A Message from Brazil; An Interview with Professores contra o Escola Sem Partido

A Message from Brazil;An Interview with Professores contra o Escola Sem Partido (Professors against Party Free Education)

 

I recently learned about the organization Professores contra o Escola Sem Partido (PaPFE) from a Revolutionary Left Radio podcast episode. I contacted the group and they were gracious enough to answer a few questions about their organization, the reactionary movement called Party Free Education (PFE) whose main objective is the harassment of educators and the new challenges and implications of a Bolsonaro presidency.

 

I asked PaPFE how their organization began and what they are striving to accomplish. They replied, “Our movement began as a study group of professors and students in the Federal University of Rio de Janerio (UFF). Initially, we were investigating and trying to understand what exactly was the Party- free Education movement ( Escola Sem Partido); which used to be a small organization created in 2004, but gained a terrifying amount of political strength and influence between 2013-2014. As a reaction to it, we started organizing an academic and political opposition to it.”

 

They continued to explain that “Party-free education is a movement focused on fighting against what they call “ideological indoctrination”” in schools perpetrated by left-leaning (“communists”) teachers. They frame this alleged problem basically as a conspiracy theory. They feel that their worldview is constantly in peril and the only way to safeguard the Brazilian tradition values (“God, country and family”, as Jair Bolsonaro, our newly elected president puts it, reproducing a integralist[1] slogan) is depriving teachers from their freedom of expression in the classroom.” The Party Free Education movement was founded by “concerned parents” and attorney of the state of São Paulo Miguel Nagib. Other prominent supporters include Jair Bolsonaro’s eldest son and re elected congressmen Eduardo Bolsonaro. In the speeches of the PFE “give special attention to censoring debates involving gender identity and roles. “According to them, anything that involves questioning the heteronormative patterns of society such as the pay gap between men and women, violence against the lgbtq+ community, etc., is considered unacceptable.”

 

The Party-free education movement has a similar likeness to groups in the United states such as Turning Point USA and “ Moral Majority, the Christian right, the school of Conservative thought that originated with William Buckley Jr. A common tactic of these groups is “they use anti-communist rhetoric to feed the idea that society’s “moral pillars” are constantly under attack and are quick to use educators as “a scape goat ready to be put to use.” Bolsonaro and PFE view universities and teachers as “centers of communist propaganda and teachers are permanently suspected of brain washing students, they use that exact terminology.”

 

The Party-free education movement actively encourages their supporters to engage in such tactics as filming and outing suspected educators as communist and revealing “indoctrinating lessons.” The PaPFE explained, “ what they mean as “indoctrinating” is as vague as they wish to be: there’s an absurd case of a teacher photographed with the saying #EleNão photographed behind her” EleNão translates to English as Not Him which was a famous slogan used by anti-Bolsonaro protestors during the election. In this particular case
the teacher who was photographed “was subsequently exposed online to harassment and yet the saying apparently had not been written by her.” Another example is when “newly elected congresswoman Ana Corolina Capagnolo who explicitly encouraged her voters and supporters to film teachers on the day after Bolsonaro’s win was announced.” The filming and harassment of teachers is a core issue to the Professors against Party Free Education. The filming of teachers “encourages censorship” and “it’s also a demonstration of an absolute lack of respect for the educational environment.”

 

The PaPFE tactics in fighting back against Party Free Education include “creating and divulging safety nets for teachers” and “inform the population about the censorship and setbacks the they (PFE) have been trying to impose.” The Professors are spreading their message on multiple social media platforms. They have a blog, (link below) a podcast, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Their followers and supporters are growing despite the recent election of Bolsonaro. “We are trying to gather support outside of Brazil as well, we are translating some of our most important articles.” I asked the professors what we, outside of Brazil, could do to show support and solidarity. The professors replied to keep a watchful eye on them” and “keep writing and talking about them.”

 

 

In typical fashion to reactionaries and far right groups throughout the world, The Party Free Education is attempting to turn back the clock on progressive politics and push marginalized groups of people back into the closet. The PFE imposes tactics similar to those used during the red scare in the United States and currently by such groups as Turning Point USA. Fear, misinformation and outright lies are key weapons these reactionary groups harnesses and utilize against educators, leftists, women, lqbtq+ folk and marginalized communities. The Professors against Party Free Education are standing up against the Bolsonaro regime and his reactionary supporters and we throughout the world should join them in their struggle. One thing we can be sure of is that fascists and reactionaries throughout the world will be studying Bolsonaro and taking notes to bring what they learn back to their own communities and countries. Therefore the struggle against fascism, imperialism, homophobia, racism, sexism and capitalism is an international struggle. We must join in solidarity with our comrades in Brazil, applaud their bravery and provide whatever kind of support available. We would do well to remember “What ever happens in Brazil over the next four years will affect the world greatly.” “We are the largest country in Latin America, we have one the richest biodiversity in the world, we have political and commercial treaties everywhere.” “Fascism must be contained and rebuked in its early stages.”

 

1.https://professorescontraoescolasempartido.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR06DzdaPS31yLvJpLgAf-eVJvLYCIej52MSQd5aCKmJNUWpy9yB_n8U_i4

  1. https://professorescontraoescolasempartido.wordpress.com/2018/11/15/pcesp-podcast-11-anatomia-do-fascismo/

[1] Brazilian integralism (Portugueseintegralismo) was a fascistnationalist and catholic political movement in Brazil, created in October 1932.

 

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