Hundreds of schools across Brazil are still being occupied by school students as they continue their fight for properly resourced public education. The occupations have spread to 19 states, with hundreds of students sleeping in the schools over night. During the day they organise lectures, plays and other activities.
Above all the students are fighting the austerity programme being brought in by President Temer, who came to power after the orchestrated sacking of the elected President Dilma Rousseff for alleged corruption. Temer's intention is to freeze education spending for the next twenty years. As regular readers of this site will know, Brazilian education is already chronically underfunded, this can only make matters worse.
A national debate about education has resulted from the students' protests. When a 16 year old student was shouted down by lawmakers in the Parana Assembly, one of the first states to witness the sit-ins, film of the event went viral (see from 7.00 on the video clip below).
However it is not only the cuts which the students are protesting about. The education 'reforms' mean the downgrading of subjects like art, physical education and philosophy. Like their students, teachers are also protesting these changes. An international conference of teachers took place early last month in Rio de Janeiro, where a manifesto opposing the reforms was produced.
As one student put it: 'You learn more about politics in a week of occupying a school than in years of regular classes, now young people know they can force change.' Or to misquote a common slogan of teachers in struggle everywhere: 'when a student is fighting, she is also learning.'