Do they realize Brazil was one of the largest importer of African slaves in the world? There will be no love for them over there, Brazil is a total mess. They’d better be careful. It’s dangerous in Rio as I’m sure they already know. The police there won’t care that they’re Americans.
As protests continue throughout the country over the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the latest African-American men to die at the hands of police, a coalition of Black Lives Matter activists will take their movement to a new place next week: Rio de Janeiro.
It’s the latest effort to expand the Black Lives Matter message across the globe, and it comes at an important time. With less than a month to go before Rio hosts the 2016 Olympic Games, the activists hope they can take advantage of the spectacle to highlight the city’s rising levels of police violence and connect with Brazilian activists who are fighting a similar struggle.
“Police brutality is global. And Brazil has its own form of ruthlessness,” Daunasia Yancey, the founder of Black Lives Matter’s Boston chapter, told The Huffington Post. “The movement that came before and during and after Ferguson has been really intentional about a global struggle and understanding that our freedoms are all tied to each other.”
Yancey, one of the organizers who met with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in October, is part of a coalition of activists that plans to meet with organizations fighting police violence in Rio. The group will also include Rev. John L. Selders Jr. and Pamela Selders, who together led Moral Monday protests against police violence in Connecticut, and other activists who have worked with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Their trip to Rio is the work of Elizabeth Martin, the founder of Brazil Police Watch, a Boston-based organization that has sought to draw American attention to police brutality issues in Brazil.