FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

March Against the Genocide of Black People in Brazil

by WANGUI KIMARI

“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)
https://www.facebook.com/ReajaOuSeraMortoReajaOuSeraMorta?ref=ts&fref=ts
http://correionago.ning.com/profiles/blogs/mobilizacao-pede-fim-do-genocidio-de-jovens-negros-no-brasil

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

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 27, 2017
Robert Hunziker
A Record-Setting Climate Going Bonkers
Frank Stricker
Why $15 an Hour Should be the Absolute Minimum Minimum Wage
Melvin Goodman
The Disappearance of Bipartisanship on the Intelligence Committees
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS’s Losses in Syria and Iraq Will Make It Difficult to Recruit
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer Bernie Morphs Into Public Option Dean
Gregory Barrett
Can Democracy Save Us?
Dave Lindorff
Budget Goes Military
John Heid
Disappeared on the Border: “Chase and Scatter” — to Death
Mark Weisbrot
The Troubling Financial Activities of an Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate
Robert Fisk
As ISIS’s Caliphate Shrinks, Syrian Anger Grows
Michael J. Sainato
Democratic Party Continues Shunning Popular Sanders Surrogates
Paul Bentley
Nazi Heritage: the Strange Saga of Chrystia Freeland’s Ukrainian Grandfather
Christopher Ketcham
Buddhism in the Storm
Thomas Barker
Platitudes in the Wake of London’s Terror Attack
Mike Hastie
Insane Truths: a Vietnam Vet on “Apocalypse Now, Redux”
Binoy Kampmark
Cyclone Watch in Australia
Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
Lawrence Davidson
Moral Failure at the UN
Pete Dolack
World Bank Declares Itself Above the Law
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Israel’s Human Rights Spies
Patrick Cockburn
From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack
Ralph Nader
Reason and Justice Address Realities
Ramzy Baroud
‘Decolonizing the Mind’: Using Hollywood Celebrities to Validate Islam
Colin Todhunter
Monsanto in India: The Sacred and the Profane
Louisa Willcox
Grizzlies Under the Endangered Species Act: How Have They Fared?
Norman Pollack
Militarization of American Fascism: Trump the Usurper
Pepe Escobar
North Korea: The Real Serious Options on the Table
Brian Cloughley
“These Things Are Done”: Eavesdropping on Trump
Sheldon Richman
You Can’t Blame Trump’s Military Budget on NATO
Carol Wolman
Trump vs the People: a Psychiatrist’s Analysis
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Marines to Kill Desert Tortoises
Stanley L. Cohen
The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail