People Around the World reunited to Honor Brazilian Human Rights Activist: Marielle Franco

Interdisciplinary cultural diplomacy events organized worldwide on March 14th, 2019

March 18th, 2019
Margareta Calugher, News from Berlin
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From Rio de Janeiro, to Berlin, Melbourne and other cities around the world, on March 14th, memorials, cultural and political events, exhibitions and demonstrations were organized to commemorate Marielle Franco’s Legacy.

After her assassination on 14th of March last year, Marielle has become an international symbol of resistance and grace.  As she described herself, Marielle was a "Woman, black, mother, lesbian, from the favelas, open about sexuality and Rio's problems, and on top of all this, a human rights activist."

In Rio de Janeiro, the day of 14th of March was filled with activities, flowers, flags, and banners commemorating Marielle Franco. The celebrations concluded with a political and cultural demonstration in Cinelândia Square, including a series of cultural manifestations, from jongo cirles to urban dance performances and poetry battles. Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) city councilor Tarcísio Motta and representatives Renata Souza, Mônica Francisco, Flávio Serafini, and Glauber Braga paid tribute to Marielle by placing on the steps of the Rio de Janeiro State Legislative Assembly (ALERJ) 365 sunflowers, the symbol of Marielle’s campaign. On the same day, the Human Rights Commission of the Rio de Janeiro State Legislative Assembly (ALERJ) held its first meeting of the year and approved the proposal to grant Marielle Franco the Dandara Prize.

In Berlin, demonstrators gathered to seek justice for Marielle and demanded the guarantee of land rights for small farmers and indigenous peoples. In Lisbon, Portugal, approximately 300 people gathered in Praça Luís de Camões to commemorate Marielle. In Brussels, the façade of the Mission of Brazil to the European Union was graffitied with words demanding the truth about the Brazilian government’s involvement in Marielle’s death. In London, United Kingdom, a demonstration took place in front of the Brazilian Embassy. In Paris, France, a vigil was held in honor of human rights defenders with the presence of writer and black intellectual Conceição Evaristo.

In Melbourne, Australia, approximately 100 people, Brazilians and local activists, gathered in front of the State Library of Victoria. In Buenos Aires, demonstrators gathered in honor of Marielle at the Obelisk and changed the name of the Rio de Janeiro metro station to “Rio de Janeiro-Marielle Franco” station. In the United States, there were discussions on black feminisms, structural racism and Marielle’s Legacy at New York University, at Princeton University and at the UCLA and at Brown University.


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