Six activists have been arrested after a protest which saw red paint spattered on the Brazilian embassy in London in a protest over the rights of indigenous people.
The protests by “the Snowflakes” affinity group of Extinction Rebellion blockaded the embassy, spray-painted messages and doused the building in red paint to symbolise indigenous people they say have been killed in Brazil.
They were joined by other activists taking part in a separate vigil for murdered environmental campaigners.
Police were called to the embassy at around 8am on Tuesday. Some protesters glued themselves to the front of the building, while others climbed onto the roof.
Activists were unglued and arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and trespass on diplomatic premises, the Metropolitan Police said.
One protester, Musa from Brazil – who did not want to give her real name, said: “People are being killed. This is just a bit of paint on the wall – we’ve got real blood spilling.
“The Amazon is the lungs of the world, and we have a very right-wing leader at the moment.”
Indigenous groups in Brazil have warned that conditions have worsened for them and their environment since President Jair Bolsonaro came to power, with critics saying his regime is allowing environmental destruction by miners and agribusiness.
Musa added: “He’s a very dangerous man and we’re all very upset about what’s happening to human rights, animal rights, environment rights in our country.”
Amazon deforestation rates have risen significantly, according to recent reports, adding carbon emissions to the atmosphere which drive climate change and destroy important wildlife habitats.
“Protesting in Brazil is very different from here. We’d probably be shot and jailed,” Musa added.
Eden Rickson, a student who took part in the action, said: “Because I have the privilege to protest here with no consequences, it’s my right and my duty to do this here.
“In so many other parts of the world, like Brazil and beyond, people are literally murdered.
- Press Association