5 Jan 2019

Activist group calls for end of diplomatic relations with Brazil

4:09 pm on 5 January 2019

A group of activists who entered the Brazilian embassy as a protest against the country's new far-right president say their stance has prompted a vile hate campaign.

Organise Aotearoa activists entered the embassy to protest Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's inauguration.

Organise Aotearoa activists entered the embassy to protest Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's inauguration. Photo: Twitter / @OrgAotearoa

Organise Aotearoa, a socialist organisation formed late last year, sent about 10 activists into the Wellington embassy on Thursday.

It was the newly inaugurated President Jair Bolsonaro's first day in office.

The group say they stood in solidarity with the Brazilian people against Mr Bolsonaro, a divisive populist whose racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments have angered many.

A video of the activists in the embassy's lobby has been viewed almost 100,000 times.

They called for the expulsion of the Brazilian ambassador to New Zealand, Paulo Cesar de Camargo, the recall of the New Zealand ambassador in Brazil, and the end of diplomatic relations.

Spokesperson Kat Buissink said the group has received homophobic insults, death threats and rape threats since staging the protest.

"Bolsonaro is a vocal homophobe and misogynist. He is on record saying that if he saw two men kissing, he would want to beat them up.

"He's said that he would rather have a son that was dead, than gay, and has told a female political opponent that she's too ugly to be raped," they said.

"His unapologetic bigotry and subsequent rise to power has emboldened fascist and homophobic movements in Brazil, who are committing hate crimes with impunity."

They told RNZ the 10 protesters went to the lobby of the Brazilian embassy in Wellington, with a banner emblazoned with 'No Relations with Fascist Nations' and then live-streamed a series of short speeches.

The Embassy of Brazil said the protest was being investigated by police.

A police spokesperson said a small protest took place at the embassy in central Wellington.

"Police understand that six to eight people from Organise Aotearoa entered the public reception area around 10.00am and conducted a peaceful protest before leaving.

"Police are making enquiries to confirm no offences were committed."