March Against the Genocide of Black People in Brazil


“React or be Dead” is a campaign initiated by many Black communities and movements in Salvador, Bahia, and that has been taken up nationally, with the objective of organizing to fight against the police brutality, prison industrial complex and genocidal state of affairs in their communities. Essentially, these communities are asserting their right to survive and live free of state violence and its machineries such as the police, paid death squads, militias and extermination groups that seek to defend the status quo.

This campaign began in 2005 in an environment of unrelenting domination by the same political groupings that for decades control finances, means of production and also inevitably the systems of (in) justice and communication that predictably have racism as a key ingredient of this power — an important instrument of which is the penal system. The deaths of thousands of Black youth nationally, whether by violent action or inaction, confirm this politics of genocide by those in political control.

These murders were more than enough to provoke the campaign “React or be Dead” which began as an articulation of Afro-Brazilian community and social movements in the struggle to politicize these deaths; an organizing that builds upon resistance by Afrikans in Brazil. Nonetheless, these homicides have not ceased in the 8 years since the inception of the campaign in 2005, and in fact have increased even in spite of the activism of the Black movement in both national and international spheres; an activism that has seen them deliver reports and demands to both the United Nations and the Organization of America States. In contrast, homicides in Brazil are more than those in Iraq, a country that is at/in a “war” provoked by violent imperialist occupation. In light of this situation, it is not a stretch to declare that many Black communities in Brazil are living in a state of siege.reaja ou seja morte

In recognition of this, and coupled with other organizing on different fronts, on August 22nd the “React or be Dead” campaign has planned a march in at least three different cities in Brazil. This demonstration is referred to as the “March Against the Genocide of Black People.”

While the life expectancy of Afro-Brazilians is lower than other groups, and homicides are the principal cause of death for Black males between the ages of 15 and 29 years and who, often, live in poor urban settlements, it is important that the discontent with this state of affairs is shown in the streets. Furthermore, even the Ministry of Health documented in 2010 that over 53.3% of the roughly fifty thousand homicide deaths in Brazil are youths and from these 76.6% are Black Brazilians and 91.3% are young men. This is coupled with poverty and lack of access to services such as health care and education — all wide spread manifestations of the white supremacy that is pervasive in the lives Black Brazil and which mark Afro Brazilians as “enemies to be combatted” by the Police and injustice systems.

This is indeed a genocide.

In addition, the gendered implications of this situation are evident in many aspects. Black women, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunties are often left to deal, emotionally and materially, with the repercussions of the death, imprisonment or injury of one of their own. Moreover, it is often women who are tasked with looking for the bodies, often mutilated, of those who have been killed. Furthermore, it is women who wait for the news of the disappeared and dedicate themselves to implementing the healing(s) that their communities require in the face of these violences. Therefore we note that, and as has been conveyed by many organizers of this campaign: “the suffering of black women is not only perpetuated but is catalyzed by the state.”
The normalization of the genocide of young, black and poor males and their families, facilitated by the powers that be, must stop and it is for this reasons that Black communities and movements nationally have organized this “March Against the Genocide of Black People” on the 22nd of August. It is indeed “React or be Dead” since the colour of homicides is indeed telling of the situation of many Black communities in Brazil.

From Oscar Grant, to Trayvon Martin to Zoltan Hyacinth and to all those many Black bodies that are murdered in the poor urban communities in Brazil, and wherever Black communities exist; these should no longer be our stories and survival should no longer be so consistently imperilled for Afrikan peoples.

As Afrikans, as allies and comrades please lend your critical solidarity to this initiative.

For more information see (in Portuguese)

Wangui Kimari in a Member of Network for Pan-Afrikan Solidarity (NPAS) Toronto and Bunge La Mwananchi/ The People’s Parliament in Nairobi, Kenya.

October 06, 2015
Vijay Prashad
Afghanistan, the Terrible War: Money for Nothing
Mike Whitney
How Putin will Win in Syria
Paul Street
Yes, There is an Imperialist Ruling Class
Paul Craig Roberts
American Vice
Kathy Kelly
Bombing Hospitals: 22 People Killed by US Airstrike on Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan
Ron Jacobs
Patti Smith and the Beauty of Memory
David Macaray
Coal Executive Finally Brought Up on Criminal Charges
Norman Pollack
Cold War Rhetoric: The Kept Intelligentsia
Cecil Brown
The Firing This Time: School Shootings and James Baldwin’s Final Message
Roger Annis
The Canadian Election and the Global Climate Crisis
W. T. Whitney
Why is the US Government Persecuting IFCO/Pastors for Peace Humanitarian Organization?
Jesse Jackson
Alabama’s New Jim Crow Far From Subtle
Joe Ramsey
After Umpqua: Does America Have a Gun Problem….or a Dying Capitalist Empire Problem?
Murray Dobbin
Rise Up, Precariat! Cheap Labour is Over
October 05, 2015
Michael Hudson
Parasites in the Body Economic: the Disasters of Neoliberalism
Patrick Cockburn
Why We Should Welcome Russia’s Entry Into Syrian War
Kristine Mattis
GMO Propaganda and the Sociology of Science
Heidi Morrison
Well-Intentioned Islamophobia
Ralph Nader
Monsanto and Its Promoters vs. Freedom of Information
Arturo Desimone
Retro-Colonialism: the Exportation of Austerity as War By Other Means
Robert M. Nelson
Noted Argentine Chemist Warns of Climate Disaster
Matt Peppe
Misrepresentation of the Colombian Conflict
Barbara Dorris
Pope Sympathizes More with Bishops, Less with Victims
Clancy Sigal
I’m Not a Scientologist, But I Wish TV Shrinks Would Just Shut Up
Chris Zinda
Get Outta’ Dodge: the State of the Constitution Down in Dixie
Eileen Applebaum
Family and Medical Leave Insurance, Not Tax Credits, Will Help Families
Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure
“Boxing on Paper” for the Nation of Islam, Black Nationalism, and the Black Athlete: a Review of “The Complete Muhammad Ali” by Ishmael Reed
Lawrence Ware
Michael Vick and the Hypocrisy of NFL Fans
Gary Corseri - Charles Orloski
Poets’ Talk: Pope Francis, Masilo, Marc Beaudin, et. al.
Weekend Edition
October 2-4, 2015
Henry Giroux
Murder, USA: Why Politicians Have Blood on Their Hands
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Lightning War in Syria
Jennifer Loewenstein
Heading Toward a Collision: Syria, Saudi Arabia and Regional Proxy Wars
John Pilger
Wikileaks vs. the Empire: the Revolutionary Act of Telling the Truth
Gary Leupp
A Useful Prep-Sheet on Syria for Media Propagandists
Jeffrey St. Clair
Pesticides, Neoliberalism and the Politics of Acceptable Death
Joshua Frank
The Need to Oppose All Foreign Intervention in Syria
Lawrence Ware – Paul Buhle
Insurrectional Black Power: CLR James on Race and Class
Oliver Tickell
Jeremy Corbyn’s Heroic Refusal to be a Nuclear Mass Murderer
Helen Yaffe
Che’s Economist: Remembering Jorge Risquet
Mark Hand
‘Rape Rooms’: How West Virginia Women Paid Off Coal Company Debts
Michael Welton
Junior Partner of Empire: Why Canada’s Foreign Policy Isn’t What You Think
Yves Engler
War Crimes in the Dark: Inside Canada’s Special Forces
Arno J. Mayer
Israel: the Wages of Hubris and Violence
W. T. Whitney
Cuban Government Describes Devastating Effects of U. S. Economic Blockade
Brian Cloughley
The US-NATO Alliance Destroyed Libya, Where Next?