By David H.
Metro Atlanta DSA, through its Ecosocialists working group, joined a
broad coalition of organizations to rally in response to the call by the
Indigenous Peoples of Brazil to protest the right wing Bolsonaro Government.
The Amazon Rainforest is burning. Fires have almost doubled compared
to last year. These fires are destroying the homes of indigenous
people who have had to strive persistently to protect the land, their
rights, and their very lives. These fires are eliminating wildlife and
their habitats too swiftly and broadly to allow for recovery. When
healthy, the vast Amazon cleans air and draws down carbon dioxide from
the atmosphere, benefiting the rest of the world. But instead this
rainforest is being incinerated at an alarming rate.
These fires are no accident. Beef and soy companies — with the support
of companies like Costco, Cargill, and BlackRock, with permission from
the Bolsonaro government — set fires to clear away forests for
The National Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) has
called for international solidarity in response to the fires and
ever-increasing threats. Amazon Watch and Extinction Rebellion have lead
the call for a Global Day of Action for the Amazon.
In Atlanta, at noon on Sept. 5 outside the Brazilian consulate, a
broad coalition of organizations gathered in solidarity with the
Indigenous People. Signs saying “Bolsonaro stop Cargill’s fires” spoke
to the deadly alliance formed between Bolsonaro’s government and big
corporations like Cargill and called upon Bolsonaro to end these
Much pressure is needed to win this fight. This became even
more clear when the protesters engaged with the Brazilian Consul.
Unexpectedly, he turned up at the demonstration and engaged in
conversation with us. Not surprisingly, however, he iterated the
government’s perspective, emphasizing that the Brazilian government does
everything it can to stop the fires and falsely stating there were fewer
fires than in the past. When corrected upon the false numbers the Consul
stated that we would do better to get our information from
Brazilian media outlets. It was soon clear that his ears are deaf to any
facts, reminding us very much of our own current government. Suitably, Bolsonaro
has been nicknamed the Trump of Brazil. in many ways these two
governments are aligned, and we know that their political ideology, which
is dangerously close to fascism, will just bring destruction to the
world. With the burning Amazon we see it right in front of our eyes.
Today we showed the Brazilian government that the world is watching! We
hope that the Consul of Brazil will deliver the message conveyed to him
by the protesters: The world is watching and demands that the Brazilian
government stop facilitating big agribusinesses’ destruction of the
Amazon, now! The Bolsonaro government must act upon the calls of the
Indigenous Peoples of Brazil and must stop the destruction of one
of our world’s major carbon sinks. It must stop destroying
indigenous livelihood and jeopardizing humanity’s future by exacerbating
Extinction Rebellion, Amazon Watch, Mighty Earth, Sierra Club – Beyond
Coal, Metro Atlanta Sierra Club, Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of
America, Science for the People Atlanta, Dogwood Alliance, Rainforest
Action, XL Dissent, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, Friends of the
Earth U.S., Stand4Forests, Fulton County Democrats, The Climate Reality
Project: Atlanta, Center for Sustainable Communities – Atlanta.