Army wives take to the streets in protest

PORTUGUESE ARMY wives were out on Lisbon’s streets on Wednesday, September 21, demonstrating against the government’s raising of the pension age for the armed forces to 65.

They did so following the government’s decision to outlaw a planned armed forces protest on September 13 as illegal. The decision to go it for the boys in khaki was taken during a meeting between the various armed forces associations at Casa do Alentejo in Lisbon.

“Since we were forbidden from demonstrating by law, then our wives and girlfriends will do so on our behalf on September 21 at the same place, same time that we had planned to,” said David Pereira, the vice president of the Sergeants Association.

The original demo had been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon to run between Marquês de Pombal and the parliament building. The protest is related to the raise in the age of retirement and an alteration in the system of health for the armed forces.

The demonstration was considered illegal by both the government and the Administrative Lisbon Court, since members of the armed forces are not allowed to strike or protest publicly. David Pereira agreed that the law had to be respected, so they were going to get around the court’s decision by carrying out the demonstration via the wives.