WelCom October 2020
The fight against poverty and social inequalities, as well as harsh criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, dictated this year’s ‘Cry of the Excluded’ protests. Despite the ongoing pandemic, several cities had live demonstrations in September to mark the annual event, sponsored by the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference. The Bishops’ Letter to Catholics says: ‘We are in difficult times. The coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) has already killed thousands of people; thousands of families are suffering from having lost loved ones. Unfortunately, there is an omission on the part of the Brazilian government, unwillingness to resolve health issues.’ This year’s motto was ‘Enough of misery, prejudice and repression! We want work, land, housing and participation!’
Protests were held in at least 15 of the 27 Brazilian states, and many dioceses held virtual events to mark the occasion, already in its 26th year. Protesters also participated in religious celebrations, held meetings with the homeless, distributed food baskets and hygiene materials and planted trees.