We are mobilizing to fight Jair Bolsonaro’s assault on the Amazon.

CampaignEnvironment

President Jair Bolsonaro is leading an extractive assault that threatens the death of the Amazon rainforest, the displacement of its peoples, and the future of life on this planet.

For years, scientists have warned of an "irreversible tipping point" in the destruction of the Amazon. At that point, the world's largest rainforest will no longer generate enough rainfall to keep itself alive. Instead, the Amazon will enter a cycle of continuous degradation that will drive billions of carbon tonnes into our atmosphere.

Against this dire warning, Bolsonaro's government is charging ahead with plans for the Ferrogrão railroad project — a project that promises to push the Amazon far past its existential tipping point.

"Ferrogrão", or "grain train", will rip through nearly 1,000 km of the eastern Amazon. The $1.7 billion ecocidal megaproject's primary function will be a corporate giveaway for agribusiness giants such as Cargill, Amaggi, and Bunge, lowering the costs of commodity export while driving deforestation to the brink.

Bolsonaro's neocolonial ambitions seek to ram the tracks through Indigenous homelands, protected areas, and afrodescendentes and quilombolas communities, in direct contravention of international treaties, Brazilian law, and popular opinion.

But those at the Amazonian frontline and their allies across Brazil are fighting back. Emanating from the "Levante Pela Terra" or "Rising for Earth" camp in Brasília, where representatives from over 40 Indigenous peoples have protested for weeks against government threats to Indigenous territorial sovereignty, actions in support of the movement have now broken out around the country. The Party of Socialism and Liberty (PSol) won a temporary injunction against Ferrogrão on grounds of unconstitutionality, with the case now appealed for consideration by the Supreme Federal Court. But these hopeful signs are only the latest developments in the centuries-long battle for Indigenous sovereignty and defense of the Amazon.

Now, those in the struggle are calling on progressive forces everywhere to join their fight. "This is a call for solidarity," Brazil's Articulation of Indigenous People (APIB) and its allies in the PSol wrote in a letter to the Progressive International. "We ask for your support to help us stop this catastrophe."

That is why we are dispatching an international delegation to Brazil.

Responding to the invitation of the APIB and the PSOL, the Progressive International is mobilizing a team of parliamentarians, Indigenous representatives, climate justice organizers, and scientific experts to the Amazon. This isn't simply a fact-finding mission. The objectives, and the stakes, are clear:

  1. Strengthen bonds of solidarity: Our delegation aims to build the trust and strategic consensus about how to fight Ferrogrão around the world: from legislative chambers, to the streets; from forests and fields, to the shop floor. We will meet and confer with political leaders, tribal authorities, social movements, peasants, parties, environmentalists, experts, and others, always seeking to develop common struggle not only in word, but deed.
  2. Foreground the frontline: For centuries, Indigenous and quilombola leaders have struggled against the same forces of empire, extraction, and exploitation. These communities are the vanguard of a global struggle against environmental destruction. Rather than focus attention exclusively on the legislative battles in parliament or the multilateral deliberations of the COP26, the delegation aims to draw the world's attention to the battlegrounds of climate justice — and listen closely to these communities about how progressive forces everywhere can support them.
  3. Internationalize the resistance: From Line 3 to the Charmichael mine to the Dakota Access Pipeline, a new wave of resistance movements is rising to fight the infrastructure projects like threaten life and livelihood in frontline communities. The delegation strives to bind these local struggles into a new international front, forging bonds toward a common defense of our collective future.

We are mobilizing to the Amazon to defeat the Ferrogrão project at the decisive moment in the history of the rainforest, Brazilian democracy, and Earth's biosphere. Support the delegation, and stand with Indigenous communities across the Amazon in their struggle.

Photo: Oregon State University

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Date
19.07.2021

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