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The National Newsletter
Issue No. 4 (May 30, 2019) For more information contact:
DemocracyBrazil@gmail.com
The U.S Network for Democracy in Brazil is 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
It has been a while since our last newsletter. We have a lot to tell you! In this issue you will find:
  1. Marielle Presente Report
  2. Challenges to Brazilian Democracy Conference
  3. #CancelBolsonaro
  4. News and Events
  5. From Our International Partners
Marielle Presente Report

During the month of March, which marked one year of Marielle Franco’s and Anderson Gomes’ assassinations, the U.S Network organized a nationwide campaign that counted with almost fifty events in the United States and internationally. Some highlights include Defend Democracy in Brazil – New York’s
roundtable event with Márcia Tiburi and Adjoa Jones de Almeida at the NYU Institute for Public Knowledge, Groupo Re-Existir’s public manifestation in Santa Cruz, Comitê de Princeton em Defesa da Democracia no Brasil’s event with Mônica Benício and Angela Davis and Coletivo Por um Brasil Democrático’s two events, a manifestation at L.A City Hall and a roundtable with activists and academics.

Challenges to Brazilian Democracy Conference
 
Over 200 students, activists, and academics gathered at Brown University April 18-21, 2019 to discuss the recent election of Jair Bolsonaro to the Brazilian presidency and consider the threats to democracy posed by his far-right agenda. The event opened with a panel entitled, “What Does It Mean to be a Political Exile under the Bolsonaro Government?,” which included Débora Diniz, Jean Wyllys, Márcia Tiburi, all of whom have recently been forced to leave Brazil because of credible threats to their lives.

Featured at the Conference were Afro-Brazilian representatives of social and cultural movements confronting current government policies: Ayala Dias Ferreira of the Landless Peasants Movement (MST); Elionice Conceição Sacramento, a community researcher and quilombola activist; singer/songwriter MC Carol; and educator and community activist Douglas Belchior. Sociologist Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman from the University of South Florida, Deputy Federal Attorney for Citizen’s Rights Marlon Weichert, and journalist Celso Rocha de Barros also offered comprehensive overviews of the socio-political situation in Brazil.

Unable to attend in person but participating through the internet were indigenous leader Sônia Guajajara, who outlined attacks on Native peoples’ rights, and trans activist Symmy Larrat, who articulated the challenges facing LGBTQ people. Other participants included environmental anthropologist Paul E. Little, historians Michel Gherman and Sidney Chalhoub, artist Éder Oliveira, and pai de santo and educator Erisvaldo Santos.

The Conference concluded with comments by Gladys Mitchell-Walthour, President of the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA); Alex Main, Director of International Policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research; James N. Green, the National Coordinator, U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil; and Marina Adams, National Organization of the Network.

#CancelBolsonaro
 
The coallition #CancelBolsonaro led an extremely successful campaign protesting Bolsonaro’s visit to New York City as an honoree of the U.S-Brazil Chamber of Commerce. A series of events, including a petition with over 25 thousand signatures, support from NYC mayor Bill de Blasio and trustees and staff of the American Museum of National History, led to the cancellation of the event at the museum. Another petition, this time with 82 thousand signatures, protests at Zucotti Park in Wall Street, support from NY Senator Brad Hoylman and 14 days of activism in front of the Marriott Marquis at Times Square which ended with a large demonstration on May 14 added pressure and ultimately caused Bolsonaro to cancel his visit to New York. After moving his visit to Dallas, Bolsonaro was met with protests and further snubs, with the Financial Times, Delta and Bain & Company removing their support to the U.S-Brazil Chamber of Commerce event. For more information on the coalition actions, please go to:
https://www.defenddemocracyinbrazil.org/news/2019/5/4/a-coalition-of-activists-to-cancelbolsonaro-sets-a-14-day-protest-and-online-actions-jair-bolsonaro-cancels-ny-visit-to-receive-award 
News and Events

On May 22nd, Defend Democracy in Brazil – NY organized an open meeting and conversation with Esther Solano, (PhD in Social Sciences), on how Bolsonaro has gained popular support in Brazil. Prof Solano has studied his voters for the last 2 years and discussed with activists, students and scholars, members of DDB and the larger public what allowed Bolsonaro and his rethoric to become mainstream.
 
A May 23rd  a protest against BlackRock took place in front of the Lotte Hotel in New York:
https://www.facebook.com/events/405954003583609/
 
Defend Democracy in Brazil invites people in the New York area to a rally today, May 30th, at 6pm at Washington Square Park in solidarity with Brazilians students and against education cuts.
 
Defend Democracy in Brazil will join Rise & Resist and the Reclaim Pride Coalition on June 30th at 10 am. Keep an eye out for more information on Pride activities in New York City in future issues!

The Coletivo por um Brasil Democrático – Los Angeles has organized multiple events over the past two months and plans many more in months to come. See below for news of past events as well as information of upcoming events:
 
#30M - Protest Against Austerity and Attacks to Public Education
CPBD-LA plans to protest, as it did on May 15 at the UCLA campus, this time downtown at lunchtime to dialog with Angelenos about what is going on in Brazil and how they can help. CPBD-LA will walk from the Union Station to Olvera Street carrying signs, distributing leaflets and talking to the public. Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/876487739367337/
 
Presence at the LA Pride - After being at the Long Beach Pride, the Collective will also be at the LA Pride on June 8 and 9, marching and distributing pamphlets to raise awareness on the threats to the LGBTI community in Brazil with a call for solidarity.

Lula Livre in Los Angeles

On April 7, joining forces with groups all over the world, CPBD-LA marked the one year anniversary of the illegal and unjust prison of Brazil’s ex-president Lula. On the same day, Caetano Veloso was performing in the city and the group felt it was a good opportunity to reach out to the Brazilian community and others interested in the country. A letter was sent to the artist, asking him to speak up about this injustice. He didn’t do it openly, but one of his sons did. CPBD-LA had the opportunity to protest, distribute pamphlets and dialogue with concert goers and the evaluation was very positive.

#15M in Los Angeles

CPBD-LA members joined the protest that flooded the streets of Brazil on May 15 to defend public education and the students in the country. At several locations at the UCLA campus, the group distributed a note with the main impacts of the current government’s measures and called students to pay attention to Brazil and act when possible.

Long Beach Pride

CPBD-LA was present at the Long Beach Pride on May 18 to support the LGBTI community in the US and in Brazil and to denounce the proud homophobic president of Brazil. A member of the group was performing (Leopold Nunan) and used the stage to call attention to the situation in Brazil while others carried a sign #EleNao.



From Our International Partners 

The RED.br (Réseau Européen pour la Democratie au Brésil) is mobilizing resistance in anticipation of the meeting of the France-Brazil Economic Forum’s meeting on the 5th of June. You can access more information, as well as sign their petition at https://tinyurl.com/red-brpetition
Thank you for you support. For any questions, concerns or corrections, please contact Marina Adams at democracybrazil@gmail.com.
Edited by Marina Adams
May 30, 2019
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