The hashtag #EndSars have, periodically, trended on Twitter. This time around, people took things further by coming out on the streets to protest. Several cities across Nigeria saw hundreds of people having peaceful protests.
Do protests really work? SARS have officially been dissolved by the local government. So, yes, protests do work.
Political protests are nothing new. The result achieved may be varied, but history shows that a collective voice is loud enough to coarse the government.
The following historically significant political protests have altered government decisions one way or the other.
The George Floyd Protests
The most widespread protest in recent times, the George Floyd protests began in Minneapolis, United States, on May 26, 2020. It started after a Minneapolis Police officer, Derek Chauvin, killed George Floyd, an African American man by pinning him down with a knee on his neck for more than 8 minutes which asphyxiated Floyd. The protest became a political sensation, moving through the united states, with hundreds of thousands of people in all 50 states taking to the streets in opposition to Floyd’s death, police brutality and institutional racism at large. Soon enough, several countries joined in on the protest. The protest saw the death of 12 people in the United States. The protest resulted in
The Women’s March on Washington
The day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as 45th president of the United States on Jan. 21, 2017. More than 470,000 people marched on Washington, D.C., in support of women’s rights. This was in opposition Donald Trump’s misogynistic statements and behavior. Before he became president, Trump had been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 25 women. The women’s rights protest garnered enormous international support, with more than 600 marches planned in the U.S. and 81 other countries on the same day. It is believed that the Women’s March the largest single-day protest in U.S. history.
Gandhi’s Salt March
Ghandi, the man who worked tirelessly to gain India’s independence from Britain. Ghandi held a protest against the British on taxation. It was a 23-day, 240-mile journey to the coast of India to collect his own salt, which was illegal under crown laws. More than 60,000 people, including Gandhi himself, were incarcerated for participating in the salt march, but it ultimately worked as India gained a global praise in favor of Britain.
South Africa’s National Day of Protest
In 1950, Nelson Mandela’s ANC party organized this anti-apartheid work stoppage. This was in retaliation of a new bill that allowed the government to investigate any political party or organization. On June 26, hundreds of thousands of South Africans participated in the “Stay at Home.” This tactic would be employed by South Africans and other countries in the next decade. June 26 was celebrated as National Freedom Day in South Africa until 1994.
For seven weeks, a mass of at least 1 million people, mostly students seeking democratic reform, peacefully occupied Beijing’s Tiananmen Square for seven weeks when the Chinese military unexpectedly rolled in tanks to clear them out. Numbers are imprecise, but it is estimated that at least several hundred protesters were killed in the city, drawing harsh criticism from the international community.