8216marielle-lives8217-brazil-remembers-slain-activist

(**)(***)(****)(*****)Sao Paulo, Brazil(******)(*******)(*****) – (******)(*****)”Woman, black, mother, lesbian, from the favelas, open about sexuality and Rio’s problemas, and on top of all this, a human rights activist.”(******)(********)
(***)(*****)That’s how Marielle Franco once described herself in an event in Rio de Janeiro, the city where she was elected councilwoman. And that’s also why she was killed.(******)(********)
(***)(*****)The black activist and Rio de Janeiro councilwoman was killed on March (***************************************), (********************************) in a drive-by shooting. It took police (**********************************) days to arrest and accuse two former policemen with her murder, which authorities say was politically motivated. (******)(********)
(***)(*****)A year later, thousands gathered across the country on Thursday to demand justice and answers for the real question: “Who ordered Marielle’s killing?” (******)(********)
(***)(*****)”We are all outraged, we are sad,” Monica Benicio, Marielle’s wife, told Al Jazeera. “But there’s also a feeling of courage, of hope. Because Marielle’s figure has become a symbol of resistance and the feeling of solidarity is also a big driver for the events today,” she said.(******)(********)
(***)(*****)Regarding Marielle’s case, Monica said the “real answer” is yet to be known. (******)(********)
(***)(*****)”Who pulls the trigger isn’t the only one killing,(******)” she said.(********)
(***)(*****)Marielle Franco was an outspoken defender of women, black and LGBT rights and often criticised police brutality.(******)(********)
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(***)Murder in Rio: Marielle Franco and Brazil’s media divide(********)
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(*******************)(****)(*****)’How many have to die?'(******)(*******)(********************)
(***)(*****)In Sao Paulo, hundreds gathered at the city centre to remember her. Her face plastered across numerous banners and flags and her name echoed by the voices of those demanding justice. A group of black women on top of a speaker bus, chanted, “Marielle asked and I’ll ask again, how many people have to die for things to change?” (******)(********)
(***)(*****)A few minutes later they recited the names of several slain activists and female figures in Brazillian politics. After each name the crowd replied, “present!”(******)(********)
(***)(*****)”We are not going to let her name be forgotten,” said Ediane Nascimento, one of the protesters.(******)(********)
(***)(*****)”They tried to silence us but only woke us up, now we are millions shouting ‘Marielle lives’,” she told Al Jazeera.(******)(********)
(***)(*****)Ediane, who wore a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt, is black, lesbian and comes from the suburbs “like Marielle”. (******)(********)
(***)(*****)”That’s why she’s so important to me, she represents me,” she said. (******)(********)
(***)(*****)A few metres away, a (*************************************)-year old holds a card she wrote reading, “we have to keep fighting”. (******)(********)
(***)(*****)Mayara Valeria was with her family and joined the crowd singing, “Marielle lives and we’ll always live, black women will never stop fighting.”(******)(********)
(***)(*****)”We still have a lot way to go, we atill have a lot of people dying, or trying to speak who can’t,” she said. (******)(********)
(*******************)(****)(*****)Seeds planted(******)(*******)(********************)
(***)(*****)Guilherme Boulos, leader of PSOL, Marielle’s political party, said her death inspired many black women to run in the (********************************) elections. Last year saw a record number of seats taken by black women.(******)(********)
(***)(*****)”When was killed, she planted these seeds” Boulos told Al Jazeera from the protest in Sao Paulo.(******)(********)
(***)(*****)”They killed the person but the ideals, the values Marielle represented, they cannot kill those,” he said. “Marielle’s strength and memory remain alive.”(******)(********)
(***)(*****)As night fell and thunder and rain came down, the protesters stood their ground, their fists in the air, singing songs by mostly black Brazilian artists. (******)(********)
(***)(*****)A woman with tears running down her face read one of Marielle’s most well-known quotes. (******)(********)
(***)(*****)”I want people to think where my people will be in (***********************************) years… And they need to be alive.”(******)(********)
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(*************)Marielle Franco was an outspoken defender of women, black and LGBT rights and often criticised police brutality (*)(**************)
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