Black activists interrupt Congressional homage to Princess Isabel, whose signature abolished slavery in 1888; black resistance played huge role in abolition

MNU - Isabel - protest

Note from BW of BrazilThe rumblings of revolt began about a week and a half ago. Congressmen Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of President Jair Bolsonaro, Luiz Philippe de Orleans and Bragança and Delegado Waldir, all from the President’s PSL party, stirred up the pot again by announcing that they would be holding a solemn session in the Federal Câmara (House of Representatives) to pay homage to Princesa Isabel who 131 years ago last May 13th, signed what is known as the Golden Law, officially ending slavery in Brazil. As activists and historians of the Movimento Negro (black movement) know very well, abolition didn’t happen simply because the Emperor’s daughter signed her name on a piece of paper. But, as Brazilian history is always told from the perspective of the winners, black resistance that led to eventual abolition is ALWAYS ignored.

The monarchy at the time, the driving force behind the longest-lasting slave regime in the Americas, only moved to end this institution because of the great force of international pressure, the abolitionist movement, various slave revolts and so many slaves either escaping slaving or buying their own freedom. Congresswoman Benedita da Silva broke this down quite well shortly after the session was announced. Ignoring this real history shows that those in power today simply represent the same slave holding forces on the 16th to late 19th century.

Afro-Brazil’s activists weren’t gonna just let this happen without a challenge, so….. 

Com faixa de Marielle, Movimento interrompe homenagem a Princesa Isabel na Câmara

With Marielle banner, Movimento Negro interrupts tribute to Princess Isabel in the Congress

With a banner of the face of slain councilwoman Marielle Franco (PSol/RJ), murdered by militiamen in Rio de Janeiro in 2018, and shouts of “stop killing us,” the members of the black movement entered the plenary during the session. Supporters of the homage paid by Eduardo Bolsonaro and Luis Phillipe de Orleans e Bragança called the demonstration “victimism” (playing the victim) and “mimimi” (whining)

Courtesy of Revista Fórum

Members of the Black Movement took part in the plenary session of the Câmara Federal (Congress), and on Tuesday morning (14) they adjourned the solemn session proposed by Congressmen Eduardo Bolsonaro and Luis Phillipe de Orleans e Bragança, PSL/SP, in honor of Princess Isabel for 131 years of the act sanctioned by the monarch that officialized the abolition of slavery.

Luis Phillipe Orleans e Bragança e Eduardo Bolsonaro, que farão homenagem a princesa Isabel (Montagem)
Congressman Luis Phillipe Orleans e Bragança and Eduardo Bolsonaro announced a session to pay homage to Princesa Isabel for the abolition of slavery on May 13, 1888

With a banner of the face of councilwoman Marielle Franco (PSol/RJ), murdered by militiamen in Rio de Janeiro in 2018, and shouts of “stop killing us,” the members of the black movement entered the plenary during the session. The supporters of the tribute called the demonstration of “vitimismo” (playing the victim) and “mimimi” (whining).

Onone side, sympathizers of the monarchy shouted the name of Princess Isabel. On the other, protesters shouted for Marielle. The session had to be interrupted for a few minutes.

Congresswoman Talíria Perone (PSOL/RJ) published on her Twitter a message on the act. “The moment when the black movement interrupted the solemn session in “homage” to the Lei Áurea (Golden Law) that was called by the deputies Oleans Bragança and Eduardo Bolsonaro. It didn’t come from the hands of Isabel! Resistance! #FalsaAbolição” (FalseAbolition).

“The moment when the black movement interrupted the solemn session in “homage” to the Lei Áurea (Golden Law) that was called by the deputies Oleans Bragança and Eduardo Bolsonaro.

It didn’t come from the hands of Isabel! Resistance! #FalsaAbolição pic.twitter.com/c3Gy5PVceT

– Taliria Petrone (@taliriapetrone) May 14, 2019

Heir to the monarchy

The solemn session in honor of Princess Isabel was summoned by the son of Jair Bolsonaro and the “heir” of the throne, the monarch’s great-great grandchildren. “131 years ago, my great grandmother, Princess Isabel of Brazil, signed the Golden Law, which decreed the liberation of the slaves in the country. I invite everyone to a solemn session that will pay tribute,” tweeted Congressman Orleans e Bragança, with an image of the invitation.

The date on which the end of slavery was officially decreed in Brazil, however, is not celebrated by the black movement. The reason is the treatment given to those who became former slaves in the country.

“The celebration of the signing of the Golden Law by Princess Isabel on May 13 is disrespectful with the historical struggle of the black movements and incompatible with the constitutional principles of equality and non-discrimination,” affirm Elisiane Santos and Ludmila Reis Brito Lopes, Labor Prosecutors, members of the Working Group of Race of COORDIGUALDADE – National Coordination for the Promotion of Equality of Opportunities and Elimination of Discrimination at Work of the Public Ministry of Labor, in an article on the Geledés website on Monday (13).

Source: Revista Fórum

About Marques Travae 3142 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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