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Students protest in several cities against Bolsonaro's cuts in science and education

Students protest in several cities against Bolsonaro’s cuts in science and education

Demonstration in Sao Paulo on the steps of the Municipal Theater – Photo: Cientistas Engajados

Student organizations and education workers held demonstrations across the country on Thursday (9). Today it was called the National #9J for the struggle against tuition fees in state universities and cuts in federal universities.

“Bolsonaro, hands off the federation!” It is the motto of law that the National Student Confederation (UNE), the Brazilian Confederation of Secondary Students (Ubes), the National Confederation of Federal Employees of Basic, Vocational and Technological Education (Sinasefe) and the Confederation of Technical Trade Unions mobilize administrative actions in public higher education institutions in Brazil (Vasobra official).

In May, the government announced the withholding of R$3.23 billion in the budget of the Ministry of Education, which represents 14.45% of the resources allocated to education. Several universities have already turned on the yellow light, such as the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), where the impact was close to R$50 million, which has announced that it will only be able to pay for water, electricity and security until next August.

Students reject Bolsonaro’s cuts – Image: Disclosure/UBES

According to Prof. Denis Carvalho, Dean of the University, “We will have to cut cleaning and security contracts, stop paying energy, water and sewage concessions. That would be the option. Maintenance and firefighting work would be paralyzed.”

With more than 60 shows performed across the country, the main show was held in São Paulo, in front of the Municipal Theatre. The entities also called for the necessity of maintaining permanence policies within the institutions, such as the free education guaranteed by the constitution, which is a way to introduce more students.

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“Today’s demonstrations are absolutely necessary in the moment we are living with with cuts to education. The Bolsonaro government has always exposed its transgressions and attacks on public education. We are still going to organize many events in July, if the Science March is needed to defend science, research, technology and investment In our country.Today was an important milestone to get back on the streets and from there we can’t go back.The Director of Public Universities at UNE, Marcos Kawe, said it is necessary to defeat Bolsonaro.

Marcus Kawe, Director of Public Universities at UNE – Photo: Disclosure / JPL

“This work is very important, while Bolsonaro is in power, there will be a break in education, there will be dismantling, education will have no voice. Those students who defend democracy, who defend education, who will bring down Bolsonaro,” condemned the President of Omis, Luca Gedra, during the act in São Paulo.

During the event in São Paulo, the president of the National Association of Graduate Students (ANPG), Flavia Calle, said it was necessary to stand up for education, especially science, Bolsonaro’s biggest enemy.

“We will not be able to build another education, and we will not build another project, as long as Bolsonaro exists. This is the task of this generation, we are here today to resist cutbacks in education, to resist cutbacks in science, as Bolsonaro cut for the second time the resources of the National Science and Technology Fund, taking the resource from The fund turned into scrap, the scrap bill, which turns science money to refurbish old trucks in Brazil, wants to turn our dream into scrap, wants to throw our dream in the trash. But it’s us who are going to throw Bolsonaro into the trash of history,” he said.

“From here today, whoever builds resistance on a daily basis in universities that are subject to intervention, in universities that do not have a laboratory, in universities without employees, without infrastructure, we will resist as we are going to resist building a new project. This is the year of the turning point, This is the year when we need to build another project in Brazil, a project that looks to the future, looks to science, we can walk together, in solidarity, without getting rid of people who are hungry, without holding back on people who are suffering in our country,” said Flavia.

Also attending the demonstration was Congressman Orlando Silva (PCdoB-SP). “This work in São Paulo, I am sure, will add to many others that are taking place in Brazil. At this moment, all over Brazil, the voice of students is crying out in defense of education, science and university. It is very important for Bolsonaro to know that if he believes That there will be peace by cutting education money from today, he will know that Brazilian students will make Bolsonaro’s life a living hell,” Orlando said.

In Belo Horizonte, hundreds of students and professors from the Federal University of Minas Gerais occupied the streets of downtown Minas Gerais. This act was attended by the Federation of Teachers of Federal Universities of Belo Horizonte (APUBHUMG+), together with the DCE and the Federation of Workers of Federal Education Institutions (Sindifes).

Starting at UFMG, protesters walked along Avenida Afonso Pena to Praça Sete, following Avenida Amazonas to Praça da Estação where protesters remained until the act’s end. During the demonstration, students and teachers sing songs in defense of education and against the Bolsonaro government.

Protest in Belo Horizonte – Photo: Publicity/UBES

In Juiz de Fora (MG), hundreds of students and staff of the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF) staged a demonstration against the cuts made by the Bolsonaro government.

In the city, participants carried banners and chanted against the federal government’s decision. “The fight is united! It is the student with the teacher and the worker” was one of the slogans, as well as: “IF CAN’T STOP”, “Government does not advance education because education overturns government”, “Lead wrote our past, Education we will write our future”, among others.

Law student and one of the general coordinators of the Student Central Directory (DCE) at the UFJF, Maria Edna Fernandez, worked in organizing the movement, which brought together several fronts. “This work has been led nationally by (UNE), and here in Juiz de Fora, DCE has led the movement that unites the UFJF, Apes, Sintufejuf and Apg entities, so that we can do work that involves the whole of society,” he said.

Protest in Rio de Janeiro – Photo: Publicity/UBES

In Brasilia, students from the University of Brasilia (UnB), from the Federal Institute of Brasilia (IFB) and high school students took part on Thursday morning in the act called for by student movements and entities. Focus began at about 9:30 AM, next to the National Library of Brasília. At 10:30 am, the group headed to the Ministry of Education. Teachers and staff from the International Federation and the International Federation also participated in the show.

The participants chanted slogans against Jair Bolsonaro and called for more investment in education. According to Professor at UnB and Director of the Association of Teachers at UnB (ADUnB), Illan Novais, the budget cuts promoted by the union run the risk of school suspension. Additionally, he says, research projects will be compromised. “His salary was frozen for 7 years, with a loss of 40 to 50% of the wage,” he said. “The government’s project is to end public education,” he said.

The University of New Orleans regional vice president, Artur Nogueira, emphasized that budget cuts affect not only the higher education level, but also the technical and secondary education level as well. The presence of students at the demonstrations is important, said Monna Rodrigues, Student Central Directory Coordinator (DCE-UnB), but the act did not have more participants due to the return of face-to-face classes at UnB. She said, with a reduced budget, students are afraid to help students, which will be severely affected.

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