It’s been a funny few days. Normally on Thursdays I have a busy day, it’s my day of having all my classes. Which means I have politics for 1 hour 40 minutes starting at 9.30, (in reality normally about 9.45), Portuguese at 11.50, again for 1 hour and 40 minutes and finally Spanish which starts at 20.50, (normally 21h) and ending at 22.30. Yesterday, I had none of those classes because UFMG is being occupied, literally occupied.
To explain the occupation I need to explain what’s happening in Brazil since the European media doesn’t seem in the least bit interested in reporting it. The old left wing president was impeached or suffered a coup, whichever you prefer, and the new president is determined to improve the economy, because he’s right wing, it’s failing, and if it improves he will finally be popular. His way of improving the economy is called PEC 241 , which limits executive, legislative and judiciary spending (which is unconstitutional), and ties public spending to last year’s inflation. This will affect health and education, as well as the minimum wage which won’t be able to rise (instead it’s predict to fall).
Brazilian students (secondary and university students), are furious about these changes which will impact their future, (it does always seem to be students right wing governments hit first, yes I’m looking at you Mr Cameron). So, their response is to occupy buildings, apparently it’s happening all over the country. Whether it’s helping is debateable, but I’m really pleased they’re doing something, I think it’s all too easy to just bend over when the government announces how they’re going to screw you over next. Anyway, they’re occuping 6 buildings in UFMG, 2 of which I have class in, which is why I didn’t have class.
Instead of having class, I’ve been panicking about whether my YARP is viable. My supervisor assured me there’s nothing to panic about and that I should contact the Deputados (Members of Parliament essentially) from Minas Gerais. ‘Brilliant’, I thought, ‘I like having a plan.’ Until I saw how many deputados MG has, 55 according to the website. What a joyous day I have to look forward to now.