The traditional Independence Day march of the “Cry of the Excluded” brought some 6,000 people to the Ipiranga Monument on September 7. Participants included representatives of the homeless, the handicapped, Indians, women and other socially active groups, as well as worker unions.
The coordinator of the event, Benedito Roberto Barbosa, called it a huge success.
“Fantastic. We had a really diverse group here. This occurred at the moment we are trying to do something about this problem with homeless people being killed on the city’s streets,” he said.
Barbosa said the country was going through a good moment with renewed economic growth, but that much more was needed.
“We march for employment, healthcare, education and housing. We want a different Brazil. On the street you can feel that much remains to be done,” he said.
In Aparecide do Norte, a pilgrimage town between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, an estimated 60,000 people participated in the Cry of the Excluded march.
According to the march coordinator, Luiz Gonzaga da Silva, aka Gegê, the turnout shows that people are aware of the need to make demands on the government.
“People understand what we are doing,” he declared. “But we have to make our demands clear and continue to pressure the government. It is not enough to show up only on the Cry of the Excluded day.”
Translator: Allen Bennett