Brazil: right-wingers demand coup, unions protest austerity

November 21, 2016
Right-wing extremists' pro-coup protest inside Brazil's parliament.

A group of right-wing extremists stormed the chamber of the lower house of the Brazilian Congress on November 16 demanding the military stage a coup to root out “institutionalised communism” in the country.

According to the BBC, the right-wing demonstrators pushed past guards, injuring some, before breaking a glass door to gain entry to the chamber.

The right-wing protest appeared to be driven by people who, raising concerns about corruption, wish to return Brazil to military rule. A bloody authoritarian dictatorship came to power in Brazil in 1964 after ousting leftist President João Goulart.

“They're giving away our country to the bandits, our wealth is going away,” said one protester, as quoted by Folha de São Paulo.

It took police more than three hours to round up the approximately 50 protesters, who were all eventually arrested.

A video posted by The Intercept showed police gently guiding a pair of protesters out of the chamber. The footage was in stark contrast to the violent actions of police against demonstrations led by left-wing forces.

Elsewhere in Brazil, thousands of public sector employees, among them police and prison guards, demonstrated against a packet of proposals introduced by Rio state’s right-wing government. The proposals include a 30% wage cut for public servants.

The demonstration ended as military police launched tear gas and engaged in violent confrontations with dozens of protesters.

The governor of Rio, Luiz Fernando Pezão, defended his proposals saying “the crisis isn’t Rio, it’s Brazil” and that the economic crisis required hard measures.

The protests continue despite a huge government crackdown on civil society opposition, which includes the arrest of key organisers of Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement.

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]

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