Brazil faces mass protests against education spending cuts
Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in cities across Brazil on Wednesday to rally against education spending freezes made by Jair Bolsonaro’s government as part of a wider government effort to reduce spending, Trend reports citing Sputnik.
On Wednesday Brazil’s National Student Union called for protests against what it called spending cuts after the Education Ministry said it was freezing nearly a quarter of discretionary spending - $1.85 billion.
Marches took place in over 200 cities, according to a count by the Globo TV network, gathering reportedly 150,000 across the country. In the capital Brasilia, some 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.”
“Our message to Bolsonaro is that society will not accept these cuts of 30 percent,” said Luis Antonio Pasquetti, head of the National University of Brasilia’s teacher union.
The marches were mostly peaceful, however, in Rio de Janeiro a march turned violent when protesters allegedly set a bus on fire and started shooting fireworks at police officers who had to use tear gas bombs and rubber bullets to break a crowd up. There is still no information on the number of injuries during the protests.