Let's name the new Country Park in Warwick as "Marielle Country Park".

Let's name the new Country Park in Warwick as "Marielle Country Park".

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Almir Coelho started this petition to Warwick District Council and

Marielle Franco was a Brazilian human rights activist, sociologist, feminist, socialist, and politician. She dedicated her life and political career to defending human rights, and she served as a city councillor of the Municipal Chamber of Rio de Janeiro from January 2017 until her death.

Marielle grew up in the Maré favela, one of Rio de Janeiro’s most dangerous and poor squatter communities. A free college-prep course led to her matriculation at one of Brazil’s elite universities, where she studied social sciences and decided to pursue human rights work when one of her best friends was killed by a stray bullet during a shootout between drug dealers and police in the Maré favela.

After 10 years working in Rio’s human rights commission, she ran for city councilwoman. Her 2016 campaign, branded the Brazilian feminist color of purple, introduced 50 ideas to help women, Afro-Brazilians and the poor. When elected, she became the only black woman representative on the 51-person council and one of only seven women. Of the 19 potential laws that she introduced, two became laws.

“Her greatest victory was simply just being there and representing us,” said Jaqueline Gomes de Jesus, an Afro-Brazilian college professor who plans to run for a seat on the Brazilian congress in the October 2018 national elections. “It was a victory for all the groups who have been historically excluded. Her occupation of this space; the approval of her laws; her presence in the debates; realization of events; all of this are indicators of her success.”

On March 14th, Marielle and her driver, Anderson Gomes, were shot dead in the city centre shortly after leaving a meeting about black women empowerment – in what appears to have been a targeted assassination.

Marielle represented a threat to the racist, patriarchal, homophobic and classist authoritarian power structures. Her murder highlights the ongoing political backlash against struggles like hers; the criminalization of social movements and the rising number of political leaders being killed recently in the country.

Marielle worked for the end of the genocide of black people, an end to violence against black women, against traditional peoples and impoverished communities.

Naming the new country park as Marielle Country Park we represent our commitment to all the women who fight with courage against oppression and to support to every citizen who stands for the human rights and for a better world.

 

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