Black Lives Matter Activists Will Protest Police Brutality in Rio Before the Olympics
As the Black Lives Matter movement fights on in the United States, it's important to recognize that Americans aren't the only ones who face police brutality. This is exactly why members of the movement will be traveling to Rio this month before the Olympics.
Brazilian police reportedly kill eight people every day, with an even more dire situation in Rio. According to a recent report by the Brazilian Senate, one black youth is killed every 23 minutes as a result of police violence.
"Police brutality is global," said Daunasia Yancey, founder of the Black Lives Matter's Boston chapter. "And Brazil has its own form of ruthlessness. The movement that came before and during and after Ferguson has been really intentional about a global struggle and understanding that our freedoms are all tied to each other."
Elizabeth Martin, the founder of the Brazil Police Watch, is a main player in why the activists are travelling. The Boston-based organization has sought to draw American attention to police violence in the South American country.
Martin started the organization in 2007 after Rio police shot and killed her nephew and has since organized petition drives. These petitions ask the International Olympic Commitee and soccer governing body FIFA to collaborate with the Brazilian government to reduce the number of police killings in the nation.
The group of people travelling includes representatives of the Black Lives Matter Boston chapter, longtime anti-racism advocates, youth organizers and community activists. Their trip will take place from July 20 to July 23, concluding on the 24th anniversary of a police massacre of eight sleeping homeless children in Rio.
"We're about all black lives," Yancey said. "For no police violence, for no state murders of anyone under any circumstance."