Newspapers barely covered them this year, but Friday’s May 1 Day of the Worker demonstrations that saw thousands converge on Lisbon and Porto had a very special guest participant in the capital.
North American documentary legend Michael Moore was in Lisbon’s Alameda D. Afonso Henriques and made sure cameras were trained in his direction when he placed a carnation in between the shirt-buttons of union leader Arménio Carlos, and posed for carnation-filled snap-shots.
The author of films like Fahrenheit 9/11 – hugely critical of the presidency of George Bush – and Capitalism – a look at the world financial crisis – Moore was described as being in Portugal for a new documentary which will take him to a number of other countries.
For now, the subject of the documentary is being kept underwraps.
Meantime, the May Day demonstrations saw union leaders in Lisbon and in Porto exhorting Portuguese to use the upcoming elections this autumn as “a high moment for the struggle to put a full stop to the politics of the right and the PSD/ CDS government”.
Considering that Communist leader Jerónimo Sousa called the Lisbon protest “one of the largest parades in Europe and certainly the world”, it was interesting to see how little national and indeed international media reported on it.