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The National Newsletter

Issue No. 2 (February 8, 2019) For more information contact: DemocracyBrazil@gmail.com
Facebook Page: National Network for Democracy in Brazil
The National Network for Democracy in Brazil has changed name! We are now the U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil. Our principles, however, remain the same. We are a decentralized, democratic, non-partisan national network founded at Columbia Law School on December 1, 2018 with three objectives:
  • Educate the U.S. public about the current situation in Brazil
  • Defend progressive social, economic, political, and cultural advances in Brazil
  • Support social movements, community organizations, NGOs, universities, and activists, etc., who will be vulnerable in this new political climate
National Steering Committee Meeting

On January 26, 2019,  thirty-three representatives from the U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil’s affiliated and working groups, as well as international observers, participated in a conference call for the first National Steering Committee Meeting. After some discussion, the Steering Committee agreed to rename the network the U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil (USNDB). It also decided that the network will encourage and support the organization of a nationwide campaign in honor of Marielle Franco as we approach the one-year anniversary of her assassination. Finally, Brown University announced that in partnership with colleagues at Harvard, it is creating the U.S. Observatory for Democracy in Brazil. The following groups are currently affiliated to the National Network:
  1. Advocacy Group Against Brazil's Far-Right (Worcester, MA)
  2. Assembly for Brazilian Democracy at UC Berkeley
  3. Brazilian Resistance Against Democracy Overthrow (BRADO), New York
  4. Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA)
  5. Brazilians for Democracy and Social Justice (Washington, D.C.)
  6. Center for Economic and Policy Research (Washington, D. C.)
  7. Coletivo Boston Contra o Golpe
  8. Coletivo HuManas
  9. Coletivo Marielle Franco (San Diego, CA)
  10. Collective on Translation and Educational Material
  11. Coletivo Por um Brasil Democrático (Los Angeles)
  12. Columbia Working Group for Democracy in Brazil (New York)
  13. Comitê de Princeton em Defesa da Democracia no Brasil
  14. Defend Democracy in Brazil/New York
  15. Friends of the MST
  16. Grassroots International
  17. Historians for Peace and Democracy
  18. Indiana Committee for Solidarity with Brazil
  19. International Press Committee
  20. Mulheres da Resistência em New York
  21. National Network for Democracy in Brazil at Harvard
  22. Oklahoman Committee for Democracy in Brazil
  23. Penn State Committee for Democracy in Brazil
  24. Re-Existir (Santa Cruz, CA)
  25. The Lantern (University of Texas)
  26. Tricontinental Brasil
  27. United Food and Commercial Workers’ International Union
  28. University of California, Irvine-Orange County Brazilianists  
  29. University of Chicago in Solidarity with Marginalized Brazilians
  30. U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil at Brown University
  31. Witness
 
If you wish to join the USNDB and become a member of the Steering Committee, please send your organization’s name, the approximate number of members in your group, a contact name and email, and a brief one-hundred work summary of your groups current or future activities to:
democracybrazil@gmail.com. Our goal is to have fifty affiliated groups by March 14, 2019.

 

Marielle Franco Campaign
The U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil is organizing a nationwide campaign on the occasion of the first anniversary of Marielle Franco’s assassination. We are calling for events to be organized on or around March 14 by all of our affiliated groups. Anyone who would like to organize an event and be part of this campaign but is not currently a part of a USNDB affiliated groups is, of course, more than welcome to do so.  Please send us information about your events as soon as you can so we can add it to our list of activities around the country as well as circulate it in the next two issues of the newsletter.
Seeking a Logo for the Network
 
The U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil is seeking a logo that we can use for the newsletter and other sites where imaging is important.
We want to present some options to the next National Steering Committee meeting. If you are a graphic designer or a person with artistic talents and would like to send us a submission, we would greatly appreciate it. Please send your entry to: democracybrazil@gmail.com
 
Brumadinho
In response to the Brumadinho (MG) dam collapse on January 25th Grassroots International has put out an urgent call to raise funds to support impacted families. This dam break has resulted in the death of hundreds of people and the dumping of three billion gallons of heavy metals and mining waste into the Paraopeba River. Grassroots International’s partner, the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) is on the ground organizing brigades to ensure that displaced families get the help they need, including basics like housing and food. Their immediate ask is for financial resources to support this urgent response work. The three dams that broke in Brumadinho are part of a mining complex owned by Vale, the same company responsible for the disaster in Mariana (MG) in 2015. Since 2015 Vale has continued to act with impunity and its negligence continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people.  Your support is urgently needed.
The deadline to support the organizing brigades is February 13, 2019, so please 
make a donation today!
The Network on Capitol Hill

Thanks to the amazing preparatory work of Alex Main, the Director of International Policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. and Andrew Miller, the Advocacy Director of Amazon Watch, both Christian Poirier, the Program Director of Amazon Watch, and James N. Green of the U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil met with legislative aides of Congressional representatives to talk about the current situation in Brazil with a particular emphasis on attacks on human rights and the troubling policies of the new government toward indigenous peoples of Brazil.
 
Among the highlights of the two days on Capitol Hill were meetings with Eric Jacobstein, senior policy advisor for the House Foreign Affairs (HFAC) and top advisor to HFAC Chairman Eliott Engel on Latin America; Daniel Friedman, foreign policy fellow for Senator Ben Cardin, the second-ranking Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and Kimberly Stanton, Senior Professional Staff of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives. While in Washington, D.C., Green and Poirier also participated in a public forum on the current situation in Brazil, and Green and Main meet with local NGOs, unions, and advocacy groups to discussion the formation of a D.C. Coalition on Brazil.
 
Left to right: Alex Main of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Christian Poirier of Amazon Watch, James N. Green of the U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil, and Stanley Gacek of the United Food & Commercial International Workers Union at a Congressional briefing on Brazil on Thursday, January 31, for the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
 
News and Events
  • Faculty members at Brown and Harvard Universities are organizing an international conference on April 18-20, 2019 at the Watson Institute at Brown University entitled, “The Challenges to Brazilian Democracy,” with social movement activists, academics and others, which will also launch the U.S. Observatory for Democracy in Brazil. The conference will be free and open to the public. For more information, contact: Brazil@brown.edu
  • Dra. Rosana Pinheiro Machado is currently on an academic tour of the United States speaking on issues related to ethnography of low-income Bolsonaro voters. Events will take place in California, Arizona, Wisconsin, Texas, Michigan and elsewhere. For information on events’ dates and location please go to: https://bit.ly/2MZhzyw
  • The Reconvexo Collective at the New School for Social Research invites graduate students, scholars across disciplines, artists and activists to join us in a two-day conference (April 8 and 9) dedicated to exploring and investigating new avenues for social, economic, cultural and political transformations in Brazil. Submissions to participate are being accepted until February 15. Please follow the link for the full call for papers and artistic practices https://bit.ly/2MTQ2yg or e-mail  reconvexo@newschool.edu for more information.
  • The group Re-existir announces the 18th annual Global Women's Rights Forum at the University of San Francisco on March 5-7, 2019. A session with Anielle Franco (Instituto Marielle Franco), Lúcia Xavier (CRIOLA), and Tianna Paschell (UC Berkeley) about state violence, black women’s mobilization in Brazil and their transnational connection with movements such as Black Lives Matter will occur on March 6th. For more information go to: https://bit.ly/2m06bXA
  • On January, thirty five groups of Brazilians in the diaspora, including the Coletivo por um Brasil Democrático – Los Angeles (CBD-LA), and thirty organizations working with migrants rights in Brazil, prepared a letter of protest against the decision of the government to remove Brazil from the UN Global Compact on Migration. This populist measure will impact negatively the over 3 million Brazilians living abroad who will not be able to count on Brazil in debates to define policies that can benefit migrants, including access to basic rights, documentation and easier and cheaper remittances. The letter was published in Monica Bergamo’s column in Folha de São Paulo on January 22, and also shared with Brazilian Senators, Congressmen and women, as well as with Felipe Gonzaléz, the UN Special Rapporteur on Migrants Rights, and with Louise Arbour, the UN Special Representative for International Migration. Other actions around this issue are being discussed. If you are interested, please contact Coletivo por Um Brasil Democrático - Los Angeles through cpbdla@gmail.com.
  • On January 31, CPBD-LA also joined the calls for the protection of indigenous rights in Brazil. As did many other groups, it held a protest in front of the Brazilian Consulate and delivered a letter to the officials, requesting attention and respect to APIB’s demands.
Members of Coletivo por um Brasil Democrático – Los Angeles held a protest on January 31st
From Our International Partners
  • You can find here a comprehensive article that can serve as an educational tool and which summarizes some of the events and changes since the election and inauguration. It highlights the resistance in Brazil, including APIB's January 31 mobilization and MST's call for March 8 mobilization, and the growing solidarity internationally, including organizational statements as well as a listing of solidarity groups and the call for a March 14 mobilization. It also features in-depth analysis: highlights from two November events in Ottawa that featured a mix of Brazilian social movement and Canadian academic speakers, explaining some of the dynamics of Bolsonaro's rise, the threats posed and how to understand them, and the position of the left
  • The Brazil-Montreal Collective invites you all to a roundtable titled "Facing the Fascist Threat in Brazil: The Social Movements in Resistance" on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM, at Alternatives: 3720 du Parc #300, Montreal. The event will include a short film screening and a panel composed by Mauricio Medina, André Fogliano, Kelly Russo, Devlin Kuyek, and Rosa Peralta.
  • On January 31, the Brazil-Montreal Collective presented a letter to the Consulate-General of Brazil in Montreal to convey to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil and other Brazilian government bodies its protest against the new directions taken by the new federal administration on public policies and the human and socio-environmental rights of indigenous peoples in Brazil. The letter was received by the Deputy Consul who promised to forward it.
The  Brazil-Montreal Collective presented a letter to the Consulate-General of Brazil in Montreal
If you have any questions or concerns about the content of this newsletter, please contact Marina Adams at democracybrazil@gmail.com.
Edited by James N. Green and Marina Adams.
February 8, 2019
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