Daily Archives: June 16, 2009

Police Teargas Workers and Students in São Paulo

Thanks to Comrade Rapha  for informing us about this story.

Scientific Community Teargassed in Brazil

Written by Pablo Ortellado
Sunday, 14 June 2009 13:25
[Originally published on EduFactory]

120 professors and about 1,200 students and university workers were beaten and teargassed in the main campus of the University of São Paulo in Brazil last Tuesday (June 9).

448648Conflicts started after a one month strike of university workers whose employment status is being disputed due to a legal controversy over university autonomy to hire its workers without approval of state representatives. Over one thousand workers might loose their jobs. Workers started a strike on May 5 demanding the preservation of their jobs and other labor demands. On May 27, workers started to block the entrance of four university buildings because, according to them, university management was threatening workers who were using their legal right to strike. On June 1, administration called the military police to intervene. On June 4 professors joined the strike protesting police occupation of campus. on June 5, professors had a two hours meeting with management asking for a non-military solution to the labor conflict. However, common sense did not prevail and military police attacked a peaceful demonstration of students and workers yesterday (June 9). 120 professors were discussing the crisis when the meeting was interrupted by news of a police attack. A few minutes later teargas and concussion bombs exploded inside the building. Several of our colleagues and students were hurt. The academic community is shocked.

We ask the support of the international scientific and academic community by demanding university management the immediate withdraw of military police from campus and the non-violent resolution of labor conflicts in the university.

Professor Pablo Ortellado (Public Policy)
Professor Rogério Monteiro de Siqueira (Geometry)
Professor Jefferson Mello (Brazilian literature)
Professor Thomás Haddad (Science History)
Professor Carlos Gonçalves (Science History)
Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades
Universidade de São Paulo

Further information (in Portuguese):
Associação dos Docentes da USP: www.adusp.org.br
Sindicato dos Funcionários da USP: www.sintusp.org.br

Please send protest and concern letters to the University of São Paulo

Professor Suely Vilela
Rector of the University of São Paulo
E-mail: gr@usp.br, suvilela@usp.br

Professor Franco Lajolo
Vice-Rector of the University of São Paulo
E-mail: gvr@usp.br, fmlajolo@usp.br

Professor Alberto Carlos Amadio
Chief Staff of the Rector
E-mail: grcg@usp.br, acamadio@usp.br

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Filed under international affairs, political repression, trade unions

Center “E”: A New Face in (Their) Hell

Anti-Extremist Police Raid Activist’s Apartment

By Sergey Chernov
St. Petersburg Times
June 16, 2009

The apartment of a political and human rights activist was searched by the police on farfetched grounds last week, the activist said at a press conference held on Thursday at the office of Soldiers’ Mothers, a group that defends the rights of Russian soldiers and their families.

Ivantsov, an activist with the Oborona Youth Democratic Movement and the Youth Human Rights Group, said that on June 8 he was visited by three police officers, two of whom were from the “E” (anti-extremism) Center, who searched his apartment and confiscated his computer, a large number of discs and several old notebooks.

“They even took blank discs — everything en masse,” Ivantsov said by phone on Monday.

“They found a disc of Pavel Bardin’s ‘Russia 88’ [a feature film about a Nazi skinhead group] and said it should be examined to determine whether it is extremist.

“They were happy when they found an unlicensed copy of Windows on a CDR, and told me I would be persecuted for having this, even though only the distribution of unlicensed products is punishable under the law they referred to; there is no responsibility involved in the possession of such products. None of the discs had anything to do with the grounds on which the search was made.”

According to the search warrant, Ivantsov was suspected of “keeping objects prohibited for civil circulation” (a term usually referring to weapons or drugs), he said. The warrant also alleged there were grounds to believe that he knew the “whereabouts of a person wanted for an insult to the state flag.”

Ivantsov, who has taken part in many events protesting against police lawlessness and authored multiple complaints about rights violated by the police, said the police had used the cases as a pretext to harass an opposition activist and search his home.

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Filed under political repression, Russian society