120 professors and about 1,200 students and university workers were beaten and teargassed in the main campus of the University of São Paulo in Brazil last Tuesday (June 9).
Conflicts started after a one month strike of university workers whose employment status is being disputed due to a legal controversy over university autonomy to hire its workers without approval of state representatives. Over one thousand workers might loose their jobs. Workers started a strike on May 5 demanding the preservation of their jobs and other labor demands. On May 27, workers started to block the entrance of four university buildings because, according to them, university management was threatening workers who were using their legal right to strike. On June 1, administration called the military police to intervene. On June 4 professors joined the strike protesting police occupation of campus. on June 5, professors had a two hours meeting with management asking for a non-military solution to the labor conflict. However, common sense did not prevail and military police attacked a peaceful demonstration of students and workers yesterday (June 9). 120 professors were discussing the crisis when the meeting was interrupted by news of a police attack. A few minutes later teargas and concussion bombs exploded inside the building. Several of our colleagues and students were hurt. The academic community is shocked.
We ask the support of the international scientific and academic community by demanding university management the immediate withdraw of military police from campus and the non-violent resolution of labor conflicts in the university.
Professor Pablo Ortellado (Public Policy)
Professor Rogério Monteiro de Siqueira (Geometry)
Professor Jefferson Mello (Brazilian literature)
Professor Thomás Haddad (Science History)
Professor Carlos Gonçalves (Science History)
Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades
Universidade de São Paulo
Further information (in Portuguese):
Associação dos Docentes da USP: www.adusp.org.br
Sindicato dos Funcionários da USP: www.sintusp.org.br