“A ocupação está bem mais legal do que a escola no dia a dia”

Inspirados por gerações de luta, os estudantes da Escola Estadual Caetano de Campos aprendem a se auto-organizar para manter a ocupação das escolas contra a reorganização

Inspired by generations of struggle, the students Caetano de Campos State School learn to self-organize and occupation against the complete reorganization of one week

“The boys took my kitchen, so using my pots,” mocks Val, through the bars of the State School Caetano de Campos, in the neighborhood of Aclimação, central region of São Paulo. Tuesday 24 full seven days Val not boot foot in your kitchen. “I miss. I’m doing nothing at home. We has a great time with the boys here, “says the school cook.

A week ago, the students of the oldest and most traditional college town – founded in 1848, during the Empire – hold the unit against school reorganization announced by the government of Sao Paulo. The institution was the first in the central region to be occupied; are already at least 160 occupations in the state.

>>> See here the complete list of occupied schools.

Today, who is piloting the stoves since it is the student of the 3rd year of high school Hugo Bittencourt, 18. The young man prepares three meals alongside seven adjutant and a sous chef, Raiane. “I learned to cook with my mother and myself, watching videos on the Internet,” says the shy Hugo, the top of its 1.90 meters tall.

Hugo Caetano

Hugo is responsible for the cuisine at Caetano Aclimação 

When we got to the kitchen, they had just finished a sweet banana. “Revenues from my grandmother,” he says. Hugo wants to provide food in the entrance exam next year and dreams of opening a Japanese cuisine restaurant. “I have not learned yet to cut sushi, but I like to eat,” he confesses.

The exemption is filled with bags of rice, beans and pasta, as well as gallons of water and oil for cooking. Students has enjoyed the strong support of parents and teachers in the purchase of food and cleaning supplies and personal hygiene, as well as mattresses, blankets and tents to sleep.

>>> Learn how to donate here.

Earlier on Tuesday, the seller Sidney Cunha, 50, made his second visit to the occupation. He brought in tow toilet paper packages. His son, Rafael Castro, is the Vice President of Student Government. “He does not answer me, come see how he is,” scolds the father.

Father and son

Rafael e o pai 

Sidney disagrees with all the school reorganization process promoted by Governor Geraldo Alckmin, who intends to close 94 schools across the state. “The Alckmin takes a stand without asking anything to anyone, without talking. I am against the government, against the occupation, but support my son. I always taught to fight for their ideals and, if the ideal of it is that we are in the fight, “he says.

Member of the guild for five years, Rafael sees the organization of students and especially in this occupation period, a very important political learning. “The guild and the occupation politicized the whole school, gave us more responsibility,” he says.


Among young people riding bicycles, playing ball, dancing funk and even studying flute, Dinho Luiz, student of the 2nd year of high school, documented throughout our passage by the school. Photography apprentice, he sees the occupation a means of politicization of all students. “I help in cleaning the garden, wash the dishes, do poster. At first it was messy, but then we organize. We meet daily to share the work. The occupation politicized everything we learned more about politics, taking care of their own, clean your dirt, “says Dinho.

Every evening, the students hold assemblies to make decisions together and organize the daily activities of the occupation, such as cleaning, catering, communication and daily schedule of activities. “We are learning a lot from the workshops, the staff is loving it,” says Juliana Esparza, 16, responsible for programming.

History teacher

Luis Armando, Caetano de Campos teacher, supports the struggle of students

Several organizations and individuals have donated workshops and classes to the occupation, as Parkour, photography, literature and theater. The professor at the University of São Paulo Wagner Iglesias contributed a lecture on the political panorama in Latin America. It is scheduled for the next day topics such as occupations of schools in the media, self-organization of social movements, nonviolent resistance and feminism.

According to Juliana, the occupation is enabling a new kind of interaction and experience of students in the school environment. “There are people here that I did not talk much, facetime for pc I did not know the skills and now we are one family. The occupation is way cooler than the school on a daily basis, “he laughs.

Professor Luis Armando school history, which is helping students from the beginning, sees the empowerment and student self-organizing capacity the main achievements of this movement. “Herman [Voorwald, Secretary of Education of São Paulo] managed to do what generations have failed,” he says.

For student-body president, Brian Aftimus, the last fight of Campos Caetano enabled the engagement of the current generation. “Caetano has this spirit, to always be at the forefront, coming from former students. Sometimes people do not know this story, but feel “reflects the student leader.


The president of the guild helps in school cleanup