LISTEN TO LARRY ADELEKE:
Burke Stansbury, webmaster for TheFightBack, produced this video:
Yesterday, dozens of activists gathered outside the World Bank headquarters in DC for a spirited protest in solidarity with the Nigerian people who are demanding their government reverse its decision to eliminate billions of dollars in fuel subsidies. “The Nigerian people have been pushed to the very last limits,” student leader Larry Adeleke said at yesterday’s protest. “There’s nothing they can do anymore other than to fight.”
Africa’s most populous country has been rocked by mass demonstrations and strikes, and reports are that at least three protesters have been killed by police fire.
Despite being the continent’s leading producer of crude oil, fuel is expensive in Nigeria, where many rely on it for life’s necessities such as cooking and electricity. If President Goodluck Jonathan successfully removes the fuel subsidy as promised, costs will double.
Activists feel Jonathan is not acting alone, but as a lackey for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which routinely pressure countries to slash spending for social programs.
Standing outside the World Bank, Emira Woods, with the Institute for Policy Studies, said via Occupy Wall Street’s signature mic check, “We are here to say, ‘No to the price hikes.’ ‘No to the war on the poor.’ We stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Nigeria. We say, ‘No to the World Bank.’ We say, ‘No to the IMF.’ We say, ‘No to Big Oil.'”
“Maybe some of us will get arrested, [but] that’s not a big deal,” said Adeleke, who will be returning to Nigeria shortly. “The Nigerian people want a change.”