Here’s a copy of the letter sent by the Brazilian Workers Party (who head Brazil’s government) to Legal Services Director Carolyn Pike, Vice Chancellor David Eastwood and Registrar Lee Sanders… The Brazilian Government will invest a substantial amount of money through scholarships in postgraduate studies at the University of Birmingham from next year.
Ms Carolyn Pike
Legal Services Director
University of Birmingham
Dear Ms Pike,
REF.: Violence Against Protestors at University Campus
I am writing to you out of a concern for the well being of those students engaged in a peaceful demonstration against students fees and education cuts. It is indeed quite legitimate for these students to protest against such government initiatives as it is their present and future, and indeed of society as whole, that are at stake. Evidently, these demonstrations are part of wider sense of dissatisfaction and discontent.
I have had reports about the repressive way in which the police and university security have been dealing with the demonstrators. I have received firsthand accounts from Brazilian students who are appalled by the manner that they and other protesters have been treated just for exercising their right to protest. Students who have occupied the Gatehouse at the North gate have complained about the aggressive and intimidating methods used by the university security staff. This is not what one would expect from an institution of higher education, a place that is supposed to foster debates, foment critical views and help build up citizens. Especially from this University of Birmingham which is internationally renowned for its academic achievements and openness to diversity of opinions.
Therefore I wish to express my protest against any form of violence that might be used against those who are peacefully demonstrating and to request that the university authorities exercise constraint and be open to engage in fruitful dialogue with the protesters.
Joabe G Cavalcanti
Coordinator of the Brazilian Workers Party in London