Today, around 200 people gathered at Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD to hold a silent protest to bring attention to the massive fires currently raging in Brazil’s Amazon forests - the so-called ‘lungs of the Earth’.
The fires are devastating because they not only represent the catastrophic loss of trees and wildlife, but also because they symbolise a range of other related issues, including climate change, Indigenous land theft and genocide, colonialism, corruption, militarism and crony-capitalism.
More than 72,000 fires have been detected burning across Brazil (40,000 in the Amazon alone) since January of this year. Many of the fires have been said to have been lit for illegal land clearing purposes by farmers and miners. Far-right Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of facilitating this growing land theft from various forest tribes, tantamount, some say, to genocide. One million Indigenous people are said to be at risk as a result.
Amongst a growing international outrage, 44,000 troops were yesterday sent in to fight the fires but there continues to be calls for international intervention.
Meanwhile, protests outside Brazilian embassies have taken place around the world.
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