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In Suzano, São Paulo, teacher Bianca defends the environment and believes that education is the bottom line for the revolution

I’ve always been a militant. Actually, I guess I was born militant. When I was nine, I organized the children to clean our neighborhood square. I wanted to watch the soap opera and keep calmer, but I’ve always had this militant blood running through my veins and can’t be any different. I believe we can’t be militant all the time, or we won’t do anything properly. The first battle flag in my life is for education, the second one is for environment, and the third one, which I follow the most, is for women’s empowerment. Education because knowledge is revolutionary. If we are facing such a chaotic situation nowadays, that’s because there is no education. Schools still provide archaic knowledge, which doesn’t build new knowledge. However, I believe in revolution through education because a people that reads is the people that questions, does not give power to any person, and empowers, knows how to ask for. Education is the way to change this corrupt and broken system.

Passionate about teaching, as she says, Bianca Carla Nunes da Silva traveled for the first time without her children and her husband to raise their second flag, which is the environment’s battle flag. Secretary of the Municipal Council for Environmental Defense of Suzano, in the outskirts of São Paulo, Bianca knows and defends every piece of her city. “My main flag is for the creation of a conservation unit. Suzano has 60% of its territory in springs protection areas, but it does not have a conservation unit,” she says. By studying the neighborhood, Bianca started militating for the conservation unit over ten years ago, when she discovered a green area with five river springs and with no protection at all.

“I am sure: we shall either change the way human being is related to water or there will be no more human beings, no more planet, there will be nothing else. I’m not expressing an apocalyptic point or view, but this is the way it is, because all causes will have an impact today, tomorrow and beyond. We shall either change today in order to change tomorrow and beyond, or, there will not exist tomorrow nor beyond. As simple as that, there is no middle ground”, Bianca affirms.

Raised in a house with women, only, Bianca always liked to read and study, but she grew up in a humble family that earned just enough to ensure their livelihood. However, in her youth years, there was a specific Magisterial Educational Training and Improvement Center in Suzano, that was an organization created during the government of Orestes Quércia. It was a 4-year full time course in several municipalities in the State of São Paulo. Candidates needed to take an entrance exam to be qualified for enrollment, those approved in the exam had a professional qualification and a scholarship worth a minimum wage. That’s how Bianca managed to help at home for 4 years and save money to pay for college and be the first family member to have higher education. Bianca met Antônio while studying Biology at Mogi das Cruzes University.

“My husband is who most suffers, because, sometimes, I get behind the eight ball… and, in the beginning, he did not like it much. Once, he said our marriage would be over if I went to another demonstration. I’ve always been the leader of strikes, organizer of activism movements. When he said that, my blood froze, because I love him, but that day was Black Consciousness Day in my city, and not in the city where he works. Therefore, I thought: Out of sight, out of mind. I went to the demonstration and thought nobody would see me. It turns out that on the other day; I was newspaper cover with my fist upraised. I ran and tried to find all copies of the newspaper in my neighborhood, but I had forgotten my father-in-law was a subscriber. That’s when I said I was born like that, it’s no use in forcing and he accepted as I am. We are together for 13 years and I know he suffers, sometimes, but he is my safe heaven. I cry him out whenever I get involved in some difficult situation”.

Content published in March 21, 2018

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