A predictor of repression and resistance that we will likely see from Brazil’s teachers, students, and civil society after the election that has made far-Right candidate Bolsonaro  Brazil’s President occurred in the pre-election invasions of universities, not reported in most mainstream media. Soon after the raids, students took to the streets to show their opposition to Bolsonaro. Faculty unions have been clear the raids are a clear precedent against university autonomy and an attack on freedom of thought.

The far right former military captain Jair Bolsonaro has praised torture and Brazil’s military dictatorship, which ran from 1964 through 1985, during which thousands were tortured and hundreds killed. Many fear Bolsonaro’s election could mean a return to Brazil’s dark past. They believe that as president he will sweep in a wave of repression and censorship, while rolling back rights and attacking traditional marginalized communities and political opponents.

The electoral court authorities and federal and military police officers raided public universities across the country, seizing materials that were anti-fascist. Judges who issued the orders claimed the materials seized were campaign materials for Workers’ Party presidential candidate, Fernando Haddad, but many confiscated signs and banners did not mention the candidates. In one instance, a judge ordered a raid on the Federal University of Campina Grande Faculty Association and seizure of the “Manifesto in Defense of Democracy and Public Universities,” signed by the union and endorsed by its faculty members. They also seized the union’s press office computer hard drive.

The São João Del Rei Federal University, in Minas Gerais state, also received a court order to take down a statement from its website in favor of democratic principles and against violence in the 2018 presidential elections, signed by the dean’s office.

“Violence that affects minority groups today in our society – black people, indigenous people, quilombolas [resident of quilombos, settlements set up in Brazil’s rural areas, mostly by escaped enslaved people of African descent], LGBTI+ people, people with disabilities, women – is spreading to groups that oppose the doctrine of one of the candidates. Even the university, a necessarily democratic, plural environment of knowledge, art, and culture production, has been threatened in this context of violence and disrespect for democracy,” the university’s statement reads.

Coverage in English of the student protests can be found here.