The #Ocupaescola (#Occupyschool) Movement

Counter-Hegemonic Media and New Ways to Fight for Education

in Democracy 2.0

Abstract

This chapter discusses the movement of struggle and articulation by students in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, against the process of the ‘reorganization’ of the public teaching structure—a euphemism used by the state administration for the closure of school units in compliance with the neoliberal agenda of cutting investments in education—between the months of September, 2015 and June, 2016. The #OcupaEscola (#OccupySchool) movement will be analyzed from a multidisciplinary perspective, working in the fields of cultural studies and media and digital culture, thereby highlighting the work of authors such as Malini and Antoun (2013), Castells (2012), and Freire (1959), among others. The students, under intense police repression, were able to shed light through alternative media on their demands, which in turn influenced the mainstream media coverage that had been giving support to the official state administration narrative—causing the problem to become a national issue. The action led to the occupation of schools in several cities and the implementation of self-management through the disclosure of information on defense tactics in the face of police abuse and the sharing of audiovisual material recording the arbitrariness of such abuses via mobile communication devices. Crucially, the popularization of #OcupaEscola on social media was one of way to engage different social segments.

Democracy 2.0

Media, Political Literacy and Critical Engagement

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