Leeds protest demands #EndSARS and #BuhariMustGo

“We’ve started this, and there’s no going back” were the remarks of one speaker at the #endsars protest on October 24th in Millennium Square, Leeds.

Around 50-60 joined the protest organised by the Nigerian Student Society at Leeds University. As well as slogans against police violence and demands to dismantle the SARS and SWAT police units, slogans against Nigeria’s president Mohammadu Buhari were also widely present on placards.

There was huge anger amongst protesters at the police massacre at Lekki bridge, and Buhari’s attempts to deny the incident ever happened. But the angst extended far beyond this particular issue, which has been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Buhari represents the corrupt political elite in the country that have profitted from oil wealth in Nigeria at the expense of the mass of the population.

Leeds #EndSARS protest – photo Iain Dalton

It was in this context that the leaflet distributed by Socialist Party members was received eagerly by protesters. It reproduced the text of a leaflet being distributed by our Nigerian sister party, the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), on the streets of Nigeria.

One of the speakers at the rally read out the demands being raised by the Youth Rights Campaign, giving their own explanation as to why each one was a vital necessity for the masses in Nigeria.

Iain Dalton, spoke on behalf of the Socialist Party at the protest, bringing solidarity greetings from the DSM. Iain pointed out that the fundamental role of brutal police units like SARS in Nigeria, is to protect the interests of the capitalist class to continue to exploit workers.

He pointed out the crucial role of the working class and its trade union organisations needing to join young people on the streets of Nigeria until the Buhari regime falls, and called on the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congeess to reinstate the general strike they called off in September.

Iain explained that the only way that the needs of ordinary Nigerians can be met is to take the wealth and resources of Nigeria put of the hands of the corrupt capitalist elite and put them into public ownership, under democratic workers control so that this can they can control the decisions on how this wealth is used, as part of a socialist plan.

Leeds Socialist Party

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