Unicamp manifesto for democracy

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By EMERITED PROFESSORS*

Undersigned by the Unicamp academic community in defense of democracy and respect for the result of the October 2022 elections

The State University of Campinas, created shortly after the civil-military coup of 1964, lived – during its first two decades – with the lack of democratic freedoms, censorship in terms of education and culture and political repression. As the works of the Truth and Memory Commission “Octavio Ianni” of Unicamp (2013-2015) prove, the academic community, during the military dictatorship (1964-1985), was affected by “permanent threats and concrete violence, but also – by through the democratic resistance that he carried out – he opposed the cultural obscurantism and the arbitrariness represented by the State terrorism then in force”.

In the long night of arbitrariness and authoritarianism that befell the country, Unicamp therefore sought to resist attempts at control and subordination to the political and strategic objectives defended by the leaders of the military dictatorship, whether at the federal or state level. With fearlessness and firmness, the University sought to maintain its academic and scientific autonomy as well as its political and ideological independence in the face of frequent threats from agents and apparatuses of the military dictatorship.

An exemplary manifestation of these commitments can be seen at the symbolic level. Under the rigid censorship of public debate and critical thinking, Unicamp granted the title of Doctor Honoris Causa – the institution’s highest academic tribute – to researchers, academics, artists, literati, clerics who were considered “subversives” and “public enemies” of the 1964 regime.

Recently, and still on a symbolic level, Unicamp expressed its unequivocal commitment to democratic values. Through a bronze plaque, erected in the center of the campus, the university made a point of publicly honoring “men and women of the academic community who, fighting for redemocratization, suffered physical and moral violence during the military dictatorship”.

In recent times, the academic community has not stopped taking a stand. The process of impeachment Dilma Rousseff's government was one of those moments. In these last six years, since the traumatic impediment – ​​which allowed federal and state governments to radicalize economic policies of a neoliberal nature – the university community has not abdicated from critical manifestations, as the democratic issue and the economic crisis have come to centralize the national political debate.

Since then, Unicamp's study centers and research centers have offered highly qualified studies and works on: the dismantling of public policies; structural unemployment; the increase in poverty and indebtedness of the population; labor and social security counter-reforms; the absence of an environmental policy and the devastation of the environment; the escalation of violence against indigenous peoples (withdrawal of rights, invasion of land and the advancement of illegal activities) etc. Entities representing the academic community have joined the democratic sectors of civil society in raising their voices against attacks on minorities, social movements, education, research, culture and public health.

With regard to this last type of government action, denial of science and deep cuts in public investments, directly responsible for the unprecedented health crisis that the country still faces. More than 680 thousand lives of Brazilian men and women, claimed by the Covid-19 pandemic, are still the most tragic legacy of this social and economic setback to which the country has been subjected in the last four years of this irresponsible and disastrous federal government.

Two months before the October elections, democratic sectors of civil society are mobilizing, as democracy in Brazil is being daily attacked by senior leaders of the current government. This is not a rhetorical statement: democracy in Brazil is at risk! At this moment, Unicamp's academic community, equally, must not be silent!

An institution that, since its creation, has been committed to the intransigent defense of democratic values, Unicamp repudiates any actions that may contribute to the constitutional rupture and the political setback resulting from yet another coup d'état. Clearly and definitively, the academic community defends free elections and respect for their results.

By resolutely defending political democracy in the country, we cannot fail to reaffirm our commitment to the implementation of public policies that, in the next federal government, face deep social inequalities and discrimination of all kinds, as well as commit to the defense of public, free and quality education in Brazil.

We, Emeritus Professors and a Doctor Honoris Causa researcher from Unicamp, by heading this Manifesto, call upon all professors, employees and students of our university to also sign it.

Antonio Augusto Arantes, professor emeritus, IFCH

Antonio Carlos Boschiero, professor emeritus, IB

Bernardino Ribeiro de Figueiredo, professor emeritus, IG

Carlos Alfredo Joly, professor emeritus, IB

Carlos Rodrigues Brandao, professor emeritus, IFCH

Carlos Vogt, professor emeritus, IEL

Dermeval Saviani, professor emeritus, FE

Elza Salvatori Berquo, Doctor Honoris Causa, Nepo-IFCH

Hermano Medeiros Ferreira de Tavares, professor emeritus, FEEC

Jose Mario Martinez Perez, professor emeritus, IMECC

Luiz Sergio Leonardi, professor emeritus, FCM

Maria Stella Bresciani, emeritus professor, IFCH

Rodolfo Ilari, professor emeritus, IEL

Rogério Cezar de Cerqueira Leite, professor emeritus, IFGW

 

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