Brazil: Indigenous People Set Up Protest Camp To Demand Land Rights

Hundreds of indigenous Brazilians demonstrate in Brasilia as part of the National Mobilisation Week(Evaristo Sa/AFP)

Hundreds of indigenous Brazilians demonstrate in Brasilia as part of the National Mobilisation Week(Evaristo Sa/AFP)

By David Sim in IBTimes | Posted, April 16, 2015

About 1,400 members of various indigenous Brazilian tribes have set up camp outside the National Congress in Brasilia to demand land rights.

Organisers of the Tierra Libre (Free Land) camp aim to discuss issues of land demarcation and indigenous rights with authorities.

brasilia indigenous protest

Members of some of Brazil’s indigenous tribes demonstrate in front of the Planalto Palace in Brasilia(Evaristo Sa/AFP)

brasilia indigenous protest

An indigenous Brazilian man aims his bow and arrow at the National Congress in Brasilia(Evaristo Sa/AFP)

brasilia indigenous protest

Brazilian natives dance in the rain in front of the Planalto Palace in Brasilia during National Mobilisation Week(Evaristo Sa/AFP)

brasilia indigenous protest

Brazilian Indians from various indigenous ethnic groups dance and sing in the rain at the Esplanade of Ministries in Brasilia(Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

“A hundred groups from across the country are here to express their dissatisfaction and denounce attacks against their rights, which are happening in Congress,” Cleber Buzzato, executive secretary of the Indigenous Missionary Council told AFP.

Indians fear that legislators will allow the use of their ancestral lands by agribusiness, which has the backing of a group of parliamentarians and the new Minister of Agriculture, Katia Abreu. Many believe that new legislation threatens to shrink the size of some reserves for indigenous groups.

brasilia indigenous protest

Brazilian Indians take part in a protest in front of the National Congress in Brasilia(Evaristo Sa/AFP)

brasilia indigenous protest

An indigenous Brazilian man takes part in a protest in Brasilia(Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

brasilia indigenous protest

Brazilians from various indigenous ethnic groups take part in a protest at the Esplanade of Ministries in Brasilia(Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

brasilia indigenous protest

A man smokes a pipe in front of a row of riot police officers outside the Planalto Palace in Brasilia(Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

brasilia indigenous protest

A Brazilian Indian participates in the National Indigenous Mobilisation camp in Brasilia(Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

brasilia indigenous protest

Members of the Xucuru ethnic group attend the Terra Livre Camp (Free Land Camp) in Brasilia(Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

brasilia indigenous protest

A member of the Kaingang ethnic group protests during National Indigenous Mobilisation week in Brasilia(Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

brasilia indigenous protest

A member of a Brazilian indigenous tribe plays the guitar at the so-called Free Land camp in front of the National Congress in Brasilia(Evaristo Sa/AFP)

brasilia indigenous protest

Indigenous men pose for a selfie while setting up a tent at the Ministries Esplanade in Brasilia(Evaristo Sa/AFP)

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Protest Of Missing, Murdered Women Ends With Some Hope For Future

Chelsea Cardinal, a spokeswoman for the campers, speaks with journalists.

Chelsea Cardinal, a spokeswoman for the campers, speaks with journalists.

Winnipeg Free Press 09/7/2014

Camp concludes

Heartened by hints of a national roundtable on missing and murdered aboriginal women and thrilled by some strong words from Winnipeg’s police chief, a peaceful protest camp in Memorial Park dissolved Saturday evening.

At its height, the two-week camp had as many as 50 tents, but only a handful remained at midday Saturday as many had already begun dismantling the makeshift village. A final feast and pipe ceremony were planned for Saturday evening.

A man prays during the protests final day.

A man prays during the protests final day.

“I’m pretty emotional about it,” said Chelsea Cardinal Saturday afternoon as she crafted moosehide medicine bags to give to key supporters.

But the mother and social work student said news the federal government is open to a roundtable discussion with premiers and indigenous leaders counts as a partial victory, enough to end the protest and take the fight to other fronts.

The women-led camp was set up in the aftermath of the death three weeks ago of Tina Fontaine, the 15-year-old found dumped in the Red River 10 days after she went missing.

Protesters at Memorial Park are calling for a national inquiry into the deaths of more 1,100 missing and slain aboriginal women. Photo:.winnipeg free press

Protesters at Memorial Park are calling for a national inquiry into the deaths of more 1,100 missing and slain aboriginal women. Photo: Winnipeg Free Press

A cluster of four tents grew quickly after Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Aug. 21 Fontaine’s slaying, and the disappearance and deaths of 1,200 other indigenous women since 1980, were crimes with no deeper sociological causes.

“I was incensed,” said Cardinal. “How could he possibly say that in light of a 15-year-old girl being disposed of? I was angry, angry, angry.”

The tent village has since run on food donations from local social-service and student groups and allowed to continue relatively free from police or government pressure. Even the ManyFest beer tent moved a little farther down Broadway over the weekend so as not to disturb the camp.

A painting pays tribute to missing and murdered aboriginal women.

A painting pays tribute to missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Campers such as Cardinal say they would prefer a full-fledged national inquiry, but are hopeful a roundtable, whatever form that takes, will focus political attention on the problem. But Cardinal said real action is needed immediately to fix the child-welfare system that failed Fontaine and to deal with huge rates of sexual trauma and exploitation among indigenous women.

In Winnipeg Friday, following a committee meeting, police Chief Devon Clunis said the city ought to lead the way on the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women, and indigenous Winnipeggers have faced historic marginalization that’s at the root of the epidemic of violence against women.

Sandy Banman speaks with reporters.

Sandy Banman speaks with reporters.

“I was so happy about that,” said Sandy Banman, one of the camp’s key organizers and a staffer at a local aboriginal women’s shelter. “He reached out his hand.”

The campers were less impressed with the views of some mayoral candidates, particularly Gord Steeves, the only candidate who failed to echo Clunis’s words Friday and who has repeatedly declined to speak to the issue of poverty and racism many indigenous Winnipeggers say is endemic.

“You tell Mr. Steeves he is more than welcome to come down here and talk with us,” said Cardinal.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/camp-concludes-274250801.html

 

 

Protesters Claim Small Victory In Call For Inquiry

Womens Protest Camp Winnipeg Photo: Red Power Media

Womens Protest Camp Winnipeg Photo: Red Power Media

The Canadian Press | Sept 4, 2014

WINNIPEG – Dozens of people are camped in the shadow of Manitoba’s legislature, calling for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

The group of about 40 people set up tents across the street from the legislature just over a week ago, protesting the federal government’s refusal to hold an inquiry.

Kylo Prince says the abuse of aboriginal women is a continuation of genocide in Canada and has to stop.

But he says the camp is celebrating because the Conservative government has said it is willing to hold a roundtable discussion about missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Jennifer Spence, who is there with her 17-month-old daughter, says the death of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine last month was the last straw.

She says Fontaine deserved more than to be found dead in the Red River and so do other aboriginal women.

http://globalnews.ca/news/1544014/protesters-claim-small-victory-in-call-for-inquiry/