Marchers mourn loss of Amazon rainforest destroyed by fire

Ignacio Calderon

By Ignacio Calderon, Photojournalist

Hundreds of marchers dressed in black marched downtown Thursday to mourn the damage caused by the Amazon rainforest fires.

Organizers from Extinction Rebellion Chicago and Articulation of Indigenous People of Brazil organized the march and also saw the event as a call to action from across the globe.

The march began at the Consulate General of Brazil, 401 N. Michigan Ave., and ended at the AT&T Center, 227 W. Monroe St. After protesters were denied entrance to the building they proceeded to their final act—everyone laid on the floor while chanting “No forest, no life.”

The protestors wanted entrance to the AT&T Center, also known as The Franklin Center, because the Chicago office of BlackRock is housed in the building. BlackRock is an investor in JBS, the world’s biggest meatpacking corporation that has contributed to the Amazon fires, as reported Aug. 28 by The Chronicle.

Juliana Guimarães Philipp, who was born in Santarém, Brazil, and works at The Field Museum, delivered a speech expressing concerns that the fires could have everlasting, global impact. She demanded a response from governments and corporations around the world.

“This Amazon is the air everybody breathes; the Amazon raises food not only for us but for everybody else in the planet,” she said.

Robert Grillo, founder and director of the animal advocacy group Free from Harm, also attended the event. His objective is to educate people about what is happening in the Amazon.

Grillo said the connection between meat consumption and the rainforest fires is that farming has caused much of the rainforest’s deforestation. However, Grillo does not only want people to talk about this, but to act.

“If you really mean what you say, then stop buying meat,” Grillo said. “If you really mean what you say, put up a boycott.”