Thousands demonstrate in Lisbon against “genocide in Gaza”
Image of today's demonstration by Tiago Petinga/ Lusa

Thousands demonstrate in Lisbon against “genocide in Gaza”

Protestors called for immediate end to hostilities

As judges at the Hague’s International Criminal Court decide whether or not to open a case against Israel for genocide, thousands took to the streets of Lisbon, protesting against what they certainly believe is a genocide taking place in Gaza.

The protest for “peace in the Middle East” was organised by the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC), the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers – National Trade Union (CGTP-IN), the Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in te Middle East (MPPM) and the Noise Project – Youth Association.

The overwhelming call was for an immediate end to hostilities which have been raging since October 8 last year.

This latest demo (there have been others since Israel started its purported annihilation of Hamas) began at the US embassy in Lisbon, in the area of Sete Rios, and wound its way to the  Israeli representation in Avenidas Novas.

Next to the US embassy, demonstrators left a large banner on the viaduct over Avenida dos Unidos with the inscription “USA complicit in Israel’s crimes. Cease fire”.

In the same place, others carried messages in English such as “hands off Yemen”, in reference to the US and UK attack on the Yemeni Huthis, or “re-election [of US president Joe] Biden is the third world war”.

A Palestinian flag stretched about 20 metres across the demonstration stood out, writes Lusa.

Palestinian symbols and messages against “genocide”, “apartheid” and “war crimes” were present throughout the demo, which stretched for several hundred metres and was flanked by a strong security apparatus.

Joumène Mami, a 24-year-old Tunisian student studying here, was carrying a cardboard sign marking 100 days of the war in Gaza, and 75 years of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

“I never thought I’d write these numbers in a demonstration like today’s,” she told Lusa.

32-year-old Inês Almeida stressed that demonstrations like today’s, despite Portugal being a small country, “are important as a whole”.

Described as a “scholarship holder”, the young Portuguese said she believes public opinion is starting to change, becoming aware that “there is a genocide” underway. She called for a boycott of companies and products associated with the war.

Many foreigners were visible this afternoon, including citizens from the Arab world and also Jews holding signs saying “not in our name” (a situation that is little-talked about in the media, but very relevant in Israel: many Israelis are horrified by the way their country has reacted to the terrible massacre of jews by Hamas fighters of October 7).

Anti- American, anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian slogans were chanted throughout the march which was also attended  by several trade union organisations linked to the CGTP, whose general secretary, Isabel Camarinha, was among the crowd, as was general secretary of PCP communists, Paulo Raimundo, and at least one representative of the Left Bloc (Bloco de Esquerda).

Source material: Lusa