This Thursday, September 7th, the Grito dos Excluídos will hold its 29th edition in 25 Brazilian states. The traditional popular demonstration chose as its theme ‘What are you hungry and thirsty for?’, and should bring together activists, workers, groups, entities, pastorals and social movements on the streets across the state.
The member of the national coordination of Jubilee Sul Brasil, Célio Peres Bezerra Maranhão, explains that the theme was chosen within a collective of more than two thousand people, a network of organizers from all over Brazil. “This theme was chosen because we are living in a country where the hunger and thirst for justice increases every day. The dismantling of the Brazilian State promoted by the last government still reflects a lot on the situation of our people and particularly the homeless population, indigenous peoples, quilombolas, women, children and young black people”, points out Célio.
The regional advisor of Cáritas Brasileira Regional Northeast 3, Inéria Florinda, draws attention to the reflection provoked by the theme of the 2023 Fraternity Campaign. “What are you hungry and thirsty for? I would say that I am hungry for a true democracy in which the decision-making power is really in the hands of the people, those on the periphery, those considered scum in our egocentric and neoliberal world”, she highlights.
:: Shout of the Excluded and Excluded moves RS for the least favored on the September 7th holiday ::
First cry after Bolsonaro government
The demonstration takes place every year on the same date as a counterpoint to the Cry of Independence, questioning the standards of independence of the Brazilian people and promoting reflection on the need to build a more fair and egalitarian Brazil for people.
This is the first edition after the Jair Bolsonaro government, which left marks and a legacy of policies that dismantled the rights of vulnerable populations. During the former president’s four years in office, the date was a symbol of attacks on democracy, the independence of institutions and threats of a coup d’état.
This year, the act is focused on four main axes of struggle: public policies; democracy and sovereignty; structural violence, patriarchy, racism, machismo; and inequality, economics, social justice. The themes are subdivided into serious complaints, such as violence against women and police; combating sexual abuse and exploitation of children and adolescents; hunger; high unemployment rate; religious intolerance; lack of water and school meals and demands for basic human rights, such as decent housing and the right to the city.
:: Cry of the Excluded and Excluded 2023 is expected to take place in 25 states; see locations and times ::
“It is time to bring all demands, struggles and cries for justice to the streets. For a Brazil where everyone has the right to land, shelter and work. It is time to strengthen the struggles and demand from public authorities the rights due to an identity, egalitarian, ecological and integral governance policy”, explains Inéria.
Current issues, such as the murder of Mother Bernadette and the vote on the time frame, will also be remembered. “The accusations will appear on September 7th, but they are already echoing in Pré-Gritos activities”, reports Josilene Nascimento Passos, popular educator and advisor at Jubileu Sul Brasil, in the Women’s Action Project for redress of social debts in Salvador.
She also highlights the “shameful and scandalous” situation of inequality in the country, one of the three that produce the most food in the world, 12th economy in the world, and back on the Hunger Map. “Faced with the glaring issues of food insecurity and hunger in the country, Grito invites everyone to reflect and act in search of alternatives to the enormous problems that the people face with the issue of hunger and water”, he warns.
“In Salvador, the popular communities that I have been following, even with a change of government with a popular and progressive profile, still face hunger and food insecurity”, he adds. Even so, the educator observes the recovery of openness and dialogue with popular movements.
The resumption of councils, forums and conferences to listen to and debate civil society proposals is one example of this. As well as proposals for tax projects on the super rich, in the search for equity. “However, democracy has not fully returned. These are complex and structuring issues. I am hungry and thirsty for us impoverished and excluded people to be able to decide the direction of the country. And I don’t believe that with the stroke of a pen, and in such a short time in government, inequalities will be eliminated”, he ponders.
Célio adds yet another challenge to the situation, although the country has resumed a minimally democratic government, the representations of Brazilians in the National Congress are still extremely conservative. “For democracy to exist, we have to combat social inequality, a legacy of an economy that did not promote social inclusion. It’s difficult because we don’t have a majority in Congress, we have a Central Bank that keeps interest rates high and we have to fight against precarious employment. Our fight is constant.”
Source: BdF Bahia
Editing: Gabriela Amorim