By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Starting at 4PM, this Thursday, July 12th there will be a march, entitled ‘Quanto Mais Tem Que Morrer Pra Essa Guerra Acabar?’ (How Many More Have to Die for This War to End?) from Rio’s Candelária church to Cinelândia to mark 120 days since the murder of Rio councilor, Marielle Franco.
It been 120 days since Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes, were assassinated while coming home from a meeting entitled ‘Jovens Negras Movendo Estruturas’ (Young Black Women for Change) in central Rio. Despite protests following her death and another demonstration a month later, very little was given in the way of relief for those grieving and seeking answers.
There have since been a few leads, and setbacks, in the investigation, with the bullets used being identified as stolen from a lot purchased by the federal police, the murder of a community worker who was linked with a potential witness, and the recent arrest of a suspect and questioning of a fellow Rio councilor in connection with the case.
Yet people seeking justice for her murder remain frustrated. “I can say that Marielle’s murder is undoubtedly the more complicated crime. The lack of information and the conclusion about the real motivation of the crime are the main difficulties.” The judge leading the investigation was quoted as saying.
However, the murder of Marielle Franco and these subsequent reactions have gone on to highlight the brutal reality for many poor, black and LGBT individuals living in Brazil, people that Franco fought hard to represent. The problems faced by many of these people have only been further exacerbated by the recent military interventions in some of Rio’s poorest communities.
Those organizing the march, entitled ‘Quanto Mais Tem Que Morrer Pra Essa Guerra Acabar?’ (How Many More Have to Die for This War to End?) which is taking place today at 4PM, released a statement that says, “The Federal Military Intervention decreed by Michel Temer has further increased the barbarity of police operations in favelas and peripheral communities.”
They go on to highlight the use of “weapons destined for the massacre of civilians and the indiscriminate use of military helicopters.” And conclude with the stark statement, “The bullets are not ‘lost,’ they always have the same target: the bodies of those living in the favelas.”
As well as marking 120 days since the murder of Marielle Franco, the organizers also claim to be marching against “the withdrawal of rights, the precariousness of work, the denial of access to education, culture and health, the mass incarceration of black youth, the criminalization of drugs and abortion and lack of public policies for the LGBT population.”
Following the march, at 7PM, there will be a debate held around the topic, ‘Como agir uma política por direitos sem colocar nossos corpos como escudos?’ (How to enact a policy for rights without using our bodies as shields?) Those debating will be Camila Marins (mediator) Dryad Aguiar, Ivana Bentes, Janaína Oliveira Re.Fem, Tainá de Paula and Verônica Lima.
At 8PM there will be a poetry slam organized by Slam das Minas, featuring Sami Brazil, Sarau Dazamigas (Luellem de Castro, Ane Dilei Marcelino and Fernanda Albuquerque) DJ Bieta and Doralyce. Yassu Noguchi is also launching two new collections of poetry, ‘Você é poeta? Legal. Mas trabalha com o quê?’ (Are you a poet? Cool. But you work with what?) and ‘Machistas não passarão’ (Machists will not pass).
Marielle Franco’s legacy continues to unite those seeking justice for the underrepresented. Only yesterday, Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani women’s education activist and youngest winner of the Nobel Prize, went to the favela community of Tavares Bastos in Rio and spray-painted a stencil of Marielle Franco in honor of her life.
What: ‘Quanto Mais Tem Que Morrer?’ (How Many More Have to Die?) and Slam das Minas RJ #04
When: Thursday, July 12th 4PM
Where: Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Candelária, Praça Pio X, s/n – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20040-020;