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PI Brazil Delegation Lands

Invited by Brazil's Articulation of Indigenous Peoples (APIB), the Progressive International delegation lands in Brasilia to "stop Bolsonaro" and join nation-wide struggles for "life, land and labor"
BRASILIA - On 17 August, a delegation of parliamentarians, trade unionists, and Indigenous representatives from around the world will arrive in Brasilia to join frontline communities and progressive forces in their efforts to stop President Jair Bolsonaro’s assault on the Amazon, its peoples, and democracy itself.
BRASILIA - On 17 August, a delegation of parliamentarians, trade unionists, and Indigenous representatives from around the world will arrive in Brasilia to join frontline communities and progressive forces in their efforts to stop President Jair Bolsonaro’s assault on the Amazon, its peoples, and democracy itself.

Over the course of its visit, the Progressive International delegation will meet:

(i) Indigenous leaders and organisers from around Brazil, (ii) quilombola communities, (iii) members of Congress from parties such as the PT, PSOL, PSB and others, local and state government representatives from Pará, (iv) trade unions and social movements, including the MST, MTST and CUT, as well as (v) members of the Panamazonic Social Forum, environmental groups, and civil society actors focusing on sustainable Amazonian infrastructure.

The delegation will culminate at the APIB's Luta Pela Vida encampment in Brasília on 23 August, with a press conference to follow.

The full itinerary (see below) is designed to bring delegates into five key struggles against President Jair Bolsonaro:

  1. For Indigenous peoples
  2. For the Amazon rainforest
  3. For workers and their trade unions
  4. For urban and rural land rights
  5. For democracy

1. "A New Genocide Against Indigenous Peoples"

The Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) has invited the Progressive International to join their Luta Pela Vida (‘Struggle for Life’) in the face of record violence against Brazil's Indigenous communities.

The mobilization follows APIB’s suit against President Jair Bolsonaro at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, and coincides with a push by Brazilian Congress to approve bills like PL 490, PL 2633, and PDL 177 that will eliminate sovereign Indigenous territorial rights, authorize land grabs, and deny recognition of Indigenous peoples, respectively.

The delegation — which includes Indigenous organizers like Ruth Buffalo of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation; and Nick Estes of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe — will:

(i) Join APIB leaders — including Sônia Guajajara and Alessandra Munduruku — in the Luta Pela Vida camp; (ii) meet tribal authorities from Munduruku and Kayapó-Mekrãgnoti communities, among many others; (iii) discuss the parliamentary fight for Indigenous rights with Congresswoman Joênia Wapixana; and (iv) meet with the National Coordination of Articulation of Quilombolas (CONAQ).

In a joint statement, APIB and the Progressive International said: “Our struggle takes as its target all governments that are complicit in Bolsonaro's campaign of genocide, all corporations that seek to profit from it. And in doing so, it calls on citizens around the world: the fight against Bolsonaro extends far beyond the borders of Brazil.”

2. The Amazon Rainforest at an Irreversible "Tipping Point"

The Progressive International delegation joins parliamentarians, climate justice activists, and social movements in their defense of the Amazon and its peoples.

Under the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, deforestation of the Amazon has reached record highs: 11,000 kilometers cleared in 2020 alone. Scientists warn that we are fast approaching the Amazon's 'tipping point,' when the rainforest will no longer produce enough rain to sustain itself.

In Brasilia, the delegation will meet the Frente Ambientalista — consisting of members of Congress from a wide range of parties — to learn about Bolsonaro’s assault on the Amazon and discuss plans for Brazil’s green transition.

In Belém, mayor Edmilson Rodrigues and members of the Assembly of Pará will welcome the delegation. In addition, delegates will meet quilombola communities directly impacted by Bolsonaro’s extractive agenda.

In Santarém, the delegation will meet the Tapajos Vivo and other Indigenous leaders of Pará, traveling to the Tapajos River and flying over the Amazon to bear witness to rapidly accelerating destruction of the rainforest.

In their joint statement, APIB and the Progressive International said: “The death of the Amazon and other Brazilian unique biomes, such as the Cerrado and Pantanal, will not only impact its frontline communities; in the accelerating collapse of our climate, the extinction of the rainforest will endanger ecosystems everywhere.”

3. Bolsonaro Wages War on Workers, and Workers Strike Back

The Progressive International delegation will join workers and trade unions across Brazil as they fight Bolsonaro’s efforts to lower wages, degrade working conditions, and deny workplace rights won over several decades of labor organizing.

On 18 August, the delegation will stand with the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT) in a “general strike” against the Administrative Reform facilitated by the PEC 32, a constitutional change that would decimate the Brazilian public service and threaten private workers, as well.

The general strike arrives as poverty and unemployment spike across the country. 12.8 percent of Brazil’s population are now living below the poverty line of 246 reais a month, the highest level in over a decade.

Despite their hardships, Bolsonaro has moved to close the Ministry of Labor, stop auditing private businesses, and strip down minimum wages. “There is an excess of rights,” Bolsonaro has said of labor.

Cristina Faciaben Lacorte, member of the PI delegation and International Secretary of Spanish trade union Comisiones Obreras, said: “Bolsonaro is waging war on Brazil’s workers. Even in the context of an unprecedented health emergency, Bolsonaro and his allies in Congress are working hard to dismantle protections for some of the most vulnerable sections of Brazilian society. In our global economy, an attack on worker rights in Brazil is an attack on worker rights everywhere. We support our brothers and sisters in the trade unions of Brazil, especially our comrades in the CUT, as they take to the streets to demand rights and recognition from this anti-worker government.”

4. Bolsonaro Authorizes a “New Wave of Dispossession” in cities and the countryside

The Progressive International delegation will meet with workers’ movements struggling for survival against land grabbing criminal enterprises, latifundiários (large landowners), and evictions alike.

President Bolsonaro has authorized a new wave of dispossession in the Brazilian countryside, advancing “land grabbing laws” like PL 2633 that give amnesty to settlers and their agri-business allies that have brought violence in the countryside to its highest levels since 1985.

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro has vetoed a bill that would have prevented landlords from evicting their tenants amid a global health emergency and soaring food insecurity in Brazil’s cities. Over 120 million Brazilians (60 percent of the country’s population) have suffered from food insecurity since the start of the pandemic, as the price of food has risen 15 percent over the same period.

Delegates will meet with members of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) and Homeless Workers Movement (MTST), which have led the struggle for agrarian and urban reform for decades.

Aline Piva, Latin America coordinator of the Progressive International, said: “Bolsonaro's green light to criminal land grabbing and evictions is producing a new wave of dispossession. With food prices soaring and food insecurity now affecting millions, powerful social movements for rural and urban justice are fighting back. Their struggles for their livelihoods will have profound impacts far outside of Brazil's borders – and we stand in solidarity with them.

5. Bolsonaro Threatens Democracy with “New Authoritarian Playbook”

The Progressive International joins progressive forces across Brazil in defense of the country’s democratic institutions as the 2022 presidential elections loom ahead.

With his approval ratings at an all-time low, Bolsonaro is now escalating from dangerous rhetoric to a concrete policy agenda to undermine the integrity of Brazilian democracy. He has proposed to change how votes are cast and counted; how parties receive and spend money; and who regulates and investigates the electoral process. “Either we have clean elections in Brazil or we don’t have elections,” Bolsonaro has threatened.

The delegation will meet with representatives from PSOL, PT, PSB, and REDE, among other political parties, to discuss the impact of this authoritarian agenda — and strategies to defend Brazil’s democratic institutions ahead of the country’s historic elections next year.

David Adler, General Coordinator of the Progressive International, said: “Bolsonaro is pulling straight from the new authoritarian playbook designed by people like President Donald Trump: If you do not like the results of democratic elections, then shout fraud and steal them from your opponents. If Bolsonaro shares his tactics with would-be dictators around the world, like Orbán or Erdoğan, then progressive forces must find our own shared methods to defend our democracies from them. The stakes of next year’s election in Brazil — for workers, for peasants, for Indigenous nations, for the Amazon, for all life on this planet — could not be higher.”

Itinerary

Tuesday, August 17 (Brasília, Distrito Federal)

  • Arrival in Brasília

Wednesday, August 18 (Brasília, Distrito Federal)

  • Morning with MST and Dep. Nilto Tatto
  • Lunch at the Cozinha Solidaria (MTST)
  • Afternoon with MTST 
  • Meeting with CUT and invited members of Congress
  • Meeting with Leader of the Opposition, Dep. Arlindo Chinaglia

Thursday, August 19 (Brasília, Distrito Federal)

  • Meeting with PSOL congressional delegation and party president 
  • Meeting with Coordenação Nacional de Articulação de Quilombos - CONAQ
  • Session with members of Congress in the Frente Ambientalista 
  • Meeting with Sergio Guimarães, GT – Infra

[ GROUP 1 ]

Friday, August 20 (Brasília, Distrito Federal – Belém, Pará)

  • Flight to Belém
  • Welcome by Mayor Edimilson Rodrigues
  • Meeting with Executive Secretary of the Panamazonic Social Forum and social movements in Pará

Saturday, August 21 (Belém, Pará)

  • Day of visits to quilombola communities affected by extractive industry accompanied by state deputy, Marinor Brito

Sunday, August 22 (Belém, Pará – Brasília, Distrito Federal)

  • Flight to Brasília 
  • Evening attend opening of Luta Pela Vida (Struggle for Life) camp

[ GROUP 2 ]

 Friday, August 20 (Brasília, Distrito Federal – Santarém, Pará)

  • Flight to Santarém
  • Afternoon meeting with civil society and Indigenous leaders (Tapajós Vivos and others)

 Saturday, August 21 (Santarém, Pará)

  •  Flight to Santarém
  • Amazon flyover followed by a visit with academics at UFOPA (Universidade Federal do Oeste do Pará) and others

Sunday, August 22 (Santarém, Pará – Brasília, Distrito Federal)

  •  Morning visit to the Tapajós River with local Indigenous representatives
  • Flight to Brasília

[ ALL ] 

 Monday, August 23 (Brasília, Distrito Federal)

  • Attend Luta Pela Vida (Struggle for Life) APIB national mobilization
  • Morning with APIB coordination and Indigenous leaders from across Brazil, including Alessandra Munduruku, Sônia Guajajara, and others
  • Afternoon attending the APIB’s Luta Pela Vida mobilization
  • Evening briefing with civil society, academic and NGO representatives

Tuesday, August 24 (Brasília, Distrito Federal)

  • APIB’s Luta Pela Vida mobilization 
  • Additional congressional meetings
  • End of visit
  • Departure from Brasília

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Date
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