Note from BW of Brazil: In a week that the Brazilian news magazine Veja referred to as “Os sete dias que mudaram o Brasil (The Seven Days that Changed Brazil)”, the Brazilian people took to the streets in protest of the “business as usual” approach of government officials and businesses. The unexpected mass protests took more than one million Brazilians in over 100 cities to the streets in the most widespread protests the country had seen in over 20 years. Last week in BW of Brazil’s coverage of these events, the question was raised by more than a few witnesses, “where are the black protesters?”
Today, courtesy of filmmaker and blogger Vilma Neres and photographers Antonio Terra and Afronaz Kauberdianuz, we present to you the “Revolta dos Turbantes (Revolt of Turbans)” that captured and personified the voice of black protest on the streets of Rio de Janeiro during one of the largest protests of the week on June 20th. The “Revolta dos Turbantes” expressed through words, slogans and banners many of the same issues for which the BW of Brazil blog exists in the first place. See below for the details and many great photos and video of this demonstration.
“Revolt of the Turbans” proclaims demands of black people during an historic demonstration in the city of Rio de Janeiro
“I want equal quotas and not different (quotas)! (…) This reparation is already past due, I don’t give up, because I’m a black quilombola. The strength of Ilê leads us to this path. This country here was made by us, no one will change or shut our voice! (…)”
The above snippet is from the song “A bola da vez” by Ile Aiye summarizes the feeling of the group “Revolta dos Turbantes (Revolt of Turbans)”, made up of students, teachers, photographers, journalists, social scientists, geographers etc.., all being black youth and adults that participated in the last successful protest on June 20, 2013 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, in assertion and proclamation of the agenda of demands of the local black population. Sensitized with the lack of representation of people in recent demonstrations in favor of issues that affect this population, a group of about 200 people joined the sea of people that covered four lanes of traffic on a stretch of 3.5 km (2.17 miles) of Avenida (Avenue) Presidente Vargas.
“Revolta dos Turbantes” formalizes the encounter between youth and adults. Some of them, like Adélia Azevedo, Crispim Pinheiro, the photographers Januário Garcia, José Andrade and the audiovisual producer Umberto Alves, also took to the streets during the military regime, and protested in favor of Diretas Já (Rights Now) and the impeachment of President Fernando Collor in 1992. This meeting, consolidated on the 20th, was political. Initially motivated by two young people, Júlio Vitor and Rodrigo Reduzino, through Facebook and more effectively on the 19th in a meeting headquartered in room of the Institute of Philosophy and Social Sciences at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – IFCS/UFRJ, in downtown Rio.
“Revolta dos Turbantes” also characterized a symbolic and aesthetic encounter in which almost all adorned their heads with turbans in appreciation of African ancestry. In the same way that it represents the scream for the demands of the black population, it started in front of the Candelária Church, where candles were lit in memory of the young people killed during the 1993 massacre that made world headlines.
The list of demands to the State and to Brazilian society reflects the invisibility of blacks and the violation of their rights in various sectors of the country. These demands cover even basic rights, still nonexistent in some regions, such as access to health care, education and decent housing. Among other specific demands of the black population, and in support of PEC of the Domestics (domestics law); against the extermination of black youth, for the demarcation and titling of Indigenous and Quilombo lands, for the effectiveness of Law 10.639/2003 and 11.645/2008 that established the mandatory teaching of African, Afro-Brazilian and indigenous history and culture in the school curriculum for respect of religiosity of African origin; access to income and the labor market; against the removal of families in areas where there is real estate speculation; against the Statute of the Unborn, for the demilitarization of the PM (military police); against lowering of the age of being tried as criminals in court and the end of racism in SUS.
Photographer José Andrade (Zezzynho) also a militant since the passing of the military regime emotionally recalled the 1988 demonstration during the centenary of the abolition (of slavery in Brazil), they were unable to pass beyond the Pantheon Duque de Caxias monument located on Avenida Presidente Vargas. “This group of young people who followed the entire demonstration in an orderly manner with slogans of the desires and gripes about the system, gave this reply to cross the Pantheon,” he said. He said still feeling like a cleansed soul and a sense of accomplishment with “Revolta dos Turbantes”. Andrade mentioned some names of those who were young at the time and which were present in this latest manifestation, like Marcos Romão, Januário Garcia, Adélia Azevedo, Spirito Santo, Aderaldo Gil, and some others who were present and sharing in this moment.
Like other protesters that colored Avenida Presidente Vargas in the early evening of the 20th, during the act of the Revolta dos Turbantes were chanted the following messages directed to the rest of the demonstrators who were there protesting for specific causes, not only for the right to the free pass:
“Whoever doesn’t jump is racist!”
“Come, come, come to the street, come against racism!”
Below, watch a video posted by Afronaz Kauberdianuz on his You Tube page. The speech is given by activist and professor of the public/federal education system, Aderaldo Gil, during the closing act of Revolta dos Turbantes at the foot of the Zumbi dos Palmares monument on Avenida Presidente Vargas.
Videos by Afronaz Kauberdianuz of the “Revolt of the Turbans” demonstration in Rio de Janeiro on June 20, 2013
Source: Vil Neres