There have been mass protests in Brazil over education cuts which have put hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and other workers on the streets.in the biggest challenge to extreme right wing president Jar Bolsonaro since his inauguration at the beginning of the year.
The movement is organised by student groups, the teachers’ union, trade union councils and most of the political organisations that oppose the government. Marches took place in over 200 cities and Fernando Haddad, Workers Party presidential candidate said “We have more than a million people on the streets for education”.
Bolsonaro who was in Dallas, Texas, attending a fancy dinner hosted by the World Affairs Council, responded to the protests with typical arrogance:
“They are useful idiots, imbeciles, who are being used as the manoeuvring mass of a clever little minority who make up the nucleus of many federal universities in Brazil,”
There is also huge anger over Bolsonaro’s pension reform plans which will see the pension age rise along with cuts to other benefits and to compound his difficulties he is trouble over corruption scandal including fake bank accounts and evidence of running fake women candidates (to comply with electoral law requiring 30% women candidates).
Now there are calls for further mobilisations by secondary school students on 23 May and by the national student union on 30 May. And a general strike has been called for 14 June, presenting an opportunity for students, education workers and the wider working class to link together.
This people power on the streets and in the work places shows the way Bolsonaro can be resisted and brought down.