Brazil: 1.5 Million Demonstrators in the Streets Resisting Bolsonaro’s Attacks


Report (with Pictures) of the Corrente Comunista Revolucionária-CCR (Brazilian section of the RCIT), May 20, 2019,




On April 30 of this year, the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro through the Ministry of Education announced a cut of 30% of the federal public universities budget. The government declared that money removed from federal universities would be invested in basic education. To justify the cut Bolsonaro stated that "education in Brazil is like a house with an excellent roof and rotten walls".


Obviously, with the exception of Bolsonaro's fanatic followers, no one believed that there would be any advantage in withdrawing money from public universities, much less believe that these funds would be sent to basic education. In fact, it is a profound attack on education as a whole. The resistance movement did not take much time to organize. The convocation of the student movements of May 15 for a general education strike against the 30% cut was added to the general strike of educators against the pension reform previously called by the National Confederation of Workers in Education (CNTE).


How was the movement of the students and educators of May 15


May 15, which due to his success received the nickname of 15M, was marked by great mass demonstrations throughout the country. Media have reported that protests on this day of strike have occurred in at least 220 cities in 26 states and in the Federal Capital (Brasilia). These demonstrations brought together not only students, but teachers, other education professionals, parents of students, and several other working class sectors. More than 1.5 million people took to the streets that day!


The mobilization was joined not only by people from the public sector, but also by a significant sector of students and teachers of private schools. No doubt, an important sector of the middle class not only supported but joined the movement. This mobilization also gained enormous sympathy from the working class and the population. The movement also had representatives of other sectors of workers, who partially stopped the work in support for the struggle and participated in acts such as metallurgics, oil tankers and subway workers in São Paulo.


When in the USA Bolsonaro was asked about the strike his response was to call the demonstrators of "imbeciles" and "useful idiots." But that only served to make many more thousands of people attended the act.


Continue the resistance and build the General Strike


This May 15 showed that the mass movement can and should defeat the government's attacks. This great mobilization of 1.5 million demonstrators should serve as a preparation of the general strike already previously called for next June 14. However, what should be a fight against social security reform must be added to the defense of education and the cancellation of all ultraliberal economic measures of former president Temer and current Bolsonaro governments. 15M proved that our fight is possible.