International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples Action

Extinction Rebellion Barcelona denounces the passivity of the Bolsonaro government in the face of the devastating effect that the coronavirus is having on Brazil’s indigenous peoples.

Extinction Rebellion Barcelona joins the international call for action on Indigenous Peoples’ Day to denounce the Bolsonaro government’s negligence in protecting these communities from Covid-19.

This Sunday, 9 August, International Day of Indigenous Peoples, APIB (Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil), together with other civil society organizations, professors and researchers, has issued a call to action and an online action as part of the international campaign ‘Maracá – Indigenous Emergency’.

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Extinction Rebellion Barcelona has carried out an action in support of the campaign that began in Plaça Catalunya in the afternoon, during which the windows of some of the surrounding businesses that we consider accomplices of the genocide and ecocide that is taking place were papered with photographs of the deceased indigenous people and red footprints symbolizing the blood spilt by the businesses that are destroying the Amazon and taking away the lands and rights of the indigenous peoples.

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By Nacho Sánchez @nsestratec

The action in Brazil, among other events, consisted of a minute’s silence followed by drumming at noon to commemorate the great loss of indigenous lives due to Covid-19, as well as the loss of biodiversity that will be generated, as many species depend on the protection exercised by indigenous people.

Extinction Rebellion has joined the campaign by inviting its followers to paint their hands, one red and one green, to symbolize the genocide and ecocide carried out on indigenous lands respectively, and upload the selfies to their social networks with the hashtags #EmergenciaIndígena and #VidasIndígenasImportam to spread the word about the emergency and the link to make donations. In addition, the movement has also collaborated by disseminating information and carrying out remote actions in other cities, such as Barcelona.

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By Nacho Sánchez @nsestratec

The aim of the ‘Maracá – Indigenous Emergency’ campaign is to encourage national and international solidarity on the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic among Brazilian indigenous peoples, given the Bolsonaro government’s negligence in protecting indigenous peoples from the pandemic, and to raise funds.

Disinformation, cutbacks and shortages of medical personnel in Amazonian territories have increased the vulnerability of this population. The mortality rate in indigenous communities is twice as high as in the rest of the country, which is why APIB and its grassroots organizations have prepared an emergency action plan to deal with the pandemic among indigenous peoples. It is a guiding plan for the actions of indigenous organizations linked to APIB and non-indigenous partner institutions. The plan will be worked on in a cooperative manner throughout the national territory to strengthen and improve the actions of the network with the funds raised by the campaign.

The proposals in this master plan are the result of two broad participatory processes, involving countless indigenous leaders from across the country, as well as indigenous health specialists from various civil society organizations: the Terra Livre camp and the National Assembly of Indigenous Resistance, both of which were held virtually in May 2020 due to the pandemic. The Brazilian side is home to some 220,000 indigenous people in 180 villages and communities.

Extinction Rebellion Barcelona denounces that the passivity of Bolsonaro’s government is related to its willingness to reduce the rights of indigenous communities and to soften the supervision of environmental laws in the Amazon in order to maximize economic returns from the region. 

In 2019, the Bolsonaro government cut funds from the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), the federal agency responsible for defending indigenous rights. It has also significantly reduced fines for violating environmental laws in Amazonia and encourages companies to destroy these territories for economic interests.

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By Noelia Medina @noeliamedsa

The Amazon rainforest is one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, and one with the highest CO₂ absorption capacity. However, since 1970, Brazil has lost more forest area than France. In the 1990s, the forest absorbed 2 billion tonnes of CO₂; today, this figure has been halved, a fact that the organization considers being ecocide.

Among the many causes of deforestation are livestock and soya cultivation.

Nearly 18 million tonnes of soybeans and soybean meal are imported annually from Brazil to Europe. 80% of soya production is used to produce animal feed from the livestock industry. These end up in supermarkets and fast-food chains across Europe.

Extinction Rebellion Barcelona declares that we cannot afford to continue collaborating with companies that promote the destruction of the Amazon and its peoples, and demand accountability from the governments and companies involved.





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Photographs by Noelia Medina @noeliamedsa

Photographs by Nacho Sánchez @nsestratec