This movement was started by people who have been historically denied access to public space, including people of color, the poor, members of the LGBTQ community and women. But now, for the first time in decades, Brazilians of all classes, genders, races and sexualities are learning what these people have always lived with.
Black Brazilians have long known the results of police brutality, watching as their young men are systematically killed through police or drug-related violence. Brazilian women are all too familiar with the fact that their presence in public space is often dictated by the men occupying it at the time. Queer and trans* people in Brazil risk their safety every time they leave the house as out members of the LGBTQ community.
Change is coming to Brazil. But it’s up to us to change it into the Brazil we want. Will #changebrazil co-opt the movement into an attack on government corruption while ignoring the needs of the poor and marginalized who have been organizing for decades?
Because there are many movements in Brazil that were never “sleeping.” Perhaps Brazil as a unified country is waking up, but women, queer people, indigenous groups, Afro-Brazilians and landless workers couldn’t afford to take a nap.
For more on why this is also a women’s movement and how to be an ally in the movement, check out the full post.