In the beginning were the occupations . . . Knowledge production and new strategies in defence of public education in Brazil

Debora Cristina Goulart, Fernando L. Cássio, Salomão Barros Ximenes


The uprising of secondary school students in the state of São Paulo (Brazil) is related to a type of collective action that, although recent, finds support in other anti-neoliberal and anti-capitalist movements, with forms of action and organizational dynamic. For a long time, no social movement had expressed such power of mobilization, rupture,e and resistance in Brazil as the recent school occupations. This article revisits some aspects of resistance towards the policy of “school reorganization” in São Paulo, 2015–2016 and discusses the resistance strategies that emerged from the occupations, indicating a renewal of struggles for democratic education in Brazil. In particular, we examine the interaction between student movements, public universitie,s and the justice system in the context of school occupations and consider how the fertile field of resistance and solidarity led to the emergence of the Public-School and University Network (REPU). The REPU proposes a closer relationship between public universities and movements for the struggle for public education, constituting a singular space for knowledge production and political action.


Democratic Education; Social Movements; Educational Reforms; University

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