October 21, 2020 update: Beyoncé has issued a statement regarding the End SARS protests in Nigeria. On Instagram (below), she wrote, “I am heartbroken to see the senseless brutality taking place in Nigeria. There has to be an end to SARS. We have been working on partnerships with youth organizations to support those protesting for change. We are collaborating with coalitions to provide emergency healthcare, food and shelter. To our Nigerian sisters and brothers, we stand with you.”
Beyoncé’s statement follows an Instagram Stories statement (below) via her publicist, who pushed back on Nigerian fans pressuring the entertainer to speak out.
Read the original story below.
Multiple prominent individuals including music creatives Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Beyoncé weighed in on End Special Anti-Robbery Squad (End SARS) or #EndSARS protests, a social movement calling for an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a controversial unit of the Nigerian Police Force with a long record of abuses. The effort was first launched on Twitter in 2017 and was re-energized following a police shooting in early October.
Standing with & praying for the brave young people of Nigeria who are on the front lines of this senseless violence. Your voice is being heard. 🇳🇬 #EndSARS— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) October 20, 2020
New mother Nicki Minaj weighed in on Twitter, where she wrote, “Standing with & praying for the brave young people of Nigeria who are on the front lines of this senseless violence. Your voice is being heard.”
Well known for efforts to aid at-risk populations through her Clara Lionel Foundation charity platform, Rihanna spoke out today on Instagram (above). In the caption of an image showing a protestor, Rihanna simply wrote, “#ENDSARS.”
In Instagram Stories (above) she added, “I can’t bare to see this torture and brutalization that is continuing to affect nations across our planet! It’s such a betrayal to the citizens, the very people put in place to protect are the ones we are most afraid of being murdered by! My heart is broken for Nigeria man!! It is unbearable to watch! I’m so proud of your strength and not letting up on the fight for what’s right! # ENDSARS.”
While Beyoncé hasn’t spoken out directly, her longtime publicist Yvette Noel-Schure responded to ongoing social media demands for the singer to speak out about the protests.
Pushing back on the view that all support must take place in plain site, Noel-Schure wrote on Instagram Stories (below), “Not all work is for a photo op. Make it normal to stop judging people’s actions based on posts. Posts don’t make you an ativist. Actions make you an activist whether in the background or out in these sreets. We all choose a different path to get it done. Blessed are those who do not see yet they believe. Actions speak louder than posts! Stop Judging. S.T.O.P.!!!!”