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Amazon Rebellion stage theatrical protest outside Brazilian Embassy to say ‘Enough ecocide! Enough genocide!’


WEBWIRE
  • Extinction Rebellion groups around the world will join the Global Day of Action for the Amazon.
  • In London members of Extinction Rebellion UK and Animal Rebellion will gather outside the Embassy of Brazil on Cockspur Street, London, with performances, music and speeches from scientists and UK and Brazilian activists.
  • Attention will be drawn to the highstreet companies most responsible for the destruction of the Amazon, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway, and a call made for a boycott in the UK and worldwide.
  • Open letters to addressed president Jair Bolsanaro, one from Brazilian activists and a second from the Association of Indigenous People’s of Brazil, will be delivered to the Embassy. 

Amazon Rebellion – with support from Extinction Rebellion groups around the world and Animal Rebellion – will gather outside the Brazilian Embassy in London to say ‘Enough ecocide! Enough Genocide!’ [1]

There will be speeches from scientists, UK and Brazilian activists, as well as music performances including live Brazilian drummers, costumed dancers and a choir. 

Attention will be drawn to the highstreet companies most responsible for the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway, and a call made for a boycott in the UK and worldwide. 

Two open letters addressed to President Jair Bolsonaro will be delivered to the Embassy, one from activists in Brazil [2], and a second from the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) – a representative democratic body of indigenous peoples across Brazil. [3] 

Mariana Silva, a member of Extinction Rebellion attending the protest, said: “I am taking part in this action in solidarity with the people in South America that have been affected by the fires, in particular indigenous people. It is a real catastrophe. The Amazon, the Cerrado and the Pantanal ecosystems are on fire and the brazilian government, along with many transnational companies, are complicit in the destruction. They continue to privilege profit over people. They favour cattle and soya plantations over biodiversity and indigenous cultures. As a citizen I am demanding change.”

The Amazon rainforest is critical for the stability of the Earth’s climate and ecosystems. Decades of sustained deforestation and extractivism have destroyed around 20% of the forest, and deforestation rates are currently increasing, as the Brazilian agribusiness lobby and other extractive industries, financed by international markets, seek to extend their reach.

According to a study published in Science Advances in December 2019 the Amazon is now within the danger zone of a planetary tipping point predicted by scientists to start around the 20-25% deforestation mark. [4] The rainforest is in danger of drying out and turning into a savannah, releasing billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere and precipitating climate catastrophe and according to a study in Nature Communications in March this year these ‘regime shifts’ occur faster in larger ecosystems like the Amazon Rainforest. [5]

In Brazil the incessant pressure on territories and natural resources from agribusiness and extractive industries is resulting in systematised ethnocide and ecocide in the Amazon, affecting people and countless other lifeforms. This destruction is perpetrated by companies including JBS, Cargill, Marfrig,  Minerva and Bunge, and financed by BlackRock Vanguard, State Street, and banks such as Legal & Genera, BNP Paribas, Santander, Barclays and HSBC. [6]

Indigenous communities in Brazil, who understand the forest to be sacred, are defending the Amazon against all odds for the benefit of humanity and the planet.[7] As a result, they are threatened by escalating violence and murders of environmental defenders in Brazil are among highest in the world.[8] 

Soy, beef, leather and other products linked to the destruction of the Amazon enter the UK via global supply chains. These products find their way into supermarkets and fast food retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, SPAR, Costco, Iceland, Morrisons, McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Nandos, Domino’s, Yum Brand – the parent company of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut among others.[9]

Notes to editors 

[1] What is ecocide? https://ecocidelaw.com/ecocide-law-2/

[2] Open letter from Brazilian activists to President Jair Bolsonaro: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/INTERNATIONAL-OPEN-LETTER-1.pdf

[3] Open letter from the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) to President Jair Bolsonaro: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Open-letter-from-APIB-1.pdf

[4] Amazon tipping point: Last chance for action:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338097410_Amazon_tipping_point_Last_chance_for_action

[5] Regime shifts occur disproportionately faster in larger ecosystems:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-15029-x

[6] Companies contributing to and financing the destruction of the Amazon:

Where there’s cattle ranching and soybean farming, there’s fire, study finds: https://news.mongabay.com/2020/07/where-theres-cattle-ranching-and-soybean-farming-theres-fire-study-finds/

Meat giants selling to UK linked to Brazil farms in deforested Amazon reserve: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/05/meat-giants-selling-to-uk-linked-to-brazil-farms-in-deforested-amazon-reserve

Soy traders going ‘deforestation-free’ still fuelling destruction of Brazil’s Cerrado: https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2019/12/04/brazil-cerrado-soy-bunge-cargill/

BlackRock’s $400m stake in Amazon meatpackers defies sustainability cred: https://news.mongabay.com/2020/09/blackrocks-400m-stake-in-amazon-meatpackers-defies-sustainability-cred/

BlackRock, other asset managers enabling deforestation, says Friends of the Earth:

Banks and pension funds among investors bankrolling meat and dairy: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/09/banks-and-pension-funds-among-investors-bankrolling-meat-and-dairy

We are letting banks off the hook for financing environmental destruction – that must change: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/environmental-damage-deforestation-banks-hsbc-barclays-santander-a9167916.html

We are letting banks off the hook for financing environmental destruction – that must change: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/environmental-damage-deforestation-banks-hsbc-barclays-santander-a9167916.html

[7] Amazon heroes who don’t give up: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/democraciaabierta/guardians-of-the-forest-heroes-who-dont-give-up/

[8] Deforestation and land-grabs bring Covid-19 threats to Amazon and Gran Chaco: https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2020/09/17/deforestation-covid-coronavirus-amazon-gran-chaco-indigenous/

[9] UK Supermarkets and fast food outlets stocking products associated with the destruction of the Amazon: 

Tesco urged to ditch meat company over alleged links to Amazon deforestation: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/aug/05/tesco-urged-to-ditch-meat-company-over-alleged-links-to-amazon-deforestation

Number of fires in the Amazon reached a 13-year high in June — and scientists fear they will engulf vast areas of rainforest in the coming months: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8482701/Number-fires-Amazon-reached-13-year-high-June.html

Major UK supermarkets ‘buy corned beef from meat firm linked to illegal razing of Amazon rainforests’: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/asda-lidl-waitrose-amazon-rainforest-destruction-beef-brazil-environment-a8918981.html

Companies from Amazon to Spar ‘complicit in tropical forest destruction caused by everyday products’: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/forests-palm-oil-soya-versace-spar-blackrock-food-fashion-a9330316.html

55,000 people urge Costco to stop wholesale forest destruction: https://www.stand.earth/latest/markets-vs-climate/charmin-toilet-paper/55000-people-urge-costco-stop-wholesale-forest

UK supermarkets are selling beef from firm linked to illegal destruction of Amazon rainforest: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/uk-supermarkets-amazon-wildfires-jbs-meat-illegal-deforestation-morrisons-waitrose-sainsburys-a9106966.html

Amazon deforestation linked to McDonald’s and British retail giants: https://news.mongabay.com/2017/10/amazon-deforestation-linked-to-mcdonalds-and-british-retail-giants/

7 reasons why meat is bad for the environment: https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/why-meat-is-bad-for-the-environment/

Report: Half of world’s largest businesses haven’t pledged to end supply chain deforestation: https://www.edie.net/news/7/Report–Half-of-world-s-largest-businesses-haven-t-pledged-to-end-supply-chain-deforestation/

ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION

Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

What Emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers |This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook 

Get involved

  • In the UK, come to one of our events, join the Rebellion Network and let us know how you can help out.
  • Start a group where you are: in the UK or around the world.
  • Find your local group.


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