Kia L. Caldwell, Wendi Muse, Tianna S. Paschel, Keisha-Khan Y. Perry, Christen A. Smith, and Erica L. Williams publish collective statement on the assassination of Marielle Franco:
“The egregiousness of the targeted assassination of an elected official has mobilized people throughout Brazil and around the world. We must maintain this momentum if we want ensure the safety and well being of black women like Marielle and communities like Maré. As tragic and shocking as it was, sadly, Marielle’s assassination was not an anomaly. In Brazil there have been at least 194 politicians and activists killed in the past five years. Many of them have been killed for daring to question the hegemonic social structures intertwined with U.S interests. We cannot mourn her tragic death while ignoring our own government’s complicity and involvement in her death. Brazilian police forces responsible for brutality have been trained by the FBI and the New York Police Department. Agricultural oligarchs with ties to U.S. multinational corporations and politicians routinely kill indigenous people in land speculation disputes. And we cannot forget that Marielle spoke out boldly against the coup that ousted Brazil’s democratically-elected president with support from the U.S. State Department. Given the global dimensions of anti-blackness and the transnational circulation of practices of state violence and militarized policing, we believe profoundly that we must organize on a hemispheric and global level.
“Marielle will forever be remembered by those she represented, and those she inspired, for recognizing their humanity while others only saw them as targets to be marginalized or annihilated. On the night of her death, Marielle quoted Audre Lorde saying, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own” (1981, “The Uses of Anger”). As black people in the Americas we must commit ourselves to continuing the work for which Marielle died. We must affirm the need to center black women’s lives and experiences in our struggles for liberation, not at the expense of our broader multi-gendered communities, but precisely because “If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression” (Combahee River Collective Statement)…”
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