Mobilising support example:
Make trouble march
|Organisation||Coletivo Incomode (Make trouble collective)|
|Type||Network of youth cultural groups, social movements and community leaders|
SummaryIn June 2019, the Make Trouble Collective carried out a number of actions aimed at contributing to the fight against genocide, mass incarceration, extermination and femicide of black youth, in particular in the Railway Suburb district of Salvador, held around the “Municipal Day Against the Incarceration of Black Youth” (20 June). Fundraising, awareness raising, training, advocacy and denunciations took place through the second Make Trouble March and in Round Table Dialogues, Workshops, Arts Events and a Public Hearing.
To attain its objectives, a series of strategies and activities were carried out, such as: the mobilisation of partners and stakeholders to plan activities; a Make Trouble Collective mobilisation meeting; preparatory meetings to conduct activities; preparation of communication/mobilisation materials; training of groups to establish dialogue with the public authorities and a preparatory meeting for the public hearing.
During the Make Trouble March, on June 18, 2019, hundreds of young people marched from the neighbourhood of Lobato to São Bartolomeu Park to protest against the genocide and hyper-incarceration of young black people in Bahia. The march took place for the second consecutive year, leading countless families to complain about repeated cases of homicide and disappearances of young people during police operations in Salvador’s peripheral communities. At the end of the march, the young people came together in the São Bartolomeu Park for a Make Trouble Arts Event, with artistic presentations from the groups, including poetry, dance and hip-hop. It is worth noting that one of the activities that propelled the Make Trouble Marches was participation of young people from the Collective in the Change the Game Academy Mobilising Support course in 2017, promoted by the Coordenadoria Ecumênica de Serviço: CESE, in partnership with Terre des Hommes Schweiz and Terre des Hommes Suisse.
As a result, more than 700 people were involved in activities with the march, two round table dialogues, six workshops and an arts event addressing the themes of black youth genocide, hypercarceration and femicide; black younth, youth organisations and those that work with young people, in particular from the Railway Suburb district, were better mobilised and qualified to contribute to denunciations and public policies about these issues; there were also advocacy activities to put pressure on the public authorities, holding a Public Hearing in the Bahia State Legislative Assembly and a bill, passing through the Legislative Assembly of Bahia, to create a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito: CPI) to investigate the extermination of young black people in Bahia.
According to the 2019 Atlas of Violence, produced by the Institute of Applied Economics and the Brazilian Forum on Public Safety, Bahia is one of 15 Brazilian states with above average youth homicide rates. While the rate in Brazil is 69.9 murders for every 100 thousand young people, in Bahia this is 119.8 homicides for the same group. The study also demonstrates that in 2017, 75.5% of victims of homicides in Brazil were black (the sum of black and mixed race individuals, according to the classification of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. From 2007 to 2017, the homicide rate for black people rose by 33.1%, while that for white people only increased by 3.3%. Young people and blacks are also the majority among the prison population in Brazil, which in 2016 reached a total of 726.7 thousand, according to data from the National Survey of Penitentiary Information. More than half of this population was made up of young people, aged between 18 and 29 years old; 64% were black. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Brazil has the fifth highest femicide rate of 84 nations, with the alarming fact of one woman killed every two hours. According to the 2019 Atlas of Violence, 66% of all women murdered in the country are black. Between 2007 and 2017, the non-black female homicide rate rose by 1.6%, while that for black women increased by 29.9%.
These facts and data highlight the problems of genocide, mass incarceration, extermination and feminicide of the black population, especially youth, revealing the historical inequality and social and racial segregation in the country that affect the black population, legacy also of the institution of slavery in Brazil.
This also demonstrates the difficulty that the Brazilian state has to guarantee the universality of its public policies. The precarious access to basic social rights such as education, health, urban mobility, work, leisure, culture, is one of the factors that contribute to the growth of violence, especially that practiced by the state itself.
And it also shows that institutional racism systematically imposes poverty as the urbanisation pattern of peripheral communities and does not provide an opportunity for equal access to power structures and to guarantee the full exercise of citizenship. Inequalities persist even with the advancement of some legislation and programs, such as the Racial Equality Statute (Law 12.888 / 2010), the Maria da Penha Law (Law 11.340 / 2006) and the latest Law 13.104 / 2015, which provides for femicide as a qualifying circumstance of the crime of homicide and includes it in the list of heinous crimes.
This scenario is even more worrying given recent legislative proposals in Brazil to facilitate access to and the carrying of arms, and the creation of an “anti-crime package” which will aggravate Brazil’s police lethality and will impact more directly on the most vulnerable populations, such as the black population and the poor.
There are many challenges and much action to be taken to confront the problems of genocide, mass incarceration, extermination and the femicide of the young black population. For example, it is necessary to draft specific public policies and implement existing ones, such as compliance with the Racial Equality Statute and the Child and Adolescent Statute; expanding the debate about the policy to combat drugs and public safety, which criminalises the black population, in particular black youth; action to mobilise and raise awareness among young people; the monitoring and surveying of lethal activities that affect the black population; improving mechanisms for reporting and investigation; raising the profile of data about the genocide and incarceration of the population, and stimulating and valuing of young black people’s social-cultural activities; maintaining and extending reparatory activities and policies for equity and equality of opportunity.
The Make Trouble Collective’s actions are principally aimed at activities to mobilise and raise awareness among black young people, to make denunciations and increase visibility, to monitor lethal activities, to run round table dialogues, workshops, marches and arts events in Salvador, Bahia, particularly involving organisations from Salvador’s Railway Suburb district, as well as advocacy to put pressure on the legislative authorities with public hearings for the creation of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for violent crimes against young people.
Which stakeholders (NGO’s, government, private sector) did you identify as allies and how did you involve them?
Allied stakeholders are in general social movements, civil society organisations and networks, grassroots movements, public sector bodies, with some groups involved in direct action, while others are potential allies of the cause, as we will see:
- Cipó Interactive Communication (mobilising organisation of the Black Youth and Political Participation Project), Railway Suburb Popular Culture Movement), Railway Suburb Hip Hop Collective, Bahia Homeless Movement, Pajeú Organisation, Suburb Forum of Art and Culture, Joanes Leste Housing Estate Residents’ Association, Itapagipe Network of Protagonists in Action, I and I Unit, Collective of Black Organisations, groups which collaborate in the coordination, mobilisation and organisation of activities.
- Plataforma Cultural Centre, Alagados Cultural Centre, collaborating and providing space for some of the training activities.
- Quilombo Journal, publicising activities.
- Luiz Bairros Collective (involving black teachers, technicians, civil servants and students from the Federal University of Bahia) made aware of the theme and participating in round table dialogues.
- State of Bahia Public Defender’s Office, through the General Ombudsman, made aware of the theme and participating in round table dialogues.
- Public Prosecutor’s Office made aware of the theme and participating in some activities.
- Members of Parliament linked to causes for the defence of black youth, mobilised to participate in hearings.
- Commission for the Promotion of Racial Equality and Human Rights Commission of the State of Bahia’s Legislative Assembly, made aware of the theme and receiving demands about the creation of the State Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry to investigate Intentional Lethal Violent Crimes.
- Civil society organisations and social movements which work in the anti-racist struggle, in the defence of youth and combatting violence against women; universities; those identified as potential allies since they are sensitised to positive changes in the operational conditions of civil society.
- Other broader allies of the cause, such as organisations that network around the National Agency for the Release of Prisoners, demanding a broader grassroots programme for the the release of prisoners and demilitarisation of the police, politics and life.
Which stakeholders did you identify as neutral and how did you mobilise them?
- The general population and some civil society organisations, in particular in the Railway Suburb district, who do not possess the information or denunciation mechanisms about the genocide, mass incarceration, extermination and femicide of black youth. Mobilised for participation in marches, arts events and round table dialogue.
- Some members of parliament, members of arenas for debate and/or the definition of public policies, but who do not act directly for the defence of black youth policies. For example, members of the State of Bahia’s Legislative Assembly who were mobilised through advocacy activities, such as meetings, public hearings and the delivery of documents requesting the creation, for example, of a State Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry to investigate Intentional Lethal Violent Crimes.
Which stakeholders did you identify as opponents and why were they opposed?
- Some conservative members of parliament, in particular linked to the security forces.
- The State of Bahia’s Public Security Forces, responsible for cases of institutional violence against black youth.
- Some representatives of the public authorities, in particular from the public security forces, who are not interested in debating changes to public security or drug policies, or to the prison system.
How did you involve your beneficiaries in the stakeholder analysis/campaign?
Black young people were involved in the social mobilisation and citizenship participation processes; agencies and organisations that work in the anti-racist and black youth empowerment struggle, participating in mobilisation and training activities on the day of the march. Involvement therefore took different forms, such as planning and organisation, in fundraising committees and commissions to prepare the activities; coordination/mobilisation of other organisations and civil society networks, participating in the march and round table dialogues, arts events, training workshops and advocacy arenas, such as public hearings, with the public authorities.
Short description of the organisation implementing the action/campaign
The Make Trouble Collective is made up of youth cultural groups, social movements and community leaders working in the struggle against racism and the genocide of the black population in Salvador, Bahia, creating an arena for collective action and the organisation of youth groups, particularly in the Railway Suburg (Subúrbio Ferroviário) district, in order to contribute to combatting and monitoring of lethal actions that affect the black population in general, but black youth in particular. The Collective also emerged from certain youth mobilisations already taking place through the “Projeto Juventude Negra e Participação Política” (Black Youth and Political Participation Project), coordinated by CIPÓ.
Since then the Make Trouble Collective works in mobilisation and community training, in schools and public arenas, focused on qualifying young people on ethno-racial, gender and public safety themes; the preparation of communication and audio-visual materials; and advocacy activities such as at public hearings, to raise the public authorities’ awareness of cases of the violation of the rights of black youth and to propose public policies. Some of the Collective’s main advocacy activities were related to contributing, with other organisations in the city, to the approval of the Racial Equality Statute in the municipality of Salvador; and currently the creation of a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito: CPI) in Bahia’s Legislative Assembly to investigate the extermination of black youth.
March to June 2019
1. To promote the mobilisation and strengthening of black youth and the Make Trouble Collective, through training and awareness raising activities such as round table dialogues, workshops and an arts event.
2. To contribute to denunciations and greater visibility for the genocide of black youth, hyper-incarceration and femicide agenda, through the Make Trouble March and other training activities.
3. Collaborate for the creation of a State Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, which investigates intentional lethal violent crimes, by mobilising the public authorities and holding public audiences in the Legislative Assembly.
1.1. Black youth, in particular from the Railway Suburb district, more mobilised and qualified to contribute to denunciations and public policies about the mass incarceration agenda and the struggle against the extermination of black youth, as well as about femicide, religious hatred and sexual diversity.
1.2. Greater visibility for cultural activities led by black youth.
2.1 Approximately 700 people made aware of the themes of the genocide of black youth, hyper-incarceration and femicide, in particular those from organizations in the Railway Suburb district, with the march held on June 18, 2019.
2.2 Journalism, including corporate broadcasters (or conventional media) and independent media, contemplating points of view contrary to the themes of the genocide of black youth, hyper-incarceration and femicide.
3. Public Audience held in the Legislative Assembly on June 11, 2019, “The price of your neglect is my life: the mass incarceration of black youth”, with the referral of demands; and the bill passing through the Legislative Assembly of Bahia to create a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito: CPI) to investigate the extermination of young black people in Bahia.
Description of preparatory activities
1. Mobilisation of partners and stakeholders for action planning.
2. Make Trouble Collective mobilisation meeting.
3. Preparatory meetings for the march, round table dialogue, workshops and arts event.
4. Preparation of publicity/mobilisation materials.
5. Formation of groups to establish dialogue with the public authorities (Commission for the Promotion of Racial Equality and Human Rights Commission of the Bahia Legislative Assembly) and preparatory meetings for the public hearing.
Description of implementation
1. Realisation of two round table dialogues, six workshops, one march and an arts event, with 700 people involved in activities about the genocide of black youth, hyper-incarceration and femicide, as well as cultural activities led by black youth.
2. “Seminar on the Make Trouble Collective’s symbology and identity! Going forward with our Afro-Brazilian quilombo identity and in networks!” held on May 11, 2019.
3. Distribution of publicity/mobilisation material for the activities.
4. Public hearing held at the Legislative Assembly on June 11, 2019, “The price of your neglect is my life: the mass incarceration of black youth”.
Description of time investment
Description of costs in R$:
Food (snacks and water) – R$ 3,000.00
Transport – R$ 2,500.00
Communication materials – R$ 2,800.00
Educational/teaching materials – R$ 800.00
Advertising car (with sound system) – R$ 500.00
Total = R$ 9,600.00
1. It should be noted that financial expenditure was, in fact, greater than indicated above, since the Make Trouble Collective obtained support from partners for some of these expenditure items, as well as for other non-financial expenditure (loan of equipment, provision of space to run activities, volunteer services or services in partnership with consultants, workshop instructors, photographers, etc.).
2. Moreover the organisation and coordinating team also dedicated many working hours to planning, preparing and running activities, contacting potential partners and the public authorities, amongst others.
As a result, the Make Trouble Collective is in a mobilising phase with deputies and members of parliament related to the bill in progress at Bahia’s Legislative Assembly for the creation of a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito: CPI), which will investigate the extermination of young black people in Bahia. This is a victory for their political advocacy activities since 2016, with four public hearings (three at the Legislative Assembly and one for the general population). The establishment of a CPI is one of the Collective’s main objectives, since it exposes the severity of the facts, determines responsibilities and demands a position from the State. Before the end of 2019, they intend to run campaigns to put pressure on members of parliament to approve the CPI, precisely as they have done with other activities, emphasising the importance and effects of advocacy activities for the strengthening of the rights of black youth in Salvador’s Railway Suburb district.
As a further result of these activities, other organisations that work with young people have held new meetings, training and hearings on the theme of the genocide of black youth. There has also been an increase in the participation of youth groups in the Make Trouble Collective, which has also acted as an arena to welcome mothers and victims of institutional violence.
Furthermore, the Collective considers that the community of Lobato, which has a significantly high level of violence, is more vigilant. In the same way, they think there has been a change in the modus operandi of public security agents in schools.