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Manifesto English

MANIFESTO OF THE GRUPO POPULAR PESQUISA EM AÇÃO

(PEOPLE’S GROUP RESEARCH IN ACTION)

The People’s Action Research Group, founded and working in Rio de Janeiro, has been set up In response to the traditional way of producing knowledge adopted by the Academy and the influences of the logic of productivity of the market,. Formed by activists who realize the importance of research focused on social struggles and based on their demands, the group aims to be an alternative that recognizes the importance of the University and, at the same time, aims to give it another meaning. It believes that a university should serve the interests of the people and not the private demands; for this reason, it should be based on an active participation, free access, without restriction, or entry exams. This Manifesto is a starting point for the construction of the group and a call for its expansion.

Why “People’s Group Research in Action”?

 

GROUP: the group is horizontal, not affiliated to any political party, anti-capitalist, non- hierarchical, anti-fascist, anti – sexist and revolutionary, united by the principle of building knowledge free of any constraints by the academia and by the capital.

The University, its resources and its role in the transformation and production of knowledge are important. However, the interests of the academic world today are very subservient to the logic of the market. Therefore, the Popular Group is independent and seeks to dialogue with both the University and with the social movements and political groups. To do so, not only it aims to be a bridge between these two spaces, but also to be a proposal of incentive to an autonomous construction of knowledge, fruit of social movements and popular struggles. The production of knowledge is based on individual and collective research, reading and discussion of texts and proposals, where doubts, anxieties and worries are shared.

PEOPLE’S: the group is open to anyone, academic or not, who wants to participate – activists, workers, students, researchers, etc. – and who is willing to act according to the principles and aims of the group, recognizing that knowledge is not only of the official academia, but also collectively constructed in daily practice and in the street.

The recurrent relationship that researchers have with social movements, as objects to be observed, despite a lengthy discussion about it in the various areas of knowledge, still produces a constant segregation between academic knowledge and popular knowledge in a hierarchical way. Moreover, despite more engaged discussions, the academic structure does not permit this overcoming. This leads to a restriction of the knowledge produced by academia, often leaving no return or benefit to the person being searched only, frequently not seen as the active subject of change.

This knowledge needs to be collectively produced and shared. The research should not be restricted to the group and it is not the sole responsibility of some technicians or specialists, despite the importance of technical and specialized study. The Movement itself, along with the group, should be the subject of knowledge production, geared to the needs of their struggles.

RESEARCH: research is fundamental to the advancement of social and political struggles. It needs to be free from the interference of capitalist interests in order to help political groups and revolutionary social movements.

Through research, a critical reflection is realized, endowing the movement of specific and general knowledge to understand the society in which we live and, at the same time, to develop mechanisms that help in its transformation. Research organizes and systematizes the knowledge and allows developing methods and analysis tools to support and improve the performance of groups and movements. In addition, research is the possibility of socializing the knowledge produced.

According to these principles, University and research should be at the service of the movement. The research comes to the group and goes back into the hands of the Movement. The questions arise collectively by researchers as activists and by any group or activist who wish to participate in this process of knowledge construction.

ACTION: the research of the group comes from the action and its questions from daily struggles. The research must be in the hands of the Movement. What we learn in the University, in life, in the street and at work should be used to fight, to help better understanding the world, its conflicts and contradictions and, at the same time, think and prepare what are the most effective strategies for building a new society.

The research applies not only to achieve new results, but as a dynamic process of education, training and collective growth. The research is based on the principle of active participation, which starts from a collective formulation of objectives, develops dynamically, involving all participants and can produce useful knowledge in daily practice of the revolution.


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