Hundreds of Landless Smash Windows and Invade Brazilian Congress

A group of around 300 Brazilian landless peasants broke into the congressional building in Brazilian capital BrasÀ­lia to protest against the slow pace of Brazil’s agrarian reform.

The protestors used a car, which was being raffled outside congress, to smash the building’s windows, before heading to the lobby outside the plenary where they broke more public property and hit those who interfered with their invasion. They stayed camped inside congress during part of the afternoon.

Congressional leaders thought about calling the Military Police, but preferred to deal with the incident using their own security force. At least 15 security guards were attacked and hurt by the protestors.

The House’s first aid services treated 20 people. Initial reports informed that one was gravely hurt after being hit by a stone in the head. He was taken to the hospital.

Carlito Merss, from the ruling Workers Party denounced the invasion and called the invading group a gang of thieves. "They need to be arrested and put into jail," he said.

The opposition blamed the invasion on the leniency shown by the government towards more radical social movements like the MST (Landless Movement).

The protestors only left congress when they heard through the speakers that the House leadership had asked for their arrest. Until then they were demanding to be received by the congressmen.

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