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INDIGENOUS SPRING: a lasting mobilization for life and democracy

In memory of our ancestors who gave their lives so that we could exist. In memory of the "magical spirits" who brought us here to continue their struggle to save our bodies, our land and territory, our identity and our diverse culture, we make known to Brazilian and international societies that we will remain permanently mobilized in defense of LIFE and DEMOCRACY.

Our struggle is not only to preserve the lives of our peoples, but of all humanity, now seriously threatened by the policies of extermination and devastation of Mother Nature promoted by economic elites – who have inherited the greed of colonial, commercial and feudal expansionist power – and threatened by governors with genocidal tendencies such as Jair Bolsonaro.

APIB – The Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil launched the "Fight for Life" camp in the capital Brasília on August 22 In this statement, we confirm that we will remain mobilized to fight for our rights until September 2, 2021. To this day, it is the largest mobilization in the history of indigenous people in the federal capital, reinforcing our statement: "Our history does not begin in 1988!"

While we risk our lives in the ongoing COVID19 situation, we are here to tell invaders attempting to take over our territories that they will not get away with it, notwithstanding the intense attacks on our fundamental rights guaranteed by the 1988 federal constitution.
We have occupied the media, the streets, the villages and the capital Brasília to fight for democracy, against the racist anti-indigenous agenda promoted by the federal government and the National Congress, and to follow the Supreme Court's (STF) ruling that will define the future of our peoples.

During the month of June 2021, we launched Rise for the Earth in Brasília and launched our first on-the-spot activities to counter the worsening of violence against indigenous people's lives. Since then, we have started a new cycle of fighting, given that since March 2020 we have only been gathering virtually and on our territories due to the pandemic.

Because we are facing many viruses, including Bolsonaro's genocidal policies, we have launched our "Indigenous Spring", and we intend not to retreat from the occupation of Brasília in 2021, and to continue our activities on social media and in the mobilized territories.
From 7. To September 11, indigenous women will be on the front lines to bury once and for all the "Milestone Thesis" (*legal thesis that limits the constitutional rights of indigenous peoples) in the Second Indigenous Women's March, where indigenous women will march for the healing of the Earth.

On 26 August, the STF launched a judgment that will define the delimitation of indigenous lands (TI). Although there is no end in sight, indigenous people are still mobilized and watching the outcome of the Supreme Court justices' vote.

We will fight to the end to maintain our original right to the territory we traditionally inhabit and protect. We are part of this country and we will maintain our position as culturally differentiated people, even though public authorities and private corporations see us as obstacles to development. It is no coincidence that the current development, which only follows the European invasion, which from the beginning was destructive, ethnocidal, genocidal and ecocidal, has now found in our miserable government a prototype capable of establishing dominance.

We are children of the Earth! This Earth is not ours, we are the ones who are part of it. It is the uterus that generates us and the arms that welcome us. That's why we give it our life! In our tradition, there has never been the problem of regulating who owns the land or not, because for us the land has never been property. Our property is collective, everyone has the right to use it. This is the basic essence of our existence, which after 521 years still remains misunderstood by the so-called Western civilizational culture.

This contradiction is the essence of all the disputes that are brought against us. The ongoing dispute over our territory has lasted through all stages of the formation and establishment of Brazil as a state, and continues to this day!

Neo-colonial elites, as well as promoters and supporters of the military dictatorship, have taken over most of the current National Congress and are relentlessly defending the continuity of their hegemonic control, domination over bodies, countries and territories, and not only indigenous peoples. They intend to make us believe that they will bring development to Brazil, when in fact they are promoting the "Mother Nature Death Project" – forests, rivers, biodiversity – as well as people and cultures carrying wisdom accumulated for thousands of years, but outside of scientific institutions. According to the latest data from the UN Panel on Climate Change, there is an undeniable increase in the temperature of the planet, an increase in the incidence of floods, and other environmental disasters, apparently caused by this model of development.

With all these factors in mind, we say NO to all initiatives that ignore our historical and strategic protection of life, humanity and the planet. We also say NO to all those who propose to violate our rights by hundreds of administrative, legal, legislative and legal actions.

Our history did not begin in 1988, this struggle of ours has lasted for a thousand years, in other words, it has persisted since the Portuguese and then European invaders arrived in our countries to take over our territory along with its wealth. Therefore, we will continue to resist and demand respect for our way of perceiving, being, thinking, feeling and acting in the world.

Under the auspices of the constitutional text, we believe that the Supreme Court will support our original right to land, which does not depend on the specific date of the confirmation of occupation, as our opponents claim. Through the Milestone thesis, contemporary colonizers want to ignore that we were here a long time ago when their ancestors wiped out many of our ancestors and founded the present state on their dead bodies.

Supported by our ancestors and the power of our peoples, our spirituality and the power of our magical spirits who support the good life, ours and humanity, we say no Milestone thesis! We call on national and international societies, especially the various organizations and social movements that have always supported us, and above all our foundations, people and indigenous organizations, to remain vigilant and mobilized to defend our rights.

Brasília - DF, August 27, 2021
The Camp of the Struggle for Life
Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil - APIB
National Indigenous Mobilization - MNI

Original article in Portuguese

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