by Adewale Alabi
The #EndSARS/#EndSWAT protests have seen a lot of unconventional thoughts and ideology come to the forefront and chief of them is Feminism. This is not unconnected to the co-ordination of the feminist coalition with regards to the protests which left many in awe. The feminist coalition has been involved in the protests by crowdsourcing funds and catering to protest in terms of legal aid, medical aid, burial funds and food and refreshment for protesters.
The level of organisation and co-ordination the group exhibits is only overshadowed by its transparency – a quality that endeared them to many. The feminist coalition has since been seen as a beacon of hope to many so much that their image for the #EndSARS/#EndSWAT movement is now used by many other people to push the narrative of the ongoing protests.
Just when it seems like all was well with the world and the protests, the Feminist Coalition decided to shake things up when on October 18, 2020, they released a series of tweets making it clear that they were in support of queer people expressing their stand against police brutality with the #QueerNigerianLivesMatter movement. They made it clear it was not a counter-movement but basically queer people fighting for the same rights as everyone else. In their now-viral set of tweets, they wrote;
“Our communal fight to #EndSARS is inclusive of the LGBGTQ+ community who are also harassed, assaulted and killed by police. They deserve the same justice we seek & even more so, as they are also a target of the law. You can’t be what you fight against! #QueerNigerianlivesmatter”
“We stand with every single one of our queer brothers and sisters in this fight to end police brutality! #EndSARS #QueerNigerianlivesmatter #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigera”.
As expected, there have been different reactions to the stance of the Feminist Coalition. Some are happy with the news, some see this as a form of hijacking by the LGBTQ+ community, while others believe the queer community should wait until the ongoing protests are over before the queer community speaks out about its own issues.
@seye_oyekunle who thinks this is a hijack wrote;
“With all due Respect Folded hands, YOU SHOULD STOP THIS RUBBISH.
The LGBGTQ+ community wants to Hijack our Protest. We appreciate all the Ladies
@feminist_co for the good work they are doing. Pls DON’T SPOIL THIS #EndSARS and #EndSWAT movement with this #QueerNigerianlivesmatter shit!!!!”
@jumai_af believes the Feminist Coalition is beginning to lose focus;
“Y’all need to stop. The fight is for all Nigerians. What is this projection of a particular group of people you’re doing? Who cares? Please focus on the main goal, which is to end police brutality and by extension the rot and corruption in the Nigerian system! Focus! #EndSARS”
Will Nigerians still fawn over the Feminist Coalition or will it be used to reinstate patriarchal views after the protests are over and done?