A national act to end racist violence called by black movement organizations will take place simultaneously in at least 14 Brazilian states next Thursday (24). The mobilization takes place at a time when, between late July and early August, police massacres killed at least 32 people in Bahia, 18 in São Paulo and 10 in Rio de Janeiro.
On the night of this Thursday (17), the leader of Quilombo Pitanga dos Palmares, Maria Bernadete Pacífico, was shot dead inside the Ilê Axé Kalé Bokum terreiro, where she was an ebomi, in the metropolitan region of Salvador (BA).
Defined in an online plenary held on the last 10th with around 250 organizations, the street demonstrations will take place on August 24th as this is the day of death of the abolitionist activist and lawyer Luiz Gama. The acts inaugurate a day of struggles that should have monthly activities until November 20, Black Consciousness Day.
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The articulation includes the Unified Black Movement (MNU), Black Pastoral Agents in Brazil, Association of Mothers and Families of Presxs (Amparar), National Front of Funk Women, Geledés – Black Women’s Institute, Unegro, Conen, Uneafro Brazil, among other entities. Many of them are part of broader fronts, such as the Black Convergence and the Black Coalition for rights.
The journey claims that the Federal Supreme Court (STF), based on the precedent of the so-called ADPF das Favelas that was instituted at the height of the covid-19 pandemic, prohibit “police operations with a reactive character” and “large invasive operations in communities under the pretext the fight against trafficking”.
Black movement organizations also demand a Federal Law that requires cameras in the uniforms of armed agents (state and private); a national compensation and support plan for the families of state victims, the federalization of investigation into police killings; the demilitarization of the police; and the end of the war on drugs.
“The brutal murder of a political leader, quilombola, black and candomblé woman shows the face of the real Brazil, violently racist, sexist, misogynist, which persecutes black leaders and is intolerant of African-based religions. Mother Bernadette has spent the last few years denouncing the murder of her son Binho, for the same reasons”, says a note from Uneafro Brasil, one of the 250 entities organizing the journey.
“She was indeed at risk and asked for protection from the state. It was a widely known situation. Why was she not answered? Where is the State in its role of guaranteeing people’s safety and lives? On the next 24th, black movements will take to the streets across the country against police violence and will also raise this demand: Who ordered the killing of Mother Bernadette and Binho?”, stresses Uneafro.
Bahia, where Bernadette Pacific was executed and the scene of police massacres that killed 32 people between July 28 and August 4, is currently governed by Jerônimo Rodrigues (PT).
:: Escalation of police violence: Bahia leads the ranking with 22% of all police deaths in the country ::
In São Paulo, under the management of Governor Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans), Operation Shield in Baixada Santista is the deadliest institutional police operation since the Carandiru Massacre, in 1992. In addition to the 18 people murdered, another 464 were arrested in three weeks.
“This is not security policy. This is summary execution. We don’t even have the death penalty in Brazil. Even in countries where there is the death penalty, there is judgment for people. Whether the trial is fair or not is another matter. But here, the police arrest, judge and execute like an all-powerful God over the lives of the black, poor and peripheral population”, observes Regina Lúcia dos Santos, from the MNU. “Enough of the slaughter”, she concludes: “The black movement in Brazil will not be silent”.
Check out the places already confirmed with acts next Thursday (24):
São Paulo (SP): 6 pm, MASP, av. paulista
Limeira (SP): 6 pm, Toledo de Barros Square, Downtown
Belo Horizonte (MG): 5:30 pm, Praça 7
Recife (PE): 4:30 pm, Praça UR11, Ibura
Curitiba (PR): 6 pm, Praça Santos Andrada
Rio de Janeiro (RJ: 4 pm, Candelaria
Aracaju (SE): 3pm, Camerino Square
Vitória (ES): 5 pm, Praça do Itararé
Brasília (DF): 3 pm, National Museum, walk to the Ministry of Justice
Protests are also confirmed in the states of Acre, Rio Grande do Sul, Pará, Piauí, Maranhão and Bahia. Locations are yet to be announced.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho