“The River is Our Street.” Intersectional Rural Protest in Brazil’s Amazon


  • Claudia Horn Brandeis University, Waltham/Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Department of International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom) https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2590-8432




Export logistics, rural development, sacrifice zones, Amazon forest, social movements, intersectionality


In Northern Brazil, the Tocantins-Araguaia industrial waterway project seeks to expand the export corridor for soy directly through the Amazon Forest, threatening to destroy ecosystems and local traditional communities’ socioeconomic base. However, dispersion, precarity, and isolation from political participation impede the collective organizing of those in rural “sacrifice zones” who are affected by this infrastructure project. This paper investigates how social movements address this difficulty, analyzing a boat caravan of labor leaders from diverse movements representing fisher, family farmer, Indigenous, Quilombola, women, youth, and church groups against the construction of the waterway. It argues that the campaign’s intersectional practices — recognizing autonomous cultural identities, building solidarity around crosscutting threats to production and social reproduction, and formulating unifying inclusive demands and alternatives — address the collective action problem in these peripheries. Moreover, the campaign reflects labor organizations’ environmentalization, i.e., the incorporation integration of regional, agrarian, and environmental justice concerns.


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How to Cite

Horn, C. (2023). “The River is Our Street.” Intersectional Rural Protest in Brazil’s Amazon. Sociologica, 17(1), 25–40. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.1971-8853/16815



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