I need you to know about Marielle Franco.
On March 14, 2018, the Brazilian LGBT and human rights activist was assassinated in what many believe was a targeted political attack. After leaving a public meeting, two cars followed the councilwoman’s car, pulled up behind, and shot her through the window.
Ten months later, her murderer has not been found.
When I heard the news of the vicious attack on Jussie Smollet, I immediately thought of Marielle Franco. Crimes like these increase in places where the divisions around race, class, gender and sexual orientation are stigmatized. There is little hope that the police investigation of Franco’s homicide will continue, because on October 28, 2018, far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro was elected president. This is a man who said that if his son was acting “gayzinho” (a little gay), he would beat him.
This is the man who has been called “The Trump of the Tropics.”
In his victory speech, Bolsonaro said he was a “defender of freedom” who would run a government that protected citizens who “follow their duties and respect the laws.” In the months leading up to his election, Brazil saw a surge in hate crimes.
In the US, hate crimes are up by 17%, rising for the third consecutive year.
Daily, our rights are being taken away, the impact of global warming on our environment is mocked, and our people are under attack.
This is what happens under dictatorships.
This is why I’m blogging these methods.
I’m doing it because they work.
And we need need to start using them.
Last month, Marielle Franco’s fiance and partner of 13 years was interviewed by The Guardian for the short film below. “The scenario is very dramatic. In Brazil, our society has a very racist way of looking at things, and it tends to criminalize those who are black or poor.” – Monica Benicio, The Guardian
“Researchers used to say that no government can survive if just 5% of its population rose up against it, but what the research showed is that no single campaigns failed during the time period after they’d achieved the active sustained participation of just 3.5 percent of the population.” – Erica Chenoweth