Fernando Moreira and Francisco Cruz are, this Monday morning, the guardians of a teachers’ camp next to the secondary school of Santa Maria Maior, in Viana do Castelo.
The six tents installed on the promenade symbolize “the precariousness” of the class and are prepared to house teachers overnight, after a concentration and a cultural soiree, scheduled for later, at 8.45 pm, in that location.
The teachers promise intervention music by Zeca Afonso and Vitorino, and a poetry recital. Throughout the day, and until midnight tomorrow, they will take turns guarding the camp.
“These tents are to demonstrate the precariousness that teachers constantly go through. A teacher at the beginning of his career, sometimes with 10, 15 and 20 years old, has to be displaced very far from home”, declared Fernando Moreira, teacher for 32 years, emphasizing: “This fight is about to last, because the Government is completely autistic. Doesn’t hear what we intend. There are things we don’t give up on and we won’t give up.”
Francisco Cruz explains that the idea is to “sleep in the tents” on top of the cement sidewalk. An act of solidarity for some who, in reality, are forced to “camp out during the school year”. “We have colleagues who sleep in trailers across the country. They don’t have money to pay for an apartment. It’s impossible”, he says.
“There was a colleague of ours who slept in a room. This even made the news. If you look at the price of a room in the Algarve and Lisbon, with a salary of 1100 or 1200 euros, it is not easy to pay for accommodation, food and still have the family on earth”, noted Fernando, who already slept outside the Assembly of the Republic, in one of the demonstrations that took place in Lisbon.
The protest in Viana do Castelo is convened by the “Coordination of Strike 23 – Viana do Castelo”, in conjunction with other strike committees in the region. And it coincides with the departure of “a delegation to Brussels to be received by the institutions of the European Union”.
According to the organization of the protest in Viana, “other schools in the region will also carry out protest actions”.