Note from BW of Brazil: The brutal murders and disappearances of black people, specifically black males, continues to be a serious problem throughout Brazil. With alarming regularity we see reports of Military Police and clandestine death squads taking the lives of Afro-Brazilians that many agree is essentially a practice of genocide. When we consider Brazilian leaders’ stated goal of the disappearance of the black race why would it be difficult to believe that a silent policy could actually be at play here? Let us not forget how many black lives were exterminated in the 19th century Triple Alliance War and accusations of mass sterilization in Bahia, one of the country’s blackest states, back in the 1990s. With the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement continuing to gain steam in the United States, Afro-Brazilian activists and populations are showing the necessity of this slogan in Latin America’s largest, most populous nation as well. Below we bring you a brief report on a march that took place in the heavily Afro-Brazilian city of Salvador, Bahia, last week. Check out the video below!
“We will not be killed without reacting”: III Marcha contra o Genocídio do Povo Negro (Third March against the Genocide of Black People) mobilizes youth of Salvador
By Fabiana Guia, of the Correio Nagô newsroom
The combative policy of repudiation of racism and genocide of the black population React campaign or Is Life, Reaja ou Será Morta (React or You Will Be Killed), mobilized the population to show in the streets the outrage provoked by the cases of brutality in police actions, such as the Cabula massacre, the death of Geovane Mascarenhas and many other blacks from the suburbs on the afternoon of Monday (24) and brought together the black people, young people in its majority who walked through the downtown of Salvador, in the III Marcha Internacional Contra o Genocídio do Povo Negro (Third International March Against the Genocide of Black People). Also present were victims of violence.
From the Largo dos Aflitos to the Praça da Piedade, about five thousand people marched in a line led pulled by members of the “Campanha Reaja” (Campaign React), which formed a uniform barrier, dressed in mourning, in memory of the black people violently murdered by police not only in Salvador, but also in other parts of Brazil. A crowd chanted protests with the thematic basis of the campaign, such as the end of militarization, the repudiation of the PEC 171, which deals with the reduction of the legal age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 16, throughout the march.
The screams were led by the founder of the campaign, the lawyer and activist Quilombo X, Hamilton Borges. From atop a mini trio elétrico (sound float), he echoed commands like: ‘Povo forte, marchem’ (strong people, march)’, ‘Chega de chacina, eu quero o fim da polícia assassina’ (No more slaughter, I want the end of police that murder), ‘ Não acabou, tem que acabar. Eu quero o fim da Policia Militar’ (It’s not over, it has to end. I want the end of the Military Police). Hamilton said he didn’t believe in equality that only white men make. “We must take to the streets with the people who are here. Sisters, brothers, relatives of victims of this model that have here your grinding machine of black people. And we know this after the Cabula massacre. The government called some blacks o promote the little dance of equality,” added Borges, after performing of the anthem of the União Africana (African Unity), which started the march.
At the end of the route in front of the headquarters of the Secretariat of Public Security, the march organizers continued to protest against police violence. “Nossa vida, as vidas negras não estão à venda. Estamos aqui por nossa conta. Não vamos ser mortos e mortas sem reagir” (Our life, black lives are not for sale. We are here on our own. We will not be killed without reacting), said the militant Andreia Beatriz, making the call of the representatives of the campaign in the cities of the Bahian interior, in other states of Brazil and also of countries like Colombia, Austria and the United States present in the act.
International march against ‘genocide’ held in Salvador
Act on Monday afternoon of Monday (24) was started in the Largo dos Aflitos. Participants dressed in black closed down Rua Carlos Gomes (street)
A group got together on Monday afternoon of Monday (24) to participate in the “International March against the Genocide of Black People.” The concentration took place in the Largo dos Aflitos, opposite the headquarters of the Military Police in Salvador. The act was promoted by Movimento Reaja ou Será Morto.
Around 4:45pm, the audience walked toward Rua Carlos Gomes, which blocked the passage of vehicles as a way to draw the attention of society to the situation. Participants followed on Avenida Sete (avenue). They wore black and walked with signs that featured phrases like: “Reaja! Nós jamais nos calaremos” (React! We will never silence ourselves), plus posters that in which the names of people who were killed were written.
Because of the situation, traffic was completely jammed. Around 6:30pm, the traffic flow was still heavy with slow points and the group was at the height of Praça da Piedade.
A memorial was planted in a futebol field in Vila Moisés in the neighborhood of Cabula, Salvador, to remember the 12 people killed during a military police action there in February of this year.
The act took place on Monday morning. According to information from Hamilton Borges, leader of the Movimento Reaja ou Será Morto, who organized the memorial planting, mothers of the victims and representatives of other states like São Paulo (SP), Ceará (CE), Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and other nationalities participated in the act.