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Beyonce is showing solidarity with Nigeria following Tuesday’s (Oct. 20) brutal massacre in the country’s capital city of Lagos. The Bey Good Foundation has been partnering with local youth organizations supporting the protests, and working with coalitions to provide food, shelter and healthcare to those in need, Beyonce revealed in a statement.
“I am heartbroken to see the senseless brutality taking place in Nigeria,” she said. “There has to be an end to SARS (Special Anti-Robber Squad). We have been working in partnerships with youth organizations to support those protesting for change. We are collaborating with coalitions to provide emergency healthcare, food and shelter.”
Bey added in closing, “To our Nigerian sisters and brothers, we stand with you.”
A message from Beyoncé. pic.twitter.com/5Ng7JF2stf
— BeyGOOD (@BeyGood) October 21, 2020
The statement directs viewers to her website where they will find links to donate or get involved in the movement to end SARS. Graphic videos and images of the brutality in the Lekki region of Lagos, have been circulating the web, but despite overwhelming evidence of corrupt and violent government forces, kidnapping, murders, non-fatal shootings, and other violent attacks on peaceful protestors, the Nigerian government continues to downplay the issue. Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu claimed only one fatality in the massacre, and roughly 25 people wounded.
The #EndSARS movement has been amplified across social media, and prompted numerous protests around the globe Wednesday (Oct. 21). Also on Wednesday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the violence and expressed condolences to the families of the bereaved. Guterres encouraged Nigerian authorities to investigate instances of police brutality and “hold the perpetrators accountable.” Guterres went on to urge security forces to “act with maximum restraint,” and encouraged protestors to remain peaceful.
“While the number of casualties of yesterday’s shooting at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos is still not clear, there is little doubt that this was a case of excessive use of force, resulting in unlawful killings with live ammunition, by Nigerian armed forces,” said UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet. “Reports that CCTV cameras and lighting were deliberately disabled prior to the shooting are even more disturbing as, if confirmed, they suggest this deplorable attack on peaceful protestors was premeditated, planned and coordinated.”
Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The two-minute clip released on Monday (Oct. 19), gives viewers a sneak peek at Chadwick Boseman’s final film role. The 43-year-old actor portrays the ambitious and outspoken trumpet player, Levee.
Viola Davis transforms into Ma Rainey in the Denzel Washington-produced film, centered around a 1927 Chicago recording sessions of “Mother of the Blues.”
Speaking during Monday’s press preview, Davis praised Boseman’s passion and commitment to his art. “Not to compete with Chadwick’s mother, but he was my baby. Chadwick was an artist. That is just what he was… he loved it, he demanded it in every single way. For someone so young it was incredible to watch,” said Davis.
“We are in the business, that a lot of times people have business conversations that masquerade themselves as artistic conversations. They don’t understand the difference between getting on set and demanding their vegan food being brought to them or their vegetarian dishes, or the dietary concerns, having that car ready,” she added. “ They don’t know the difference between that and making choices as an actor and getting down and dirty and doing the work and leaving your ego and your vanity at the door. He [Boseman] loved it. He demanded it. He demanded it in every single way.”
The film, Davis said, gives a window into “what Black life was like” in the '20s and ”how it was informing our relationships.”
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom debuts on Netflix on Dec. 18.Check above for the trailer.
Rihanna, Big Sean, Jidenna and more recording artists are using their social media platforms to speak out against the ongoing violence in Nigeria in wake of the #EndSARS movement.
“I can’t bare to see this torture and brutalization that is continuing to affect nations across our planets! 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,” Rihanna wrote on Tuesday (Oct. 20). “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 rights!”
#ENDSARS 🇳🇬 pic.twitter.com/59lrs8JnDA
— Rihanna (@rihanna) October 20, 2020
Several demonstrators were killed protesting against police brutality, while others were left injured after soldiers opened fire at a protest site in the Lekki district of Lagos on Tuesday (Oct. 20). One witness said that soldiers “started firing ammunition toward the crowd.”
Thousands of demonstrators, many of them young people, have taken to the streets of Lagos and surrounding areas to call for an end to the Special Anti-Robber Squad (SARS). The squad was disbanded in early October but the violence against demonstrators and other innocent victims has continued. The civilian death tole is believed to be in the thousands.
A 24-hour curfew is being put in place for Lagos, the BBC reports. Nigeria’s most populous city is home to approximately 20 million residents.
Read more reactions to the massacre below.
Nigeria!!! Y’all on my heart! It’s horrific over there! So many people being murdered for peaceful protesting about being murdered! #EndSARS
— Sean Don (@BigSean) October 21, 2020
THEYRE KILLING OUR PEOPLEEEEEEEEE pic.twitter.com/1iGmoTIllf
— Davido (@davido) October 20, 2020
THEY ARE KILLING OUR PEOPLE. OUR HEARTS ARE HEAVY. #EndSARS
— SANTAN (@Santandave1) October 21, 2020
I’ll be making calls, sending texts, and praying for everyone affected by the #LekkiMassacre #EndSARS These clips are horrific and terrifying to watch. Bless everyone on the ground. I can only imagine what you feel rn.
— Jidenna (@Jidenna) October 21, 2020
people are loosing their lives man, this violence is evil and extremely corrupt #EndSARS
— Aminé (@heyamine) October 21, 2020
#EndSARS is global now, the world is watching, the leaders must listen before it's too late
— Malik Ofori (@malikofori) October 21, 2020
There is a massacre happening in Lekki. Firing squads mass murdering young people in Nigeria. The world needs to engage #endSARS
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) October 20, 2020