Thousands of people marched in São Paulo to pressure the Brazilian government to do something about the burning Amazon Rainforest. Here’s what it looked like on the ground.

People protest in São Paulo, Brazil, on Friday, August 23, 2019.

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People protest in São Paulo, Brazil, on Friday, August 23, 2019.
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Ana Rovati/Insider

  • Thousands of people marched in São Paulo Friday night to demand action to help the burning Amazon Rainforest.
  • The demonstration began at the São Paulo Museum of Art on Paulista Avenue, where many protests often begin in the city.
  • The march was full of art, music, and many creative signs. Here’s what it looked like on the ground.
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SAO PAULO, Brazil – Thousands of people filled the streets on Friday to pressure the the Brazilian government to fight the forest fires that are ravaging the Amazon Rainforest, often called the “lungs of the planet.”

Friday night, following pressure from his own people and the international community, and after weeks of spreading misinformation about the fires, President Jair Bolsonaro said he would send the army to fight them and prevent deforestation.

See what the demonstration in São Paulo looked like on the ground, with thousands calling to protect the precious Amazônia.


The demonstration began at the São Paulo Museum of Art, and art featured in the protest. Here, kids paint to encourage preserving the Amazon Rainforest.

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A young man held up a quote from Chief Seattle, a leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish tribes in the 1800s: “The Earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the Earth.” The chief is the namesake for Seattle, Washington.

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Sources: California State University, Northridge; Seattle Times


A group of young people held signs side-by-side. One reads, “Fire on racism, not in Amazonia.”

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People screamed words pro-Amazônia and anti-Bolsonaro. Late Friday night, the Brazilian president announced he would send the army to fight the forest fires.

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Source: Al Jazeera


Police in yellow vests and white helmets positioned themselves in front of the art museum before people started to walk along Paulista Avenue.

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“Urban tribe, for Amazônia, show yourself. Put on your mask,” this man’s sign said, seen at the beginning of the protest in front of the museum. Many protesters wore masks.

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Many people holding signs lined up by the museum, waiting to start walking along Paulista Avenue, a common origin for demonstrations in the city.

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The avenue filled up with people waving flags, signs, and banners.

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This large sign reads: “Burn fascist, not forests.”

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Many police officers were also present during the protest.

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People shouted, calling for the government to protect Amazônia.

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A big group of people who were shouting words to protect the rainforest and against Bolsonaro carried a banner that read, “Amazônia is from the people!”

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Many kids attended the protest with their parents.

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This woman had a message for Bolsonaro and US President Donald Trump in English.

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There were multiple English posters to draw international attention to the Amazônia fire. People participated in sister protests outside Brazilian embassies in London, Paris, Mexico City, Berlin, and more.

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Sources: Al Jazeera, Newsweek


Art and culture featured in the protest, too.

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This woman proudly held up a a handmade poster, full of the names of animals and trees from the rainforest.

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This Brazilian flag has the Portuguese word for “death” written across it.

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Multiple signs mentioned a “fascist” situation in Brazil.

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This art piece visualized the planet burning.

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The avenue was full by nightfall.

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This woman held up Brazil’s flag during the protest, as people started entering Augusta Street.

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This girl painted “SOS” on her forehead.

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There was even the feeling of protest in the fashion, like this jean jacket with singer and Civil Rights activist Nina Simone on it.

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Music was part of the protest, too. Different bands played on the street, and people sang.

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Here, another band plays.

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“Your steak is the cause of Amazônia destruction,” this sign says in Portuguese. Clearing the rainforest for cattle farming is a major cause of the fires and deforestation.

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Source: CNN


“Demarcation now,” this poster says, highlighting a big problem of Bolsonaro’s government: the demarcation of indigenous land, to guarantee their right to it. About 400 tribes live in the Amazon.

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Sources: Instituto Socioambiental, Survival


Along the way, on the road Alameda Tiete, a wall was filled with protest words.

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“Amazônia viva!” a woman wrote on the wall.

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The protest was made up of different people, from different religions, styles, and cultures, but all with a common point: Protect Amazônia from everybody who doesn’t care — including the Brazilian president.

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