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CESE Assembly visits the Ilha de Maré community

On 8th June, in the region known as Prainha, CESE’s Assembly brought together fishermen and women from Ilha de Maré with hymns and slogans, to hold an ecumenical act. The location, used by Ilha de Maré residents and tourists alike for fishing and leisure, may be destroyed by the expansion of Aratu Port. If approved, the works will cause unimaginable losses to the environment and the maintenance of marine life, and consequently for the population that takes its sustenance from the sea.

The act marked the beginning of business for CESE’s General Assembly, which discusses the organization’s guidelines and perspectives on an annual basis. Representatives from the organizations present know all too well how the fishermen and women fight for the right to demonstrate their culture and ways of life, and see the industries located around the island.
“We started our assembly here, not only to get to know you, but also to join you. This moment is very rich and with it we commit ourselves to this partnership and this fight so that you can continue your struggle for rights”, asserted Father Marcos Barbosa, CESE’s President.

During the act, the fishermen and women present talked about the mobilizations they have already undertaken against pollution in the region and how the State and the industries do not take responsibility for the environmental destruction in the area.
“This act is to demonstrate our indignation. We also want those of you who are participating at this time to publicize our struggle to try to prevent this construction. Fishermen and women take sustenance from the activities they carry out in Prainha. We are not against progress, but we are against progress which exterminates our lives”, said Marizélia Lopes, known as Nega.

At the end of the day, CESE handed over to the community the signatures of all the participants in the act, as a way of reaffirming their support to the fishermen and women.

In attendance at the assembly were representatives from organizations such as Caritas, the Centre for Bible Studies (Centro de Estudos Bíblicos: CEBI), the National Council of Christian Churches of Brazil (Conselho Nacional de Igrejas Cristãs do Brasil: CONIC), the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil: IEAB), the United Presbyterian Church of Brazil (Igreja Presbiteriana Unida do Brasil: IPU), the Alliance of Baptists of Brazil (Aliança de Batistas do Brasil: ABB), the Roman Apostolic Catholic Church (Igreja Católica Apostólica Romana: ICAR), the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil (Igreja Evangélica de Confissão Luterana do Brasil: IECLB) and the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil (Igreja Presbiteriana Independente do Brasil: IPIB), as well as members of all of CESE’s teams (administrative, financial, projects, training and communication).

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