The first national mobilization since the start of Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency brought the country to a halt and sent a clear message of opposition to the government’s policies.
Close to 2 million people took part in the protests during the national education strike called by the CNTE, a member of Education International last 15 May. The demonstrators were protesting against the announced cuts in the funding for education, which in the case of higher education will be as high as 30%. This large-scale protest was the first to be held in all the state capitals and in hundreds of municipalities against the policy of Jair Bolsonaro’s government.
For the president of the CNTE, Heleno Araújo, the day of protest shows the strength of those defending public, secular, quality education for all Brazilians. Mr Araújo added that it was only the beginning of a wave of protests. “We will organize activities against the reforms until the end of May, and the mobilizations will continue until the general strike of workers planned for 14 June,” Mr Araújo underscored.
The hashtag #TsunamiDaEducación [Education Tsunami] became a trending topic in Brazil during the day. It reflected the scale of the mobilization which extended to schools, federal institutions, universities, squares, streets and avenues of the capitals of all the Brazilian states and the Federal District, as well as hundreds of cities in the country’s interior.
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