By Corrente Comunista Revolucionária (CCR, Brazil Section of the RCIT), 15. November 2016, http://elmundosocialista.blogspot.com
Forty days ago, occupations by youth of public schools began across Brazil, mainly in the State of Paraná. As of today, more than 1,000 schools and several universities have been occupied. This mobilization began against the proposed high school reform, which entirely eliminates important fields of studies like sociology, philosophy, artistic education and physical education; it has also taken up the cause against the drafting of an amendment to the Brazilian Constitution that will prevent the government from investing any additional monies above the rate of inflation in public education and health for all Brazilians for a period of 20 years! The project has already been nicknamed properly "Law of the end of the world."
This amendment will also mean the freezing of salaries of all civil servants for the same period of two decades. Thus, in addition to the educational outrages, much of the Brazilian population will physically suffer the results of the government’s plans, because public health care will get worse than it already is. Therefore, the current resistance struggle of the students must become that of the entire working class. Currently, the young students studying in public school, mainly in the outlying regions of the country, are setting the example. It is incumbent that the mass movements and the working class join the resistance.
During these 40 days or so of occupations of schools, students have been subjected to various pressure tactics and even violence at the hands of the military police and the courts. In open violation of the Statute for Minors and Children (a law intended to protect minors up to the age of 18), youths were handcuffed when being removed from the Lady Filomena Moreira de Paula high school in the state of Tocantins. In the national capital of Brazil, Brasilia, Judge Alex Choudhary, authorized the use of torture techniques against students conducting occupations. Among the actions authorized are the cutting off of the water supply, electricity and gas; the use of noise to prevent the occupiers from sleeping; and restricting their access to family, friends and food. The Minister of Education, Mendonça Filho, said he was convinced that the student movement that already occupies more than 1,000 educational institutions throughout Brazil is partisan: "It is clear that the sectors connected to the PT, PCdoB and PSOL are actually orchestrating this mobilization along with the unions." That’s to say that, for this reactionary rightist, the imposing of “legal” measures to cut investments in education and introducing top to bottom educational reforms in high schools without discussing these matters with students and educators have no importance or political significance; but those who oppose such are measures are being manipulated by the radical left. The monopolistic bourgeois press, in bed with the government, only disclosed the numbers of occupied schools and universities, because such schools will be involved in, and clearly impact, the administration of the national exams regularly used to evaluate high school students, and obviously such information was transmitted to millions of Brazilians with the intention of criminalizing the student movement.
However the stunning intervention of Ana Julia Raj, a 16 year old high school student, reverberated throughout Brazil and around the world when, on October 27, when facing MPs of the parliament of the State of Parana, she made a powerful speech in favor of the occupations as being an expression in favor of education. Her speech, supporting education and the occupations, came to be compared to the activity of the young Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who at 14 years of age suffered an assassination attempt by the Taliban for wanting an education, and who won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Ana Julia, even though she had no previous experience in public speaking, did not spare the state deputies, and accused them of being responsible for the situation and claiming that they have blood on their hands. When questioned intensively by parliamentarians, she didn't retreat from what she said in her speech, repeating that the responsibility for children and teenagers is that of the Federal and state governments, according to law.
Since then, the movement to occupy schools and public universities in Brazil has only grown.
The Corrente Comunista Revolucionária-CCR (the Brazilian section of the RCIT) strongly defends the occupation movement of students in schools. These youths are the primary interested parties in defending the quality of public, secular and free education. The government of Michel Temer is attacking public education with the explicit goal of promoting the privatization of the sector in order to generate profits for billionaire businessmen. Currently, Brazilian law obligates state and Federal governments to invest in public education an average of 25% of their budget. These represent billions of dollars that the vultures of privatization want to snap up.
The student struggle is more than fair, for the future of these young people is at stake. This struggle is the struggle of us all and is one that should be taken up by social movements, trade unions and labor federations, as well as by left-wing progressive parties against all the attacks of the insurgent government of Michel Temer.
*Full support for the student struggle!
*No, to the proposed high school reforms!
*For more funds for quality education in the public schools for the children of workers!
*For the unity of organized workers in defense of education!! For the CUT, MST, MST and the heads of social movements to make themselves and their organizations available to the students in defense of education and against the repression!
*Down with Bonapartist repression against students!