Protests have broken out at Brazilian embassies around the world as people gather to demonstrate against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s response to the wildfires raging through the Amazon rainforest.
In London, hundreds of demonstrators protested and chanted with the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion outside the Brazilian embassy.
Demonstrators rallied to express outrage over the Bolsonaro administration’s work to put out the fire, which critics say was exacerbated by his government’s rollback of environmental protections.
Protesters carried signs that said “The planet deserves better” and “Our house is on fire,” the Guardian reported.
.@XRebellionUK are at the Brazilian Embassy in London calling on President Jair Bolsonaro to #ActNow to protect the Amazon rainforest:https://t.co/hbdusbHDSX— Extinction Rebellion ⌛️ (@ExtinctionR) August 23, 2019
The protest come as people gather outside Brazilian Embassies and consulates around the world.#ActForAmazonia pic.twitter.com/Cpfh8gwZcP
The protesters also threw red paint against the building to rally against what they called violence against indigenous peoples living in the Amazon, Reuters reported.
Members of Extinction Rebellion were arrested after they glued themselves to embassy windows and climbed on the glass awning outside of the building, according to the outlet.
In Dublin, Extinction Rebellion also organized a protest with dozens of demonstrators outside the Brazilian Embassy in Ireland and in the building's lobby. Protesters changed that Bolsonaro has “got to go,” according to TheJournal.ie.
Protesters also chanted, “When Bolsonaro’s on the attack, stand up and fight back.”
.@ExtinctRebelsIE #ActForAmazonia at Brazilian Embassy #Dublin to protest the Brazilian government’s reckless environmental policies as the Amazon burns. #OurLungsAreOnFire #ExtinctionRebellion pic.twitter.com/xChGY03qrm— Kevin O'Farrell (@kv_ofarrell) August 23, 2019
Crowd protesting against the burning of the Amazon for agriculture in the Brazilian Embassy on Harcourt street now pic.twitter.com/wjyXOqC24w— Andy (@andyleepdf) August 23, 2019
Irish Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan attended the protest, telling TheJournal.ie it was a “peaceful” 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 said.
There were also rallies outside of the Brazilian embassies in Bogotá, Colombia, and Madrid, Spain. One sign in Bogotá read “Bolsonaro is going to burn the earth of his grandmother.”
Protests also broke out in Paris and Mexico City outside of the Brazilian embassies in the countries, according to The Guardian.
Bolsonaro, a far-right politician, was criticized after he told other nations not to meddle in the crisis in the Amazon rainforest, saying that Brazil didn’t “have the resources” to take on the fire itself.
“These countries that send money here, they don’t send it out of charity,” he said in a live broadcast on Thursday. “They send it with the aim of interfering with our sovereignty.”
Environmental experts say the destruction of the rainforest could make it harder to combat climate change on a global scale.
The rainforest — a source of 20 percent of the earth’s oxygen — has served a vital role in carbon storage, absorbing a substantial amount of the 2.4 billion metric tons captured each year by forests worldwide. An increase in fires and deforestation in that region could markedly accelerate warming climates beyond South America.