StreetNet stands in solidarity with Brazilian street vendors affected by deadly floods: climate change is a class issue! 

By StreetNet Media
May 17, 2024
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Southern Brazil has been hit by a devastating flood earlier this month, and the destruction and damage is persisting. Dozens of towns in the state of Rio Grande do Sul have been turned into rivers, more than 140 people have lost their lives and over 600,000 have been displaced from their homes.

StreetNet and our affiliate in Brazil, UNICAB, call for international solidarity with the Brazilian street and market vendors. According to UNICAB, at least 3000 vendors have been affected in the state capital of Porto Alegre, but the number is likely underestimated and doesn’t even account for vendors in other cities – it will probably rise in the coming weeks.

Climate change and climate related disasters have the most severe consequences on the most vulnerable populations, including the urban poor, and particularly street vendors, who are often forgotten when disaster strikes. Street and market vendors, hawkers and informal traders are not only losing their homes as a result of the floods, but also their places of work, as there are basically no more streets to sell on in many cities of the affected area. Moreover, the weather remains unstable and unpredictable, and there is no foreseeable plan for reconstruction: the people will likely suffer from this tragedy for many months, even years, to come. Since street and market vendors live from hand to mouth, they do not even have the resources to restart their lives and relaunch their businesses after the storms pass.

We are witnessing climate change effects all over the world: floods, cyclones, and heatwaves have devastating effects on workers who occupy public space, such as street vendors. The physical and mental health consequences on workers are and will be likely long-term. StreetNet encourages all the partners, allies and supporters of street vendors to rally in solidarity with the Brazilian population. We also keep pushing global institutions and public international authorities to develop sustainable climate policies who take into account the needs and voices of the global working class and the workers in the informal economy: climate change is a class struggle issue, and it is now becoming more evident than ever. 

Nothing for us without us!

DONATE NOW to our crowdfunding campaign to support street vendors in Brazil – click here!

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