Members of Brazil’s Movement for Liberation of the Landless (Movimento de Libertação dos Sem Terra) (MLST), a splinter group that broke off from the Landless Rural Worker Movement (MST), claim that they were met aggressively by guards when they attempted to enter the Congress building (Congresso Nacional) yesterday, June 6.
As a result the building was invaded violently and there was a lot of material damage, with 20 injured people treated at the Chamber of Deputies first aid station.
Reports are that 18 of the injured were security guards and two were protesters. The most serious injury was sustained by the coordinator of Logistic Support at the Department of the Legislative Police (Apoio Logístico do Departamento de Polícia Legislativa), Normando Fernandes, who had a grave head injury and remains in the hospital.
The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Aldo Rebelo (Partido Comunista do Brazil) ordered the demonstrators arrested.
Meanwhile, one of the MLST leaders, Marcos Praxedes, declared that the group wanted to present a list of grievances but were barred by security guards.
He said the violence began when guards attacked the MLST protesters. "They came after us and we just defended ourselves," he declared.
It is estimated that as many as 700 demonstrators entered the Congress building at the Annex 2 entrance where they broke through a glass door.
Around 500 protesters have been detained by the police and after spending the night at the sports gymnasium Nilson Nelson are being transferred today to the Papuda jail in capital Brasília.