With whistles and carnations and shouting “dismissal”, thousands of people, mostly teachers, gathered this Sunday at the Boavista roundabout, in Porto, in a protest that will meet António Costa, at the Crystal Palace.
“This protest belongs to everyone. It came from civil society and everyone was invited. We are not representing unions,” said the representative of the “Todos por Portugal” movement, Joaquim Sampaio, to the Lusa agency.
The protest march, which brings together professors and professionals from other sectors, will head towards the Palácio de Cristal where this afternoon the secretary general of the PS and prime minister of Portugal, António Costa, is expected to arrive for an initiative integrated in the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Portuguese Socialist Party.
With banners reading “Mr. President, Help” or “Corruption money would solve education problems” and slogans such as “Costa listens, the school is fighting”, the march brings together demonstrators representing various sectors.
Predominantly black sweaters with the phrases “Enough!” or “We are in struggle” and the scarves of Portugal, to the sound of whistles and drums, and with red carnations in hand, the manifests will follow Júlio Dinis street to the Crystal Palace.
“Dismissal” and “Portugal” are the most heard words next to a truck that was initially, Joaquim Sampaio of the organization told Lusa, “barred by the PSP thanks to external pressure”.
Around 14:00, the Lusa agency contacted the Metropolitan Command of the PSP in Porto, which sent clarifications for later.
The rally, publicized by a group of Education professionals from the North, “a group of teachers in protest against the Government”, as they call themselves, aims to draw attention to the “impoverishment of the population”.
“Families have been living with great financial difficulties due to rising expenses with housing, food, transport, health, etc. The struggles and demonstrations of teachers, doctors, nurses, court officials, farmers, train drivers and many others have shown the great discontent that Portugal is experiencing today. The Government has lost its reason and is voting the Portuguese to impoverishment”, reads the call.
Lídia Faria, a 52-year-old teacher, joined the concentration for exactly these reasons.
“This only changes if people show up, shout and demand,” he told Lusa.
Beside her, holding a banner with the motto “In defense of public schools”, Beatriz Lima (45 years old) nods and says that “Portugal needs better politicians”.
Already in a statement to the newsrooms, the Alojamento Local Porto e Norte (ALPN) movement announced on Saturday that it will join this gathering with people representing Local Accommodation, as well as related economic activities, namely management, accounting, training companies , restaurants, bars, laundries, local shops, cleaning teams and transport, among others.
The objective is to sensitize the Government, parties and the population to the set of measures of the +Habitação program that, they say, “if approved, will have a devastating impact not only on the activity of Local Accommodation, but also on thousands of companies in the ecosystem of tourism, whose activity is closely linked to this sector”.
Throughout the week, the various organizers realized that they expected the presence of organizations from various sectors — economic, social, cultural, environmental — and called for the participation of civil society.
At the same time, with the presence of the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, current President of the Socialist International, and the President of the European Socialist Party (PSE), Stefan Löfven, former Prime Minister of Sweden, this afternoon takes place at the Palace of Cristal, in Porto, an initiative included in the commemoration program for the 50th anniversary of the Portuguese Socialist Party.
Interventions are expected from António Costa and Manuel Alegre, as well as the secretary general of the Socialist Youth, Miguel Costa Matos, the president of the National Association of Socialist Mayors, Isilda Gomes, and the president of the District Federation of Porto, Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues .
The celebrations include musical performances by national artists, such as GNR, Quim Barreiros and Bárbara Tinoco, among others.