This is an emergency.
Right now, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his allies in Congress are preparing an assault on the Amazon, its peoples, and the future of life on this planet.
Since taking office, Bolsonaro has accelerated the seizure, theft, and deforestation of Indigenous lands. “Where there is Indigenous land, there is wealth underneath it," Bolsonaro has said. "Any reserve that I can reduce in size, I will do so."
In 2019 alone, invasions of Indigenous territories skyrocketed 135%, while deforestation of the Amazon has risen 85% since Bolsonaro took office.
As a result, scientists warn that the Amazon is reaching an irreversible "tipping point." At that point, the rainforest will no longer generate enough rainfall to keep itself alive. Instead, the Amazon will enter a cycle of degradation that will drive billions of carbon tonnes into our atmosphere.
Against this warning, Bolsonaro is advancing plans and policies that will push the Amazon past its tipping point — and dispossess its peoples along the way.
Bill PL 490 will open up Indigenous and quilombola lands to mining and big agri-business while precluding any new territorial demarcations for these communities. Bill PL 2633, known as the "Land-grabbing law," will allow for the private theft of public lands. Meanwhile, plans for mega-projects like the Ferrogrão railway will displace Indigenous communities in service of multi-national corporate profits.
In short, Bolsonaro is planning a "new genocide against Indigenous Peoples."
But frontline communities are fighting back. Later this month, Indigenous nations, peoples, confederations, and their leaders are gathering in the capital Brasília at the Luta pela vida ("Struggle for life") encampment — and calling for your support.
"This is a call for solidarity," Brazil's Articulation of Indigenous People (APIB) wrote in a letter to the Progressive International. "We ask for your support to help us stop this catastrophe."
That is why the Progressive International is dispatching a delegation of parliamentarians, workers, and Indigenous representatives to Brazil: to stop Bolsonaro, to defend the Amazon, and to stand with its peoples in their struggle for life.
Photo: Oregon State University