As the Amazon burns, our anger strengthens our will to resist

Forest fires threaten the Awá © Survival International

By Survival International activist Sarah Shenker

Today is Amazon Day and Indigenous peoples in Brazil and their allies around the world are protesting against the fires destroying the Amazon rainforest and President Bolsonaro’s war on Brazil’s first peoples.

Bolsonaro and his agribusiness colleagues – through racist words and genocidal proposals to steal Indigenous land – are launching the biggest assault on Indigenous rights for 50 years. The number of attacks and invasions of Indigenous territories is sky-rocketing, and the fires, many set by illegal loggers and ranchers, are destroying the forest at an alarming and heart-breaking pace. The survival of whole uncontacted tribes – the most vulnerable peoples on the planet – is at stake.

Indigenous peoples are fighting back, more united than ever before. In January, they led the biggest ever global protest for Indigenous rights. In April, thousands gathered in Brasília to take their urgent messages to the heart of government, and now, for Amazon Day, the world is protesting again, to tell President Bolsonaro to #StopBrazilsGenocide. Our anger only strengthens our will to resist.

© Sarah Shenker/Survival International

Indigenous peoples – nature’s best guardians – have fought to protect their lands from outsiders for over 500 years and they most definitely won’t stop now. As Sonia Guajajara says: “We’re putting our bodies and our lives on the line to try and save our territories.”

Survival International is inviting supporters around the world to tune in to social media where we’re sharing plenty of ideas for people to get active and join in with today’s activities.

Together we’ve won many victories over the last 50 years. We can win this battle too. Indigenous peoples’ survival, and the survival of all humanity, depends on it.