Protesters take over entrance to Brazil’s presidency

Protesters take over entrance to Brazil’s presidency

Protesters take over entrance to Brazil’s presidency Hundreds of indigenous people and traditional fishermen occupied the veranda outside the entrance to Brazil’s presidential palace on Nov. 22.

The demonstrators, many wearing tribal outfits, sang, danced and beat drums under the long veranda roof outside the sleek Palacio do Planalto building where President Michel Temer has his offices, AFP reported.

Police with batons and Tasers blocked off the entrance.

The protesters included members of indigenous groups who want the government to officially recognize the borders of their ancestral lands, so that they can be protected against ever-encroaching farmers. They also protested laws that would give foreign buyers access to their lands.

Small-scale fishing communities were represented to demand greater rights in their traditional waters.

Temer, who came to power in August after the impeachment of leftist president Dilma Rousseff, had vowed to impose sweeping austerity reforms and business-friendly measures to try and drag Brazil out of recession. 

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 public workers protested in front of Rio de Janeiro’s state legislature on Nov. 22 as lawmakers prepared to vote on steep austerity measures that many fear could exacerbate a deteriorating security situation and cause myriad other problems, The Associated Press reported.

Temer also met with state governors who have been seeking federal help to keep their own struggling administrations afloat. One of the states declared a financial emergency.

The developments underscored the challenge of reviving Latin America’s largest economy at a time of large deficits and increasing angst among Brazilians.