The cry of the excluded in Brazil: Voices of the Most Vulnerable in Belo Horizonte and Campinas on Independence Day

On September 7, we celebrate Brazil’s independence, and as a counterpart, in many cities of the country, parallel to the independence celebrations, the occasion is used to hold some demonstrations in favor of human rights, especially for the most needy.

These demonstrations originated in 1994 as a counterpoint to the celebration of independence, which, according to the organizations behind the initiative, has never been completely independent. In addition to questioning the standards of independence, the actions of the “Grito dos Excluidos/as” (Cry for the “Grito dos Excluidos/as” (Cry of the Excluded) seek to promote a reflection on a country that needs to be fairer and with opportunities for all Brazilians without any kind of distinction.

This year we celebrated the 29th Grito with the theme: “Life First”. The central question was, “What are you hungry for?” Posters with numerous expressions on this issue accompanied the walk. There were also many shouts of protest, among which “Fora a Zema” (out with Zema) predominated. Zema is the governor of the State of Minas Gerais who is trying to privatize everything, electricity, water services, he even wants to build a bypass to favor the passage of his ore trucks and… many other actions that favor the powerful and are detrimental to the poor people.

This year we had the opportunity to participate as a Vedruna family, in the communities of Belo Horizonte and Campinas, together with many lay people and the people in general with whom we are in the struggle for a more just country where rights are respected.

Srs. Maria do Socorro Vieira and Virma Barion