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Date Tue, 11 Sep 2018 08:40:24 +0300

We republish this statement by our comrades in Brazil in response the tragic and criminal fire which erupted on the evening of Sunday, September 2, 2018 and destroyed much of the National Museum of Brazil. The statement is by Resistência Popular Estudantil (Student Popular Resistance) which describes itself as a collective of students organized to struggle in the defense of a the autonomous student movement and which is classist[class struggle in orientation], combative and built by the base. ---- By Resistência Popular Estudantil - Rio de Janeiro ---- A fire has burned the first scientific Brazilian institution, the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. As many know through through social media and news, fossils and archives that survived thousands of years and geological processes, now find themselves as ashes due to the economic war, that of traditional neoliberalism, in which we live today.

There is no way yet to calculate the size of the loss to the scientific heritage of the country. Besides the destruction of the oldest Latin-American human fossils the museum holds an archive of more than 20 million items which is the fifth largest in the world. The destruction also includes the source of materials for research about our history, with one of the largest archives of Brazilian indigenous ethnology and linguistics, and about our animals which includes the largest zoological archive of the Latin America. All of that turned to ashes last night.

In additional to the fire, it is important to highlight the recurrence of fires in buildings from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) community. There has already been five fire outbreaks in less than four years. Obviously, these incidents, just like the one in the National Museum, weren't by accident and do not fail to have a guilty party.

In the year of the celebration of 200 years of the institution, the National Museum couldn't survive to the largest crisis Brazil has experienced. A national laboratory for the effects of crisis, the City of Rio de Janeiro shows another example of the future people from above want for our country. A country where there is no guarantee of access to education, health or culture for the ones who cannot afford it. A country that lives without knowing its past, so it does not overcome and continues the slavery that chains it. A country where the police state is normalized and those who "get out of line" has the necessary answer for their silencing.

The consequences of the Constitutional Amendment 95/2016 (1) are already being felt. We, the ones from below, are feeling on the skin the fire that the government lit two years ago with the burning of our rights. Thus, we would like to emphasize that what happened last night[the museum fire]was not an accident, but a consequence of the project from the above to our people.

We, from the Student Popular Resistance of Rio de Janeiro, express our solidarity with all the students, professors, technicians and workers that lost a huge part of their work, just as the whole world lost a huge part of its history. As such, the necessity of organization and going to the streets are more than evident. To fight against PEC 55 (2) is to fight for the survival of our people, our history.




Translation Notes
1. Any austerity measure, this amendment was proposed by right-wing President Michel Temer who assumed office following the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff of the PT (Workers Party). The measure was approved in December 2016 and freezes government spending towards primary expenses (education, health, security) for the next 20 years and limits increases only towards the cost of inflation.

2. Another name for Constitutional Amendment 95/2016. See Note 1.

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