This Saturday (20) dozens of Brazilian cities will have street demonstrations led by the black people, highlighting their agendas and calling for the impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro (no party). The protests highlight that the black population is the main victim of the advance of hunger, unemployment and the increase in the cost of living, in addition to other attitudes considered racist by the government.
So far, the only act confirmed in Pernambuco takes place in Recife, from 2 pm, in the Pátio da Igreja do Carmo (or Pátio do Carmo), in the São José neighborhood, in the central area of the capital.
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In Recife, the “20N” demonstration is being called the “March of the Black Consciousness of Pernambuco” and its national slogan is “the black people resist genocide before, during and after the pandemic”.
The act will take a short 20-minute walk to Praça do Arsenal, in Recife, where there will be the “Black Culture Festival”, with artistic presentations of afoxé, coco, rap, trap, pop, funk, poetry and DJs. Afoxé Oya Alaxé, Okado do Canal, Uana, IdLibra, Boneka, Recital Boca no Trombone, Pajé IB, Coco do Seu Zé Moleque, Sujistência, DJ Themonia and Kizombadeiras take the stage.
The political and cultural event is organized by the Pernambuco Black Articulation (Anepe), the Black Coalition for Rights and the national campaign Fora Bolsonaro, which brings together the fronts Brasil Popular and Povo Sem Fedo, unions, student organizations and other civil society organizations.
The Fora Bolsonaro campaign was planning its 7th act for the last 15th, but changed the date to match the protests planned by the Black Coalition for Rights and local anti-racist organizations.
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The organizers highlight the scenario of social and economic crisis, with unemployment, high cost of basic items such as food, energy, gas and gasoline, as well as the lack of measures by the Federal Government to change this scenario. The consequences are an increase in hunger and the homeless population. In all the problems listed, the black population represents the majority of those affected.
Ingrid Farias, in an interview with Brazil in fact Pernambuco, a member of the Pernambuco Articulation Black Articulation (Anepe), says that this Saturday’s act will take to the streets historical guidelines of the black population in the areas of public safety, health, education, culture and territory, as well as recent issues and local agendas in the state.
“The case of the boy Miguel is very emblematic for us of the black population, and it is even related to the context of a pandemic. There are also recent cases of religious racism, attacks on African-based religions”, she says, also mentioning the poor quality of health data on the black population during the pandemic.
Ingrid adds that, more than denouncing the violence suffered, this November 20th aims to enhance the resistance of the black people. “We will be on the streets celebrating the existence, resistance and contribution of the black population to the construction of society in Pernambuco and Brazil”, says the activist.
Farias, who classifies the current federal administration as “fascist”, commemorates the joint construction of the 20th of November with the Fora Bolsonaro Campaign. She says that the government’s ideology “is born out of the structure of racism and machismo.” “Bolsonaro’s attack agenda is an agenda that mainly affects the black population. When we look at who are the groups most affected by fascist policies, with that government’s policy of death, the most affected are the black populations”, he points out.
But she remembers that racism goes beyond the current administration in Brasília. “This political situation is a moment. But racism in Brazil is structural and we need to face it not only in the current government. In order to build a different society for the black population, we will have to resist beyond the current fascist government”, she assesses.
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This week Ingrid and other members of Anepe were in Garanhuns (16th) and Arcoverde (17th), in the agreste and sertão regions of Pernambuco. This Friday (18) they will be in the city of Ipojuca, metropolitan region of Recife. Anepe’s series of incursions was called “Black Caravan”.
According to Ingrid, in Garanhuns, the activity in Quilombo Estiva was a conversation circle with women, introducing Anepe and the Black Coalition for Rights. In Arcoverde, the meeting brought together the Afro Rescue and Culture Association (Arca) and public school students at the Ateliê do Mestre Assis Calixto. At Ipojuca a new conversation circle with black women.
“The main objective is to strengthen and articulate the black and anti-racist movements that operate in the state, both in the metropolitan and in the interior”, says Farias, who guarantees the continuation of the caravans in 2022. In this Saturday’s street event, in Recife, there will be groups from the wild and backlands.
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Pátio do Carmo is a symbol
Pátio do Carmo is the place where the head of quilombola leader Zumbi dos Palmares was exposed, in 1695. Zumbi was killed at the age of 40, by a military expedition financed by the Portuguese Crown and by sugarcane landowners in the captaincy of Pernambuco. A year earlier, another expedition financed by the Portuguese Crown had destroyed the group of huts that became known as Quilombo dos Palmares, which for 94 years had received blacks fleeing slavery.
Due to its symbolism, Pátio do Carmo has already brought together many political and cultural manifestations of the black people of Pernambuco. In the 1990s, the Unified Black Movement (MNU) took on the demand that a statue in honor of Zumbi dos Palmares be erected at the site. Years later, a bust was placed in honor of the quilombola leader. The current full-length statue, signed by Abelardo da Hora, was put in place in 2004.
Source: BoF Pernambuco
Edition: Vanessa Gonzaga