Hi everyone, a couple of weeks ago the state governor of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil forcefully closed a whole load of schools which attended to 600 kids from the encampments of the landless peoples movment in Brazil. The landless movement is an organised social movement of peasant agricultural workers who are displaced from their land due to concentrated ownership (3% of population owns two thirds of the land) They live in temporary encampments on unused land and have vary little resources. They have set up their own travelling schools (so they can go with them when they get kicjed off the land - often with guns and violence - and have to move on. The schools were supported by the government financially, but were completely autonomous following a curriculum designed by the landless movement, using a pedagogy based on marxism and Paulo Freire, run democratically based on ideals of participation and humanity.
The government of Rio Grande do Sul sees the Landless movement as a threat to the 'public order' and is desperate to eradicate the movement, even though they are a movement based on peaceful protest fighting for land reform. The kids from the closed schools now either have to stay at home or travel miles on dangerous transport to schools on the edge of the city which don't have enough resources to accomodate them, and teach a completely different curriculum and set of values to what they and thier families follow. Some of them are studying with eight different classes in a classreoom made from a metal shipping container.
If you support autonomous schools and the right to self determination, and are against enforcement of one single education system for all, sign this petition!!!!