Thursday, May 20, 2010

Indigenous Tribesmen Storm Brazilian Congress

In a dramatic scene of protest today in the Brazilian Capitol Building, several dozen indigenous tribesmen clashed with security outside the chamber of the House of Representatives--some armed with batons and sticks. Capitol Police managed to hold back the protesters, most of whom were dressed in traditional garb, from their attempts "to invade the House." The leader of the indigenous group, however, claims their motives were peaceful, and that they wanted simply their voices to be heard by the governing body over issues of encroachment on their native lands.

A Peaceful Protest Turns Violent
According to a report from the news agency Globo, despite the peaceful intention of the demonstration, several of the protesters reported injuries--including the group's leader, Anto. He said that his people relinquished their archery tools upon entering the building, but were still assaulted by House security. Even an 80-year-old indigenous man injured, says Anto, and that he "was punched in the ribs and many people were beaten."

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