Cursinhos da Rede Emancipa

A CALL IN DEFENSE OF OUR FORESTS AND THEIR PEOPLES

Against the climate emergency, the Emancipa Movement calls everyone to mobilize for the Global Climate Strike on September 20th.

The capitalist system is going through one of its crises, causing economic recession, worse social conditions for the majority of the population and the closure of minimally democratic spaces. At this time the threat impacts an even more elemental aspect from the acceleration of an unprecedented ecological and climate crisis: the human life on planet.

Since the 1960s a lot of evidence has pointed out that this system, based on the accumulation of wealth in complete disconnection from the limits of nature – Capitalism -, besides not bringing well-being to society as a whole, could lead the planet to a total collapse.

The year of 2015 was very emblematic in the fight for climate justice because, in addition to launching a minimum agenda to combat global warming through the Paris Agreement, it was when scientists identified that the concentration of greenhouse gases reached the highest level in human history, making many people aware of the importance of environmentalist struggles and isolating the climate deniers funded by the great capitalists of the fossil fuel industry.

The latest UN experts panel report on climate change identified that we have only 12 years to stop global warming, showing that the acceleration of climate change is happening so intensely that not only future generations are at risk, but also our generation. If nothing changes in a short period of time, we will see intensification of glacier melting, rising sea levels, extreme weather events such as hurricanes, storms, floods, droughts and wildfires, with impacts on biodiversity loss, food production and aggravation of migratory processes. The impacts of climate change have devastating effects on a wide range of human rights, including right to life, health, food, housing and water, as well as the right to a healthy environment for present and future generations. It’s in this serious scenario of global climate crisis, when a structural change of this destructive system that can lead us to extinction becomes fundamental, where is placed the latest attacks of the Bolsonaro Government on the Amazon forest, the largest tropical forest in the world and the fundamental biome for the climate balance of the planet.

For sure this process has not started this year. The historical process of conflicts and land exploitation in the Amazon Forest has been subject of constant political, economic, environmental and social disputes over the time. The attacks on the Amazon are experienced daily from the destruction made by loggers, land grabbing and hydroelectric dams – such as Belo Monte hydropower plant, which in the Workers Party government was a point of struggle and resistance of the traditional and indigenous populations of the northern region.

Our people have always lived the combination of earth and blood, such as some brilliant leaders like Tuíra Kayapó, Dorothy Stang, Chico Mendes, Jose Claudio Ribeiro da Silva, Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva and many others anonymous fighters that got killed in an endless conflict between the capitalist accumulation project and the peoples of the forest and countryside. After all, the indigenous, amazon people, riverside, caiçaras, quilombolas and many other population represent a backwardness to what capitalism understand by “progress”. As if there was a full well being in the big cities and metropolitan regions.

It’s always important to remember that our indigenous and traditional peoples are waging a historic battle to contain the advance of this system that has already destroyed more than 90% of the Atlantic Forest and more than half of the Cerrado and the Caatinga, another important biomes in Brazil. Our country, in addition to having the largest biodiversity and environmental heritage in the world, has an important contingent of traditional peoples, such as indigenous, quilombolas, riverside, caiçaras, who fight for the maintenance of their way of life and their right to exist for more than 500 years. They struggle to keep the forest standing in the country that is more violent for activists of land and environmental rights.

However the Bolsonaro government’s agenda today represents the complete breaking down of environmental policy, that was built with much struggle over the past 40 years. In addition to the personal mockery which Bolsonaro addresses the environmental issues, the government has taken an explicitly anti-ecological stance, even with speeches that deny the occurrence and importance of tackling climate change – starting with the extinction of the National Environment Council and the National Fund on Climate Change, instituted by law, and the appointment of Ricardo Salles to the Ministry of the Environment, with support from agribusiness and the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp).

According to a recent data from INPE (National Institute for Space Research), areas with deforestation warning increased by 90% in June and 278% in July, compared to the same months of the last year. In the Amazon, the deforested area is already equivalent to the extension of the territory of countries like Germany. This sharp increase in deforestation in recent months also adds to a worrying growth trend since 2012, which reflects the consequences of the solutions presented by the ruling class to the economic crisis and the complete subordination of governments to agribusiness interests. It’s a model of primitive accumulation that reproduces the colonial logic, so structurally present in our development model even today.

Instead of acting to control deforestation, the Bolsonaro government decided to fight against official data and fired the INPE Director last month. The crisis has escalated in recent weeks with the announcement by the Norwegian and German governments of a stoppage in the sending of funds to the Amazon Fund and the unprecedented boos received by the Brazilian environment minister at an international climate meeting in the presence of 26 countries. Still during this week, the serious problem of forest fires in the Amazon region and the arrival of a huge cloud of smoke in the southeast of the country, which darkened the afternoon of the city of Sao Paulo on August 19th, ended by breaking the isolation of the fight in defense of our forest, demonstrating that the protection of the Amazon forest is a necessity of the whole country.

In response to this critical world scenario, new processes of political organization and mass mobilization in defense of the climate have emerged in many places around the world, starting from a strong youth leadership. They are outraged young people who see no perspectives for their future with the acceleration of global warming and the lack of commitment of political class to building structural responses to the ecological and climate crisis. These new mobilization processes have taken thousands of young people to the streets in many cities around the world, through initiatives such as student strikes for climate and various protests in front of parliaments and government headquarters, demanding the recognition that we are facing a climate emergency.

In this context, the climate movements are calling for a new Global Climate Strike in September 20th. Given the escalation of the Bolsonaro government’s environmental crisis, the enormous national and international repercussions on the advance of deforestation and forest fires in the Amazon and the street demonstrations that took place in various parts of the country last week, we believe that this act has an enormous importance and the potential to reach large proportions in many Brazilian cities.

We know that capitalist development and preservation of the environment are irreconcilable things, since one of the pillars that supports this system is the endless exploitation of nature as an infinite natural resource. That’s why it’s so essential to be part of the movements that are being organized, not only to denounce the disastrous consequences of this type of policy at all levels, but also to draw some ways out – which mainly include understanding capitalism as the roots of the problem and the need for its overcoming.

The Emancipa Movement of Popular Education, as a tool for organizing peripheral youth, wants to participate in this process by mobilizing its entire base of teachers, students and supporters in the communities, from Santarém to Porto Alegre, to build a powerful Global Climate Strike on September 20th. We will be in the streets from north to south of the country, organizing from the amazon youth to the suburbs of big cities, sowing the way to another necessary world.

Therefore we recommend all units of Emancipa in Brazil to promote with students, communities, specialists and university members, all sort of activities like open classes, debates, formation in order to organize a new cycle of struggle in defense of the climate.

Our challenge is to carry life to the 22nd century, offering a decent life to the inhabitants of this planet in the 21st century. The challenge is huge, but it has the size of our dreams and of our courage. The next few years are probably the most important in our history. We will be stand up to it! They will not destroy our future!

Emancipa Movement of Popular Education

 

Comentários