The participation of indigenous people in the 2004 Cry of the Excluded protest brought the issue of their presence in urban areas of the country to the surface. In Campo Grande, MS, the Cry brought together 700 people in the Àgua Bonita settlement, which is located on the outskirts of the capital city.
In Manaus, state of Amazonas, where, according to IBGE, there are around 18,000 indigenous people, the speeches made by the people during the Cry drew attention to their presence in the city and to the challenges and difficulties generated by this situation.
The Cry has taken place for the last 10 years on September 7. This is the same day as the official commemorations to celebrate Brazil’s independence, and has become established as an event marked by the presence of social movements.
In Campo Grande, demonstrations were held in an urban village in order to focus on the problems of indigenous people living in cities, in small areas, without their own schools and without medical assistance.
In the ígua Bonita village, 62 indigenous families, who already live in a very small area, are being forced by authorities to live in an even smaller area. The location will be used for constructing low-income housing.
There are five villages in the city of Campo Grande where members of the Terena, Kaiowá, Guató and Kadiwéu peoples, amongst others, are present.
In Manaus, the Cry began with a ritual from the Tukano People. There were also presentations by Inhambé children and Saterê-Mawé students.
In the morning, people linked to the Alto Rio Negro Women’s Institute, Tikuna and Saterê-Mawé women, organized a market, and many of them took part in the march during the afternoon.
In Recife, capital of the state of Pernambuco, indigenous people, women and black people were the protagonists of three very mystical moments during a march, which brought together 10,000 people between the João de Barros Avenue and the Nossa Senhora do Carmo Square, in a traditional place used for demonstrations in the city.
The Xukuru and Kambiwá people gathered round the Brazilian flag to utter chants and dance the toré. Later, in front of the building of the Court of Appeals, they took part in a symbolic act of washing the steps to the palace, demonstrating the need for the judiciary branch to be impartial and transparent.
Decency was a word that was repeated by those attending the event. In the Nossa Senhora do Carmo Square, Brother Aloísio Fragoso brought the Cry to a close by encouraging people to take part and demand real changes in the country’s political process.
In the city of São Paulo, capital of the state of São Paulo,The Guarani sang traditional songs and carried a banner during a one-and-a”“half hour long march from the Praça da Sé square, located on the downtown area of the city, to the Ipiranga monument.
In Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, the march started off at the Liberdade Square and involved around 7,000 people. Representatives of the Pataxó people from Minas Gerais took part in the mobilization, and marched alongside other participants from Via Campesina, carrying banners.
This year, the mobilization also closed the 3rd Social Forum of Minas Gerais, held from 3 to 6 in preparation for the Social Forum.
According to Cáritas, around 1 million people took to the streets in Brazilian cities. The Cry, which is organized in over 1800 places in all the states of the country, is now part of the social mobilization calendar and has fulfilled its job of giving visibility ”“ on the streets and in the media ”“ to the social struggles that are being fought in the country, very often in silence.
Cimi ”“ Indianist Missionary Council
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