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Brazil’s president met with protests in London ahead of Queen’s funeral

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BRASILIA, BRAZIL - Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends Army Day celebrations, in Brasilia, Brazil April 19, 2022. ( Mateus Bonomi - Anadolu Agency )
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Sep 19, 2022 - 01:48 AM

LONDON (AA) – Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro was met with protests Sunday in London ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral as police separated his supporters and detractors while he delivered an open-air campaign speech.

Bolsonaro paid his respects to the late Queen before appearing to continue his presidential re-election campaign drive.

“Our condolences to the Queen’s family and the people of the United Kingdom. In Brazil, we still have strong memories of her visit there in 1968,” he told the crowd, speaking from the balcony of the Brazilian ambassador’s home in an affluent part of London’s West End.

“For all that she represented for her country and for the world, the moment is one of sorrow and recognition for all that she has done for the world,” he added.

Despite the somber occasion of national mourning being observed in the UK, Bolsonaro then seized the moment in what appeared to be his continued campaign push for re-election.

He touched on the same themes that have been core to his political message during his campaign rallies, vehemently decrying the legalization of drugs and abortion in Brazil and also speaking out against “gender ideology.”

“We have to decide the future of our nation. We know who is on the other side and what they want to implement in Brazil. Our flag will always be those colors that we have here — green and yellow,” Bolsonaro told a crowd of supporters below.

As Brazil gears up for presidential elections on Oct. 2, Bolsonaro told his supporters he will win the first round.

As it stands, polls put former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ahead of Bolsonaro in what experts have labelled Brazil’s most polarized elections in decades.

Friends and relatives of British journalist Dom Phillips, who was murdered in June along with local indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in the Amazon rainforest, also protested outside the ambassador’s residence, mobilizing to make their voices heard and to decry Bolsonaro’s visit. The two men had been conducting research for a book project on conservation efforts in the region.

Many environmentalists and defenders of Indigenous peoples and their territorial rights have criticized Bolsonaro’s policies, insisting he has rolled back environmental protection in the Amazon, causing ecological destruction.

One banner that was held aloft by protestors read “Stop Bolsonaro for the future of the planet.”

Afterwards Bolsonaro, accompanied by first lady Michelle Bolsonaro, went to Westminster Hall where the Queen is lying in state and signed a book of condolences to honor the late monarch.

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