A Message from the Heart of the Amazon

posted by Rainforest Action Network

This morning Andrea, Atossa and I climbed out of bed as the sun was rising on the first day of the World Social Forum to go lay out an image 180 feet wide and 240 feet long on a muddy field under the creative leadership of  John Quigley with our friends. We had 4 hours before 1500 people from over 50 Indigenous Nations would come and fill in the lines drawn with tape on the ground with their bodies, sending their message to the world. The message came from long conversations over months with COIAB (the Federation of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon), COICA (Indigenous Organization of the Amazon Basin), Amazon Alliance, Amazon Watch and RAN, among others. Last night, Marcos Apurina, the vice coordinator of COIAB issued a formal statement explaining why we we all here:

With the permission of our ancestors’ spirits, we indigenous peoples are here with our friends from all corners of the earth. With our bodies we build this symbol as the cry of living beings from this green forest, this planet, for our continuity as humans and diverse creatures. The symbol of the bow and arrow has three meanings: The first, our aim that every man, woman, and child will decide to care for our planet; The second, the position of defending the rights of indigenous peoples, of nature, of the planet, and of our home the Amazon; The third, to send a message to the world so that each of us helps to protect our home, our air, our water, our food; The Datsiparabu ceremony is the purification of our minds, our spirit, our soul, our hearts. Save the Amazon!

check out the press release

Photo by Lou Dematteis/Spectral Q
Photo by Lou Dematteis/Spectral Q


More than a thousand indigenous peoples from around the world send an urgent message to save the Amazon in Belem, Brazil, on January 27, at the start of the World Social Forum.