SAO PAULO – Protesters took to the streets this Saturday for Black Consciousness Day and against the government of President Jair Bolsonaro (no party). In São Paulo, the act held in front of the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) was organized by the black movement and featured cultural activities. By 1 pm, the four lanes in front of the museum were occupied by protesters. In Alagoas, protesters from various municipalities went up Serra da Barriga, in União Palmares, region where Quilombo dos Palmares was located, to protest against racism and Bolsonaro’s policy. In Goiânia, the act was criticized by the federal government and protests against food inflation and Brazil’s return to the hunger map.
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Starting at 12:00 pm, the demonstration in São Paulo has a long program: in the first hours it will be dedicated to cultural activities, such as the reproduction of music by black artists in sound cars and maracatu. The political demonstration should start around 15:30. It is expected that the act goes down Rua da Consolação towards the center of São Paulo.
For Simone Nascimento, one of the organizers of the act, politics and culture are inseparable and, for this reason, the manifestation draws from both sources.
— For 18 years here on this march, we built a motto that has to do with our struggle at that time. This year it is “outside racist Bolsonaro”. Every day with this federal government means more death for our people, Covid-19, hunger, unemployment – he says.
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Douglas Belchior, spokesman for the Black Coalition for Rights, stated that today’s act differs from previous years because, currently, “there is a greater understanding that Brazil is not a country open to racial diversity”.
— People suffer racism on a daily basis and having this perception is important. There is no denying how much Brazil is racist – he says.
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Regarding the anti-Bolsonaro agendas present at the act, Belchior affirms that opposition to the president is one of the aspects that converge with what the black movement defends. But that the focus of today’s manifestation is, in the first place, the day of Black Consciousness.
The São Paulo act was organized by the Black Coalition for Rights and the Convergência Negra articulation movement.
The gathering of the act in Alagoas began at 8 am in the center of União dos Palmares. The demonstrators made a trail of approximately 10 kilometers to reach the top of Quilombo dos Palmares. They carried banners and posters, and the rallying cry was: “In the land of Dandara and Zombie, genocide is not created.”
Several organizations and social movements participate in the protest. Among them, CUT, Frente Brasil Popular, Frente Brasil Popular, Frente Povo Sem Fedo, black movement, trade union centrals and unions, women’s, cultural and youth movements, among others.
— The protest is to reaffirm the need for public policies for the poorest population, as well as the guarantee of life. It is a protest against the dismantling of the Bolsonaro government. It is a symbolic date, not least because the black population is the most affected — said Edna Bezerra, a member of the Brazilian Center for Health Studies, to the g1 website.
In the capital of Goías, the demonstration was organized by social movements and also unions and students. They gathered at Praça Universitária, marched down Rua 10, walked down Avenida Anhanguera and ended the protest at Praça do Bandeirante.
In Pará, there were protests in Belém and Altamira. With banners and posters, they shouted slogans against racism, hunger, against the administrative reform of the federal government and in defense of the quota policy.
In Belém, the group concentrated on the São Brás Market and continued to Santuário Square, in front of the Basilica of Nazareth. In the streets, protesters also played percussion instruments. Even in heavy rain, protesters also took to the streets in Altamira. Among the flags of the act in the city, there was also an end to gender prejudice and violence against women.
They were also the stage for demonstrations against the Cuiabá government, Campo Grande, as well as Londrina and Guarapuava, in Paraná.