The Power of Peaceful Protests Event RecapNov 16, 2020 02:13PM ● By Nana Ama Addo
#ENDSARS, #BLACKLIVESMATTER and other organized movements of Black resistance illustrate a sinister issue of injustice that Black communities around the world face. As FunTimes Magazine continues to serve as a guiding light for the African Diaspora’s empowerment, we realize the importance of collaboration and the sharing of resources in liberation seeking. It is with this intention that we hosted our latest FunTimes Friday event, themed ‘The Power of Peaceful Protests,’ on October 30th.
Panelists, Chioma Azi, Immigration Attorney and founder of the Philly Nigerian Professionals, Dr. Krystal Strong, Organizer of the Black Lives Matter movement and Assistant Professor at University of Pennsylvania, Ette Victoria of the GIG Group, Daniel Udeze Jr., Investment Lawyer at the British American Tobacco Global Careers and Ibukun Tunbi of Ibukun Tunbi Media, virtually exchanged experiences and provided resources to further connect and develop freedom-catalyzing strategies across nations.
The commonalities between the issues faced by people of the African diaspora is an unfortunate but unifying issue, and all of the panelists agree that international gatherings are crucial in creating Black freedom. Chioma, a Nigerian-American who organized the #ENDSARS protest in Philadelphia, said: “The most important thing we can be doing right now is making those connections...this summer, the whole world saw the uprising, the frustrations of Americans, seeing, time and time again, the lives of unarmed Black people being taken out, it's not just police, which we should also remember…we shouldn't be protesting or reading about these issues in a vacuum.”
The Nigerian correspondents in the country gave insight on the motivations behind the #ENDSARS and #ENDSWSAT. Victoria Ette shed light on the origin of the movement: “Three out of four Nigerians have experienced being brutalized by the police... everyone thinks it’s normal...police are approaching you for the way you look, if you are carrying an IPhone, you are driving a car, or if you are dressed nice.”
Ibukun Ubuku said the #ENDSARS movement began in 2017, and the Lekki Massacre, which happened on October 20th, 2020, has inspired even more youth to fight for the country’s future. “The day those young citizens sat on the floor, held the flag and sang the national anthem and blood stained the flag, many youth moved from the sidelines to the front line...We understand that we need to take the future in our hands and we need to start now.”
Daniel Udeze told audiences “The recent ENDSARS protests has made it abundantly clear that there is a need not just to stop police brutality but for police reform. Human rights activists and international bodies have become involved... they (SARS) do evil rather than what they have been called to do.”
As #ENDSARS took over social media, protests in Philly re-erupted after the killing of Walter Wallace. Dr. Strong described the events leading up to the Philly protests and realities on the ground: “On Monday, police killed Walter Wallace Jr., who was in the midst of a mental health crisis, by shooting him 14 times in front of his mother and community members as they begged the police officers not to hurt him.” When Dr. Strong and her group went to the streets, as they have through the summer and years to protest state violence, they were provoked and brutalized by police officers.
She said “That night, I personally had to run for my life from police officers… over 100 people have been arrested in the protests...a dear friend was arrested by federal agents.” In illustrating the connection between international Black killings, Dr. Strong reported: “Police kill Black people, from the US to West Africa, to South America and everywhere in between. When we rise up and protest against this injustice, we are met with more police violence.” During the protests, as a police car sat on 52nd street ablazed in a fire akin to the burning persistence of Black changemakers, Dr. Strong witnessed a woman scream “This is happening in Nigeria too. SARS is a problem. It’s happening all over Africa.”
Dr. Strong gave tips for conducting organized protests. It is important to have legal observers, street medics, an agenda/program, opportune protest locations, security and more, because “when we are isolated, unorganized and without strategy and plan, we are weaker.”
Learn more about recent protests in Nigeria and Philly:
Connect with activist organizations:
Black Philly Radical Collective:
Black Lives Matter Philly:
Social Media: @blmphilly
Philly Nigerian Professionals: