Letter from the 2nd Meeting of Affected People from the Amazon Rainforest: rooting resistance in defense of life and sovereignty

Read the letter prepared by affected people in the Amazon Rainforest gathered at the 2nd meeting in Belém (PA)

Opening session of the 2nd Meeting of Affected People, which started on the 27th, around 250 people from the 9 states of the Amazon rainforest participated. Photo: Gabrielle Sodré

The world is going through a deep crisis of the capitalist system. Amid heat waves, floods, and other extreme events, it`s not possible anymore to deny that capitalism has led us to global warming and the misery of the majority. The pandemic emerges as a symptom of this crisis and further exacerbates the overall picture. Inequalities have increased on an unprecedented scale: the world’s ten richest men have doubled their fortunes, while more than 160 million people have been pushed into poverty.

In the coming years, the continuation of the crisis should lead the world to a race for territories with an advantageous natural base, inciting conflicts and triggering wars. The way found by capital is to intensify the process of accumulation through expropriation, in which common goods are stolen from peoples and converted into commodities. Latin America is at the focus of this dispute, especially the Amazon Rainforest.

The world’s largest rainforest and largest watershed, with the greatest concentration of living matter on the planet, is at risk! There are many interests focused on the immense region, shared by nine Latin American countries, which occupies half of the Brazilian territory. The Amazon is and will be central to any way out of the climate crisis we are experiencing. No progress can be expected from the bourgeoisies, the only thing they want is the commodification and destruction of the Amazon Rainforest.

Historically, we have been the target of projects designed from above, from and to outside , which never brought true development to the region, on the contrary. From the enormous wealth extracted, everything is exported – nothing is left for the Amazonians. Even so, never in the history of the Amazon so much wealth has been extracted at such an intense rhythm as it is today. We are experiencing an unprecedented process of forest destruction, which makes its people poor. The North region concentrates the highest rate of hunger in the country, among every four families, one goes hungry.

With Bolsonaro in the government, the situation is even more serious. His government is the expression of sectors of the bourgeoisie, linked to large estates, mining and organized crime, whose objective is to destroy the environmental policy and hard-won protection of the forest. This scenario made the Amazon rainforest a region in the world that most concentrates murders of leaders and environmental defenders. In addition, since the 2016 coup, deforestation has been growing in the region, but with Bolsonaro the rhythm has accelerated, reaching a 10-year high in 2021, with more than 10,000 kilometers of native forest destroyed. The Bolsonaro`s government kills and deforests!

In the face of this situation, we cannot hesitate: Electing Lula president is our immediate task. Our commitment is to guarantee his victory in the elections, resist the coup forces and press for an agenda of rights and sovereignty. For this, we will build the Lula Presidente agitation and propaganda brigades in the capitals and large cities of the Amazon Rainforest and Brazil.

The native peoples of the Amazon Rainforest teach us that it is possible to live together the forest. It has been that way for at least 11,000 years, or most of history. However, in the last 400 years, the European invasion meant a process of genocide which these peoples are resisting to nowadays. To these are added new subjects, fruits of the contradiction of exploitation, for whom the forest meant freedom. Today, this diverse Amazonian peoples is made up of indigenous people, quilombolas, riverside dwellers, peasants, rubber tappers, extractivists and urban workers.

We, affected people, have our identity deeply marked by the great rivers of the Amazon Rainforest. We live on the Madeira, Jamari, Machado, Uatuamã, Juruena, Teles Pires, Tapajós, Xingu, Araguaia, Tocantins, Branco, Araguari and Guamá rivers. Just as our rivers flow into the Amazon and into the ocean, we converge to build the Movement following a common strategy, an appropriate organizational method, guided by a project to overcome capitalism.

II Meeting of the Affected People from the Amazon Rainforest and MAB’s participation in the X Fospa. Photos: Gabrielle Sodré and Igor Meirelles/MAB and Mídia Ninja

With this horizon in mind, we gathered between the 27th and 28th of July 2022 at the 2nd Meeting of the Affected People from the Amazon Rainforest and added the construction of the 10th Pan-Amazonian Social Forum, in Belém do Pará, on the campus of the Universidade Federal do Pará . Fueled by the mystique of the Cabana revolution, we joined more than 300 militants from the 9 states of the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest and partner organizations to denounce attacks on the Amazon and affirm solidarity, strength and hope.

We believe that the 20 million Brazilians who live here should be protagonists in the construction of the project we want for the Amazon Rainforest, with another economy, another development, that respects their people and prioritizes life. But we do not act in the region isolated, but we added in the construction of a country project. We expect nothing from the ruling class: the bourgeoisie, due to its dependent character, has already shown itself incapable of thinking of a sovereign and prosperous project. For this reason, it has to be built by workers, by the exploited ones. We are all affected by this system and we must resist it together and build the new one. 

We are the Amazon Rainforest that lives and resists!
Belém, Capital Cabana, summer 2022

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