They Dared to Struggle! Release the 43 Activists Unconditionally – Drop All Charges!

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The Coalition for Revolution (CORE) salutes its activists who defied all odds to protest at the Lekki tollgate today.

And we call for the immediate release of the 43 activists that were unjustly arrested and detained after being brutalised, with all charges brought against them dropped.

#OccupyLekkiTollGate was organiséd to stop the inhuman re-opening of the tollgate where scores of citizens were massacred by the repressive regime of Major General Muhammadu Buhari on 20th October last year.

The judicial panel of inquiry set up in the wake of that massacre is still sitting. But in a crass expression of putting profit making for a handful of persons over justice and respect for the unjustly killed, the Lagos state government and its privateer accomplices chose to start toll collection once again at this now historic site.

This utter contempt for the people spurred mobilisation around the demand to #OccupyLekkiTollGate over the last week.

Several organisations and persons aligned with this noble demand. The intent of all was clear: they were to organise their constitutional right to peaceful protest.

The response of this rabid government was, not uncharacteristically, the barring of its fangs of coercion.

The tollgate and its environs were flooded with security forces armed to the teeth from yesterday.

And in a display of psychological warfare their show of power was constantly broadcast on mainstream media. Police officers also swooped on the homes of leading CORE RevolutionNow activists organizing the protest.

The regime which has been impotent in the face of armed marauders and kidnappers was projecting a message of being ready to kill and destroy citizens who would come with no more than placards and their voice.

With this background, it is not surprising that most of the groups concerned pulled out of the protest. Worse still, some crossed over to the enemy of the people, to defend the odorous attacks on peaceful protesters.

In this context the courage of the scores of activists that nonetheless marched on the tollgate is exemplary.

They dared to struggle, the only way to dare to win. The struggle is one for revolutionary transformation and this battle was not lost. It will inspire tenacity and boldness for the many, in the many battles to come.

Under the barrage of demands for the release of the 43 out of the members of CORE organizations at the toll that were arrested, the mobile court was pressured to commence bail process which is still ongoing.

We will welcome these heroes and sheroes of revolutionary democracy. And we demand respect for their rights as citizens. We demand all charges against them be dropped.

We shall not relent in our struggle for system change and total liberation of working-class people and youth.

Onward Forward to Revolution Now!

Baba Aye                                                                           Gbenga Komolafe
Co-convener                                                                        Co-convener

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