Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)

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13 October 2017

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Following the mass uprising that has recently erupted in the Republic of Togo demanding that President Faure Gnassingbe steps down, there have been killing of protesters and repression of democratic rights.

President Faure Gnassingbe is the scion of the late Eyadema Gnassingbe who ruled Togo for nearly 38 years until his death in 2005 and the mass movement in the country is demanding that the Gnassingbe dynasty step aside in order for genuine multi-party elections be held.

In Nigeria, the Democratic Socialist Movement (Nigerian Section of the Committee for a Workers' International) joined forces with other left, socialist and Pan-Africanist groups to organize a solidarity protest and picketing of Togolese Embassy in Lagos on Friday, 6th October, 2017. The contingent of protesters which includes Togolese nationals took off from Bar Beach Junction and proceeded to the Togolese Embassy at Oju-Olobu, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Addressing the solidarity protest and picket, Ayo Ademiluyi, member of the Democratic Socialist Movement, emphasized the fact that to be truly successful the struggle for democratic rights needs to be linked to the struggle to defeat capitalism, particularly the neo-liberal variant which dominates neo-colonial Africa, which is the basis for the ruthless dictatorships and economic deprivation in Togo.

He raised the need to oppose the intervention of French imperialism, which has an overbearing influence on the ruling class of Togo, given that the country is a former colony of France. He also raised the need to oppose any military intervention by the Nigerian government, being the "Big Brother" in the West African regional group, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) of which Faure Gnassingbe is the Chairman, to help repress the protests. He also demanded the immediate release of detained and jailed protesters and end to attacks on democratic rights.

Two Togolese nationals who spotted the solidarity protesters' contingent indicated interest in being part of the solidarity campaign. Journalists from two television stations and one from a print media covered the protest. It was agreed after the protest that there is need to take the campaign further by initiating other activities to establish solidarity with the ongoing mass movement in Togo.