Brazil education freeze sparks nationwide protests

Brazil education freeze sparks nationwide protests

5/16/2019

Brazil education freeze sparks nationwide protests

Tens of thousands march against university spending cuts in the biggest demonstration against president Bolsonaro

Brasilia/Sao Paulo — Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in cities across Brazil on Wednesday to rally against education spending freezes in the biggest demonstrations yet against President Jair Bolsonaro, who called marchers “useful idiots and imbeciles”.

Speaking in Dallas, Texas, where he travelled to attend a gala dinner, Bolsonaro denied his government had cut education budgets and cast the protests as a partisan spectacle.

In the capital Brasilia about 7,000 students and university professors marched to Congress, carrying signs against the cuts. One said: “Education is not an expense, it is an investment.” Another read: “Without investment there is no knowledge.”

“The importance is to show that civil society is organised against these cuts,” said Rodrigo Tonieto, 22, in Sao Paulo. “Together, we are going to say ‘no’ to the Bolsonaro government … To say ‘no’ to the mess that this government is.”

Read more: Business Day

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