Thousands of police from all over the country are converging on Lisbon today for“the largest demo of all time”.
Organised by Movimento Zero – which formed from police discontent following the trial into attacks on black youths of Cova de Moura (click here) – the event has prompted tight security measures in a bid to avoid the kind of scenes that went ahead in the last ‘major’ demo in 2013, coincidentally also held on November 21.
Metal barriers “almost two metres high” have been erected around the parliamentary building, as well as a concrete wall “with blocks weighing more than a ton”.
Say reports, the plan is for police and their ‘supporters’ (families/ friends, etc.) to come equipped for the night, with sleeping bags and torches.
The demo is due to start at lunchtime today from Marquês de Pombal and make its way noisily all the way to the gates of parliament (Assembleia da República).
PSP police in the capital – all of whom have been refused the right to take part – are advising anyone travelling through central Lisbon to take public transport.
Right now hopes are that this will be a demo where only police demands are aired. Syndicates have stressed they welcome the support of politicians, but do not want any politics today. Today is all about the forces’ perennial struggle for improved conditions, better recognition and a sense of being valued which they have long since claimed has gone.
The Ministry of Interior Administration has countered that 23.1 million euros has been invested in the GNR and PSP police forces since 2017, and that it is and has been ‘open to dialogue’.