- Title: Federal troops to guard Brazilian congress following anti-government protests
- Date: 24th May 2017
- Summary: BRASILIA, BRAZIL (MAY 24, 2017) (REUTERS) AGRICULTURE MINISTRY BURNING, BLACK SMOKE BILLOWING UPWARDS, TEAR GAS LAUNCHED BY POLICE AT PROTESTERS EXPLODING POLICEMAN SPRAYING PEPPER SPRAY DIRECTLY INTO FACE OF PROTESTER FIRE AND BLACK SMOKE ON ROAD VARIOUS GENERAL VIEWS OF PROTESTERS GATHERED ON LAWN OUTSIDE CONGRESS POLICE ON HORSES LINED UP A SHORT DISTANCE FROM PROTESTS, TEAR GAS PROTESTERS WITH RED FLAGS AMONG TEAR GAS POLICE LAUNCHING TEAR GAS PROTESTERS ON LAWN AMID TEAR GAS (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) PROTESTER, CARLITO RODRIGUES, SAYING: "It is a response to the lack of dialogue from this government for reform that is not being talked about with society, with the workers. That is why we are out in the streets and we will continue in the streets." BARRICADES BURNING IN THE STREET LARGE UNION FLAG BILLOWING ACROSS LAWN WHERE PROTESTERS ARE GATHERED IN FRONT OF CONGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) UNIONIST, ANDERSON ZANELATO, SAYING: "We are against the pension and labour reforms, the way that the government wants to carry them out. We are not fighting for any political party or politician; we are against the government's reforms and police brutality." GENERAL VIEW OF PEOPLE GATHERED ON LAWN OUTSIDE CONGRESS AGRICULTURE MINISTRY ON FIRE BURNT EXTERIOR WALL OF AGRICULTURE MINISTRY BROKEN WINDOWS AND GLASS DOORS FOLLOWING PROTESTS PROTESTERS IN FRONT OF LINE OF RIOT-POLICE WITH SHIELDS IN FRONT OF CONGRESS
- Embargoed: 7th June 2017 21:57
- Keywords: Michel Temer protest corruption Brazil
- Location: BRASILIA, BRAZIL
- City: BRASILIA, BRAZIL
- Country: Brazil
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA0016I78VGJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Brazil's defence minister announced on Wednesday (May 24) that federal troops would guard the Congress and ministry buildings after several thousand anti-government protesters clashed violently with police in the capital and set fire to the Agriculture Ministry.
Unions and leftist parties opposed to President Michel Temer's labour and pension reforms called the Occupy Brasilia protests to press for his removal. The large crowd gathered peacefully near Brasilia's national soccer stadium around midday.
As they marched toward Congress, police unleashed tear gas and stun grenades, and television images showed them clubbing some demonstrators with truncheons. Ambulances arrived on the scene to treat an unknown number of injured.
Some protesters responded by smashing the windows of ministries and lighting a fire on the ground floor of the Agriculture Ministry building. Masked demonstrators spray-painted several of the buildings with anti-Temer graffiti.
Defence Minister Raul Jungmann said members of the armed forces would be deployed to guard government buildings, by order of decree by Temer, who is facing calls for resignation after he was embroiled in sweeping corruption probes. The decree was signed on the basis of a request by President of the Lower House, Rodrigo Maia, Jungmann said.
Members of the armed forces will remain in place for an initial period between May 24 - 31, according to Article 142 of the Constitution which allows for such deployment in order to ensure the "regular functioning of the institutions."
Jungmann also said the state was working to evacuate public servants from sites where protests broke out.
The march was called by leftist parties, unions and other groups demanding that Temer's austerity measures before lawmakers, which would weaken labour laws and tighten pensions, be shelved. Temer last week refused to resign in the face of new corruption allegations against him and his closest aides, putting his government and its reform agenda on the brink of collapse.
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