Black Lives Matter Takes Cause Abroad
A group of U.S. Black Lives Matter activists are warning that the Rio De Janerio Olympic Games could prove deadly for the city’s poor Blacks, the Washington Post reports.
The activists embarked on a four-day visit to Rio, intending to focus on the risks posed by the Olympic security apparatus in a country where a United Nations report has confirmed law enforcement officers are responsible for a “significant portion” of nearly 60,000 annual violent deaths.
An estimated 85,000 soldiers and police will be on patrol to secure 10,000 athletes, along with the 350,000 -500,000 foreigners expected to flood the Aug 5-21 games in the crime stricken city.
Although the enormous security measures may help to reduce foreigners from armed muggings, drug gang shootouts and carjackings, the activists and local counterparts predict that the increase of police amplification could result in a spike in police shootings.
The six activists began their visit to Rio by meeting the families of local victims of police involved violence, community leaders and anti-racism activists. The two groups shared their personal stories and similarities between the black experience in both Brazil and U.S., with both groups.
“It’s important that we stand with each other because we know this violence is connected. Anti-black violence is global and our resistance is global,” proclaimed Daunasia Yancey.
It’s “not just a case of one bad cop. This is a system of policing, this is a way policing works,” she further stated.
According to Amnesty International’s Rio chapter, police were responsible for one out of five slaying in 2015. The human rights organization also reports police killings in Rio skyrocketed to 40 percent during the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament.
John Selders, a pastor from Hartford Connecticut, says the universal plights of blacks in Brazil and the U.S. have created a mutual bond that transcends barriers.
“You are not alone here in Brazil. We are you. You are us. We are one people.” Selders said.