Art, as an expressive form
With art, you hold the power to convey serious and important messages.
As an artist, you could paint a mural on the streets of your city, a monument to remind everyone that passes by what the #EndSARS protests stand for. Remember the George Floyd murals during the #BlackLivesMatter protests? They’re immortalizations of the movement. You could collaborate with other artists around you to create a giant mural or several art pieces.
Branding and printing media
If you’re into printing and branding media, you could channel this into branding shirts and masks for the #EndSARS movements for free or at discounted prices. This is important as it spreads the virality of the cause and helps us reach where we cannot reach. It could also bring more people into action with us. Online and offline exposure is vital for this cause.
Got a refrigerator or freezer?
Or know someone who does? Maybe you sell water in your shop or run an iceblock factory? Your services are so needed right now. You could help quench the thirsts of protesters around you and keep them hydrated and energized. Revitalized protesters are active protesters.
Have access to wheels? Perfect
You could help move protesters from pickup locations to protest locations. You could help protesters can get out of protest locations quickly when things get out of hand. Get as many people in and out as you can.
Do you have a way with words?
Do you know how to tell a good story and inform people at the same time? Now more than ever, writing and speaking are essential skills, and instrumental to this cause.
A lot of people in Nigeria and elsewhere still do not know what we’re protesting for. You can fix this. Write and disseminate broadcast messages especially on WhatsApp, let’s take this beyond Twitter. Draft emails to be sent to international media bodies and legislators.
YouTube Content Creator?
Your channels are the most authentic TV stations in this movement. Use them to show the live coverages of the protests where you can. We need to document the truth as it happens. We need to help keep others in the country and abroad, up-to-date and informed.
An influencer in any capacity?
If you have a following on social media, utilize it. Even if it’s a fairly small audience. As long as you push the #EndSARS hashtags and message, you are doing a good job. Let’s keep these hashtags to the top of the trends list. Let’s get more people involved. Our strength is in our numbers.
Student? Especially law students
You can volunteer for organizations handling litigations for protesters that are being arrested. You can make the release process for our comrades at the protest easier. “No man left behind.”
We already have doctors, paramedics, and nurses helping to keep protesters safe, but we could use more on the ground. If you can and are around, please lend a helping hand in locations close to you.
Keep the protesters healthy, hydrated, and in top shape. Medical students can assist here as well as we need all hands on deck.
Volunteer! Volunteer! Volunteer!
We need as many hands as we can get. Especially when it comes to providing relief materials and first aid where necessary. If you can do anything, your help is welcome where it is needed.
Fluent in local languages?
Yoruba? Hausa? Igbo? Ibibio? Efik? Urhobo? Your skillset is everything, right now. A lot of the people who think this is a useless fight, think so because they cannot understand us.
Most are not even on social media so they don’t see what is going on in realtime. Let’s resolve that. You can bridge the gap and bring the grassroots folks into this. Speak to older and other uninformed people in their local languages – get them informed, get them on board.
If we can win the “others” over, we have a substantial force on our side. Get them to understand that the #EndSARS movement is not a support of crime. It’s a cry for the protection of our lives and an end to injustice and killings from SARS.DAMI KOYA
A picture speaks a thousand words, and we need as many words out there as possible. If you have a phone or camera, you can document and cover the protests as they happen.
Pictures bring in more interest, and they’re easier to share, so let’s get those cameras clicking. Photo editors are not left out. If you see a good photo online, reach out to the person who took it, and offer to edit for better quality – the best quality content is what we need to push.
Create a Placard
For this, you don’t need to be a skilled artist. All you need to do is pick up a piece of cardboard, write the names of our fallen comrades, write the name of the protest #EndSars, write a snippet of your experience with SARS.
Sign. Sign. Sign. Your voice counts.
Donate. Donate. Donate!
Whatever you send is is appreciated. No amount is too small. Fund data for social media campaigns. Fund refreshments and relief materials for protesters. Fund petitions. Fund the cause. Donate.
Lastly, post, share, and retweet!
Always use the right hashtags. Amplify the message as much as you can. When you think you are done, write, create, and retweet some more.
Together we can change the status quo. Together, we can push for security and an end to police brutality and extortion in Nigeria. Together we can end the oppression.