It is with a heavy heart that we write to you today to honor the life of Marielle Franco, a fierce Black, Queer, feminist leader from Brazil who was murdered last Wednesday, March 14th. Marielle Franco was a city council member representing the Maré Favela in Rio de Janeiro, where she grew up. She was outspoken against police brutality and the criminalization of poor and working class black communities in Brazil. She stood for women’s rights, worker’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and the rights of all marginalized peoples.
Today marks the 109th year anniversary of International Women’s Day (IWD)! Around the world people are celebrating how far we have come, but also reflecting on all that is left to do in the fight for gender justice. As the current dialogue about women’s rights continues to grow, as shown by the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements, we want to be sure to push the conversation further. Today, and always, we honor the long and global history of feminist resistance and we emphasize the importance of reclaiming feminism for the grassroots.
This past weekend, armed and organized white supremacists converged on Charlottesville, Virginia to promote their racist, patriarchal & xenophobic ideologies, and perpetrated deadly attacks on our people. We are deeply saddened and outraged by the violent terror being waged on Black, Latina, Queer, Immigrant, Indigenous, Jewish, Muslim and people of color and oppressed communities across the nation.
In the wake of the violent tragedy on public transit in Portland, Oregon last Friday, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance supports OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon in calling on TriMet to demilitarize transit police, in favor of a community-defined, transit ambassador model which de-escalates crises, protects safety without deadly weapons, and provides resources for riders in need.