Fierce

Indigenous Women Of Brazil Are Refusing To Keep Quiet Over The Country’s President’s Policies

Last week, hundreds of Indigenous women took to the streets to protest against the policies of Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. According to BBC, indigenous women occupied the building of Brazil’s health ministry in the capital of Brasília and demanded better healthcare for the Indigenous people of the country and called for an end to the destruction of the Amazon. 

It has been reported that about 300 Indigenous women condemned the proposed changes to women’s healthcare and deforestation in Brazil in a peaceful demonstration that lasted over 10 hours. 

The Indigenous women of the country were protesting, according to a tweet by AJ+,  “rollbacks on Indigenous rights and efforts to open up Indigenous lands to minding and agriculture.” AJ+ shared powerful images of Indigenous women coming together to fight for their rights and to “cry out for help.” 

Under the far-right president Bolsonaro, Brazil has backtracked on rights and protections for the Indigenous community. For example, Brazil has let “agriculture ministry make decisions about Indigenous land, blocked any new reservations, [and] proposed to close specialized Indigenous health care offices.” 

“We’ve been left abandoned,” 43-year-old Teresa Cristina Kezonazokere told Correio Braziliense newspaper (in Portuguese, according to BBC). “They treat Indigenous people like animals.”

According to The Associated Press, Bolsonaro’s administration—since taking office in January—has continuously “clashed with environmentalists and others over possibly opening up the Amazon rainforest to development and agribusiness.”

The president wants to open their lands to agriculture and mining. The Globe Post also reports that President Bolsonaro has been warned by experts and activists about such policies that will have “devastating environmental impacts, particularly in worsening climate change.”

However, Bolsonaro continues to dismiss the facts and data showing that the effects of his policies will affect Indigenous land. “Bolsonaro has dismissed the data as lies and sacked the head of the government agency tasked with tracking tree clearing,” The Globe Post reports. 

Further, Brazil’s government wants to make towns and cities responsible for providing medical services to its Indigenous people—putting the pressure on community leaders and local officials. But community leaders fear that their communities lack the “infrastructure” to do this. According to BBC, the federal government is currently in charge of these responsibilities.

Tamikua Faustino of the Pataxó tribe told the AP that “if we don’t stick together, in the near future we’ll be eliminated.”

This surge in deforestation that occurs on Indigenous reserves would essentially eliminate Indigenous folks from the places they inhabit.

In an AJ+ video shared on Twitter, articulation of the Indigenous people of Brazil Sonia Guajajara said: “We will resist because we’ve been here for five centuries and we have a good experience in resisting.” The Indigenous community is being backed by thousands of community members and supports in fighting back against President Bolsonaro’s government.

When Indigenous folks took the streets of Brazil to protest, they didn’t hold back. Many did so carrying bows, arrows, and spears, and the Indigenous women advanced on Congress in Brasilia carrying a large banner that read: “Resist to exist.” Women leading the frontlines are demanding the protection of their land. 

A couple of days after the initial demonstration took place, about 1,500 indigenous women from 110 ethnic groups were expected to join a protest to defend their rights that are under threat under the Bolsonaro administration.

According to BBC, the president has “promised to integrate Indigenous people into the rest of the population and repeatedly questioned the existence of their protected reserves, which are rights guaranteed in the country’s constitution.” The president who favors development over conservation of Indigenous land and reservations has also said that the Indigenous territories are “too big in relation to the number of people who live there,” therefore making it okay to open land that does not belong to him, to agriculture, minding, and essentially destruction. 

Earlier this month, The Globe Post published an opinion piece highlighting the ways in which Bolsonaro and his presidency were destroying the Brazilian Amazon.   

According to data, deforestation in the Amazon region has skyrocketed and there’s no turning back. In June 2019, deforestation showed to be 88 percent higher than the levels of deforestation seen in June 2018. And in the first half of July 2019, it was 68 percent higher than the entire month of the previous year. 

It’s important to note that more than 800,000 Indigenous people live in 450 Indigenous territories across Brazil and most are located in the Amazon region and some communities live totally isolated. 

But the Indigenous women of Brazil are not backing down. In a video posted by AJ+ on Twitter, one of the women can be seen saying that they’re going to defend nature and defend the forest. “We are defending our children’s lives, but also the lives of the people on the other side of the world,” she adds. “Because the air we breathe is the air you breathe.”

Protestors In Puerto Rico Bringing A Guillotine To The Governor’s Mansion Is Just Another Reminder Boricua’s Don’t Mess Around

Things That Matter

Protestors In Puerto Rico Bringing A Guillotine To The Governor’s Mansion Is Just Another Reminder Boricua’s Don’t Mess Around

@JoshuaPotash / Twitter

Like every other Latin American country and state, Puerto Rico has a long and torrid history with racism.

On the island, hundreds of protestors are now also taking place in the demonstrations that were sparked by the death of African-American police victim, George Floyd. In an effort to combat racism, protesters marched outside the mansion of Governor Wanda Vázquez in Old San Juan. Meanwhile, they chanted and demanded justice for George Floyd while also demanding change in Puerto Rico.

Ignoring the island’s coronavirus curfew, protestors took to the street and protested with all sorts of messages, but the one that truly caught those of us watching was the moment when protestors brought in a guillotine.

As anger and frustration continued to fuel the demonstrations, protestors brought in a massive guillotine to the Governor’s Mansion.

Shariana Ferrer-Núñez, a member of Puerto Rico’s Feminist Collective Under Construction, told Democracy Now that “We recognize that we must dismantle white supremacy, we must dismantle a racialized system, we must eradicate anti-Black violence” about the demonstrations.

According to the blog Orlando Latina, “For Puerto Rico’s elected class, the guillotine ought to be a terrifying symbol, as indeed it was during the French Revolution. But I doubt it, for the political class is a self-serving, self-dealing “firm” that has become unmoored from the people on the ground and oblivious to its needs.”

Here’s hoping this symbol hits elected officials in Puerto Rico enough to attempt to make change.

Here’s How You Can Help The Black Lives Matter Protesters Around The Country

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Here’s How You Can Help The Black Lives Matter Protesters Around The Country

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Social media has been filled with images of protests from across the country. Peaceful protesters have been beaten, shot with rubber bullets, choked with tear gas, and arrested by police officers. With hundreds of people arrested for protesting the murder of unarmed Black people by police officers, here’s how you can help.

How To Help Minneapolis

Minneapolis is the epicenter of the recent civil unrest in the U.S. following the death of George Floyd by police. Floyd was accused of trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill. Minneapolis police officers responded and fired police officer Derek Chauvin was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he died. There were three officers on Floyd and he was cuffed as Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck.

Official George Floyd Memorial Fund – Floyd’s family has started the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund to establish financial help for his family. The fund has raised more than $7 million. According to the text on the GoFundMe page, a portion of the money collected will go to caring for Floyd’s children and setting up educational funds for them. The family has a second fund started by his sister.

Minnesota Freedom Fund – The Minnesota Freedom Fund is using donations to pay bail for people arrested for protesting in Minneapolis. The fund was established to fight back against the cash bail system in the U.S. that disenfranchises people who can’t afford to pay to avoid being incarcerated before their trial.

How To Help New York

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by @mal.mero

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Brooklyn Community Bail Fund – The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund is using its current fundraising to help those arrested in New York while protesting. New York City was one of several American cities that saw widespread protests demanding justice for the killing of George Floyd.

How To Help Atlanta

The Action Network – Atlanta has seen sustained peaceful protests since George Floyd was killed. The Action Network is raising the funds now to help those in Atlanta pay for their bail if they are arrested while protesting in the state’s capital.

How To Help Chicago

Black Lives Matter, Chicago Chapter – The Black Lives Matter chapter of Chicago is asking for donations to maintain the organizing happening in the streets. The chapter has joined other chapters around the country in orchestrating major protests demanding police reform. Donations to the organization help to sustain them during this time.

How To Help Los Angeles

Peoples City Council Freedom Fund – Due to COVID-19, Los Angeles has set all bails to $0 to limit the spread of the virus in confined places, like jails. However, community leaders are monitoring to make sure that policy is still used for protesters. The Peoples City Council Freedom Fund is helping protesters by providing them legal support, medical bills, transportation, supplies, and protective gear to protesters.

How To Help Nationally

Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images

Unicorn Riot – Unicorn Riot is an independent, nonprofit media organization offering on the ground reporting. According to the website, Unicorn Riot is free of corporate and government funding so they can cover stories as they see fit.

The Bail Project – The Bail Project is a bail fundraiser that is giving the same help nationally that many organizations offer locally. A donation to The Bail Project goes to helping people who are being arrested pay their bail anywhere int he country.

READ: Cardi B Has An Important Message About The Deaths Of George Floyd And Breonna Taylor