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'Ireland has beef with Bolsonaro' - Extinction Rebellion protest enters lobby at Dublin's Brazilian Embassy

A demonstration is ongoing this afternoon.

PROTESTS ARE TAKING place at the Brazilian embassy in Dublin this afternoon amid global anger that the country isn’t doing enough to halt fires in the Amazon rainforest. 

The protest on Harcourt Street in Dublin saw demonstrators enter the lobby of the building which houses the embassy, chanting numerous slogans. 

A video shared by Extinction Rebellion Ireland showed the protesters chanting that Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has “got to go”.

Another video showed the protesters chanting: “When Bolsonaro’s on the attack, stand up fight back!”

The videos show dozens of protesters in the lobby of the building with others sitting down outside holding placards. 

The group organising Irish climate strikes, Fridays for Future Ireland, is also involved in today’s protests which are set to continue throughout the afternoon. 

A number of political parties are also involved in today’s action with a flag for People Before Profit visible inside the building. 

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan was also at the protest and told TheJournal.ie that it was a “simple” demonstration.

“It was very simple, very last-minute, very peaceful. People were sitting outside and then at one point everyone went in, not to the embassy itself but to the foyer and we listened to some speeches,” he told TheJournal.ie.

Earlier today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Ireland will vote against the controversial Mercusor trade deal with South American unless Brazil takes steps to protect the Amazon. 

Varadkar said there was “no way” Ireland would support the deal “if Brazil does not honour its environmental commitments”.

Asked about the government’s stance, Ryan said it was a positive step but that the decision needed to be made now and not some years down the line: 

I was glad that the Taoiseach said last night that we wouldn’t be signing the Mercosur if that wasn’t rectified. But I that’s a decision made two, three or four years away. I think we need to be making a decision now and supporting President Macron. I think there needs to be immediate action, political action against the Brazilian government. 

Elsewhere in Europe, climate change activists chanting slogans and waving banners demonstrated outside Brazil’s embassy in London.

Several hundred protesters gathered opposite the central London embassy, unfurling signs reading “stop destruction now”, “save our planet” and “I want you to panic”.

Protests over the Amazon fires were also planned for other European cities.

Official figures show nearly 73,000 forest fires were recorded in Brazil in the first eight months of this year — the highest number for any year since 2013. Most were in the Amazon.

The data comes as Bolsonaro, who took office on 1 January, faces growing criticism over his anti-environment rhetoric, which activists blame for emboldening loggers, miners and farmers in the Amazon.

The extent of the area damaged by fires has yet to be determined.

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Rónán Duffy

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