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Chaotic scenes in Lisbon as police “resort to batons and pepper gas” to contain angry crowds

At least two people were hurt in Lisbon this morning as fairground workers demonstrated outside the Finance ministry, to be met by police using truncheons and pepper gas.

With cries of “vergonha!” (shame), the crowds promise three days of action to highlight their plight.

At issue is the struggle for survival of a sector which protestors claim is not properly recognised, despite a parliamentary resolution passed three years ago.

The morning turned ugly after crowds that had been camped outside the ministry building, hoping to be received by the Secretary of State, demanded to be let in in order to sign the complaints book.

PSP police refused entry, with recourse to batons and pepper gas, reports Público.

Demonstrators were then informed that the ministry “didn’t have a complaints book” – a situation which highlights the iniquity of Portuguese authorities’ insistence on adhering to bureaucracy.

As we wrote this text, protestors were moving on to take their wrath to the doors of the President of the Republic.

Said organiser Luís Paulo Fernandes, president of APED (the Portuguese association of entertainments businesses): “I appeal to people not to give up. We need to hold on to hope and keep fighting. We have been waiting for answers for three years. This is a struggle for survival”.

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