RIO – Military police violently cracked down on a teachers protest using tear gas and batons in front of the State Department of Education building, on Wednesday afternoon. The confrontation happened after a teacher used a marker. to write “Education Strike” in the wall. Teachers had walked the Avenida Presidente Vargas to the location after another demonstration in front of the administrative building of the town hall, where police also used tear gas to remove teachers that closed the route.
Teachers union and Municipal workers decided on Tuesday, 27th to go on an extended strike beginning Wednesday, 28th when 10,000 teachers and municipal workers of the city of São Paulo marched on City Hall.
Today the group arrived in Santo Cristo, around 15h30. The building was surrounded by the Riot/Shock Battalion of Military police. Protesters began to paste stickers in support of the strike at the iron gate. Then a teacher used a marker to write on the white wall beside the gate, when a police officer grabbed her and dragged her by the hair. Protesters tried to free her and pulled her legs. A larger group ran toward the teacher and police fired tear gas and sound bombs to repress the group of about 500 people. Then at least three police used pepper spray against the group. The teacher was arrested and taken into police van.
When asked about the reason for the arrest that started the mess, the major identified as Rivaldo, who led the group, said: “She was arrested for contempt.” The situation is calmer and teachers returned to gather in front of the building. During the confusion, at least one protester was injured.
Earlier, in the manifestation, Eron Melo Morais, 33, who tends to dress as Batman in the many Brazilian protests, was hit in the head by police baton blows. Image below.
Teachers were gathered from early morning in front of City Hall to monitor the result of a meeting with representatives of the Secretary of Education. The strike was declared illegal by the courts. “It’s a shame that the city that will host the World Cup has teachers that need to strike because neither the mayor nor the governor meet claims,” complained a teacher.