Activists have been active in Lisbon for months now, using mostly red and sometimes green paint in their protests

Lisbon activists expand protests to hoisting Palestinian flag over City Hall

Climate activists team up with pro-Palestine activists

Lisbon climate activists teamed up today with colleagues in solidarity with the Palestinian Liberation Collective to raise the Palestinian flag on the balcony of Lisbon City Hall.

The group also threw paint over the noble building’s façade, and then released a statement.

In the statement, the three movements point to mayor, Carlos Moedas, claiming he has given his “unconditional support (…) for Israeli genocide and apartheid”, and a “colonial project that, for more than 75 years, has been based on the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people”.

Says Lusa, the movements also revealed that they had attached a banner reading “Free Palestine” to the façade of City Hall, which had been ‘painted red’. This was a very loose use of the word ‘painted’ – the façade looked more like red paint has simply been thrown at it. This was later confirmed by television reports that explained the paint was put into balloons and then hurled at the building.

The statement went on: “The positions and actions of the (mayor) make him and the municipality complicit in the genocide that, for more than two months, the Israeli regime has been carrying out in Palestine (…) Since October 7 alone, more than 20,000 Palestinian people have been killed by the Zionist army, almost 2 million have been displaced, in a clear continuation of the Nakba” (meaning catastrophe, in Arabic).

As an example of Moedas’ “unconditional support”, the activists referred to a tweet the mayor posted hours after the bombings began: “Lisbon stands with Israel and the Israeli people, for peace and freedom.” 

They also recalled that on October 10, “the day after Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant described Palestinian people as ‘human animals'” and promised a total siege of Gaza, the mayor joined the vigil in solidarity with the Israeli State promoted by ambassador Dor Shapira.

After the municipality hoisted the Israeli flag at São Jorge Castle, the statement continued, Carlos Moedas “accused (…) the ‘far left’ of being ‘racist’ and bordering on ‘antisemitism'” and “left-wing parties of defending terrorist organisations that behead babies (and) rape women.

“Two allegations that still have no credible and sustained basis, which only demonstrates how the highest representative of the people of Lisbon is comfortable spreading disinformation and Zionist propaganda,” the statement continues, recalling that in an interview on SIC Noticias, the mayor described the Israeli state as “a democratic country, a democracy” when the Palestinian people see it as “an ‘apartheid’ regime, which establishes different rights in law based on religion or ethnicity.

“This view is confirmed by reports “from international human rights organisations, such as Amnesty International in 2022 or Human Rights Watch in 2021”.

The statement also blamed Carlos Moedas for supporting “the Zionist regime” when he was a commissioner in the EU, concluding “we will not stand by and watch genocide”.

Says Expresso, Lisbon City Hall has already begun cleaning up the mess, and has not made any official statement about the vandalism (see update below), or about how activists managed to access the City Hall’s balcony.

This new group (the Palestinian Liberation Collective) has been active on social media since September, adds the paper, and has been involved in various activities, including the ‘human chain protest’ last weekend (in support of Palestine), a paint daubing of the front of a Zara outlet in Porto, and graffiti on the walls of Lisbon’s Lusíadas university suggesting it supports the “Zionist genocide”. ND

UPDATE: Mayor Carlos Moedas has reacted in ‘outrage’, according to Lusa, considering that “what happened this morning at the city hall, and to all of us, is more than a savage and barbaric act. It is the vandalisation of the principles of democracy in its purest state.”

Source material: LUSA/ Expresso