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River Silence

Looking through the TV guide I came across the documentary River Silence (YouTube trailer here) – a Rogerio Soares Award winning 2019 film that paints a painfully vivid portrait of the more than 40,000 indigenous residents of the Amazon Basin whose lives have been shattered by construction of the controversial Belo Monte, one of the world’s largest dams. As a result of the project, the people who used to live along the banks of the Xingu River saw their homes flooded, forcing them to relocate to nearby cities that are overrun by unemployment and increasing violence. 

For centuries the capitalist class have been forcing people off land they have lived on since time immemorial when they see a chance to make a buck. As bad as this is, however, it doesn’t mean that all capitalists and their political stooges are mean and cruel. Take Henry Kissinger, for instance. When the Nixon administration were discussing nuclear testing in Micronesia and the effect it would have on the locals, he said: ‘There are only 90,000 people out there. Who gives a damn?’ (Daniel Immerwahr, How To Hide An Empire: A History of the Greater United States, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019).

Steve Shannon, Socialist Party of Canada