Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

JAF and CORE Kick Off Protest Over Cost of Living Crisis

Mobilisation march in Lagos

On Monday 26th February 2024; the Joint Action Front (JAF) in conjunction with Coalition for Revolution (CORE) held protest actions in Lagos and three other states over the worsening cost of living crisis. It is aimed to build a nationwide mass movement against anti-poor capitalist policies of the Bola Tinubu government which are responsible for the heightening of economic hardship.

By Davy Fidel

Members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) played central in organising the protest in Lagos, Oyo and Osun States.

In Lagos, the protest march kicked off from the Nigeria Labour Congress Lagos National sub-Secretariat in Yaba. It passed through Ojuelegba and ended in Maryland, covering a distance of over 10km.

Before the kick off, the state had mobilised the police to stop the rally, sealing up the streets leading to the NLC building. But leadership of JAF was able to engage the police that the right to protest must be respected.

Police sealing up the NLC building in Yaba, Lagos

Though the protesters marching were just over 50, but the protest enjoyed a impressive support of ordinary people as it moved. For instance, over 200 gathered to listen to the speeches of the leadership of JAF and CORE in Ojuelegba. Their seething anger was palpable.

At every junction the people who are displeased by the economic hardship and want a change of the situation were engaged. They agreed to the need for a fight back and mass action to force the government to reverse its anti-poor policies. It is instructive that some in the rank and file police who followed up the protest couldn’t hide their support for the action and the demand. One of them could be heard encouraging some young people to join the protest.

The protest march was also used to urge the ordinary people to participate in the nationwide protests called by the NLC and scheduled for February 27 and 28. It’s understandable there was scepticism given the past betrayal of struggle by the leadership of Labour. Nonetheless, now such a protest would enjoy mass support if it is not called off.

This JAF protest sought to mobilise mass support for the following demands:

*Reversal of the Hike in fuel prices

*Reverse all anti-people neo-liberal policies of privatisation, deregulation & devaluation!

*Reversal of Hike in Fees in public tertiary institutions!

*Living wage Now for ALL in the public and private employment.

*Slash in jumbo salaries and allowances top government functionaries

About 2,000 copies of the DSM leaflet were circulated along the joint flyer of JAF and CORE. At least 99 copies of the special edition of DSM paper, Socialist Democracy, were sold.

We call for mass support for February 27 and 28 action called by the NLC. But we also called for independent actions of working people and youths in communities, schools and working places as part of the process of building nationwide mass movement. For the NLC, after the two-day action the next step should be 48-general strike and mass protests.

Media interview H.T. Soweto, a member
of the DSM Executive. Committee

Thirteen members of the DSM participated in Lagos protest.

There will more detailed reports later.