Police ‘full of hope’ following massive demo

It was an impressive show of force and it brought “important consequences”. Despite fears that last night’s massive police demo in Lisbon would ‘end in tears’, ugly scenes were at a minimum and not one of the injuries was serious. But the best news of all was that a delegation of the various forces involved was met by President of the Assembleia da República (Parliament), Assunção Esteves, and the outcome left union bosses ‘hopeful’.
The national secretary of CCP (the unions commission), Paulo Rodrigues, said the plan now is to draw up a detailed list of the police forces’ grievances, along “with various solutions” which will then be considered by parliament.
“We are hoping this will all be attended to rapidly,” Rodrigues told TVI24 as the demo drew to a close.
“We have no doubt that this demonstration will have consequences. The government cannot ignore the reality of the situation.”
He added that union bosses left the 25-minute meeting with Esteves feeling “there is a willingness by decision-makers to look at the situation from a different point of view”.
Legislation and statutes governing the country’s police forces need “rapid attention”, said Rodrigues, so that “the current reality in which many police are suffering” can be changed for the better.
It was the best possible outcome to a protest that had all the hallmarks for disaster. Four months ago, a similar protest saw chaos on the steps of the parliament, with stones, bricks and other missiles being thrown by angry crowds.
This time, wrote Público newspaper, there were no bricks, “no rubbish bins were burned”. Demonstrators did scale the steps – but only half way; and scuffles between the rioting police and those defending parliament were kept to a minimum.
Of the 20,000 demonstrators involved, only four suffered any injuries and only two people needed treatment in hospital. Six on-duty police officers were also treated for injuries.