#QueerNigerianLivesMatter: Queer Nigerians Were Allegedly Attacked By Fellow #EndSARS Protesters In Abuja

#QueerNigerianLivesMatter: Queer Nigerians Were Allegedly Attacked By Fellow #EndSARS Protesters In Abuja

The past few days have shown a demonstration of the unity of Nigerian voices demanding for police reform and the disbandment of the rogue police unity called SARS (Special Anti Robbery Squad). In the past week, young Nigerians have come out all over the country and abroad to protest the inappropriate and illegal behaviour of SARS, both on the streets and on social media. Nigerians have finally had enough of all the killings, extortion, kidnapping, rape and wrongful profiling which leads to all other forms of harassment.

And LGBTQ Nigerians have been at the forefront of these protests to make their voices heard, because the community is also singularly targeted based on the police flawed perception of sexuality. Queer protesters have joined their voices with the larger public to make our voices heard on the fact that we are equally dehumanized by the actions of SARS.

However, in Abuja yesterday, protesters allegedly demonstrated the hypocrisy of their cries for an end to the oppression.

Gay rights activist, Amara, who has been a prominent figure in the EndSARS protests, took to social media to talk about how protesters in Abuja turned on her and other queer people after they joined the protests with the rainbow flag and placards demonstrating how much queer lives matter.

She tweeted: “A lady brought a rainbow flag and our fellow protesters turned on us at Berger Roundabout Abuja. They tore our placards and seized the flag. I got it back but they refused that we fly it. I wore it on my neck and they refused. Said we either take it off or leave. I’m leaving.”

In the video attached to the tweet, she said they were “attacked”, going on to say that “they took our placards. They tore it. They were pushing. They had to create a human barricade, like a human wall around us so they don’t attack us.”

This tweet awakened an outrage on Twitter as people took to trending the hashtag #QueerNigerianLivesMatter to express the pain, anger and sadness over why queer voices are unfairly targeted by the same people who want to be heard regarding the oppression of SARS.

This attack comes on the heels of the previous times that pictures of queer protesters have been subject to scorn and derision on Twitter, and it reinforces what was editorialized in The Rustin Times, where the writer says: “…our problem is the law, our problem is society, our problem is a culture that refuses to see our humanity.”

Nigerians need to do better. We can’t be demanding for justice from those who hold the power over us when we are ourselves capable of so much injustice on those who we have the power over.

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  1. Mandy
    October 15, 09:39 Reply

    I saw this on Twitter and it saddened me greatly. So much I was tempted to just give up my support for this protest. But you know what? We won’t stop protesting. We won’t stop fighting. And THEY will respect US! We own this country together! We all suffer from oppression! And when freedom comes, we will ALL be freed!

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