American activists of the #BlackLivesMatter movement marched through central Rio de Janeiro with their Brazilian counterparts on Saturday [July 23] ahead of the inception of this year’s Olympic Games in the city.
Most known for their active role in the fight against police brutality, Black Lives Matter traveled to Latin America’s largest country to help its majority Black or mixed race population combat their conflicts with law enforcement.
In a definite parallel, citizens of the nation who have darker skin are the victims of both social and inequality in comparison to their white counterparts within the nation where officers are responsible for a “significant portion” 60,000 violent deaths per year according to the UN, with law enforcement killing more than 8,000 people in the last decade. 75 percent were Black males.
With more than 200 Brazilian activists in attendance, the protest included a ceremony at the infamous Candelaria cathedral, where, in 1993, a death squad that included off-duty police officers killed a total eight children and adolescents who slept on the church’s steps.
“The most important thing that we can do is build together and mobilize our people to spread the word,” said Daunasia Yancey, one of the American activists who took part in the Black Lives Matter four-day trip to the seaside city. “Anti-Black violence is global and our resistance is global.”