Following the physical and verbal aggression, which included racial insults, of the young Colombian woman Nicol Quinayas by a 2045 (a private security company) employee in Porto and the subsequent careless and disdainful treatment of the situation by the Public Security Police, a protest was called for 13/07/2018 “Against State racism. For the punishment of racist crimes”. The event was attended by Djass – Afro-descendants Association, AfroLis Radio, SOS Racism, Gueto Platform, Lisbon’s Brazil House and Black Consciousness, among other groups who came to show support. The gathering consisted mostly of speeches and accounts shared by the audience and group members present in the São Domingos square.
The protest organizers want to denounce the everyday nature of such individual or statal racist acts like the one suffered by Nicol, or the people assaulted by police in the relatively recent Cova da Moura episode, in which several black young men were beaten up in a police station after visiting it to demand information about the condition of their friends, detained earlier during a violent and gratuitous police raid in their neighborhood. The organizers demand serious measures be taken in such cases.
We are gathered here today in a clear anti-racist action. We are stating loudly “No to racism in Portugal”. We are living a moment of self-denial, we keep on believing we are a country that integrates everyone and that isn’t really true. We have to fight this hegemonic narrative that refuses to recognize diversity. In Portugal, it is considered an illegality to discuss racism, a taboo, an offense against “Portugality”. Many of us are Portuguese citizens but many aren’t. Many who were born in Portugal are considered immigrants in their own country. This reality must be changed. The Portuguese nationality law excludes a great number of people. We must confront this reality, we must think about our collective life, the way we make ourselves represented and how we present ourselves to the world.
It isn’t possible to continue having this narrative of “There is no racism in Portugal and the Portuguese aren’t racist”. The Portuguese society is racist, racism exists in Portugal and racism kills, it kills the lives of many people, it kills hopes, kills dreams, kills identity. It removes from the national social fabric all those who were born here, those who work here, those who contribute here, and this reality must be transformed. We must say, with all our voices, and all the strength we can muster “No to racism, no to discrimination, no to xenophobia, no to placing countless people in a situation of illegality, no to continuing to think that all non-white people in Portugal are immigrants.” This is not true. In Portugal, there are people who aren’t immigrants, who aren’t white, that belong to the Portuguese social fabric.
But there are also immigrants that have greatly contributed to the wealth of the country and build the country every day. Those people are made invisible, they are cast out to the peripheral territories of the city, their citizenship rights denied, they can’t vote, they can’t elect those who represent them in the places in which they live. This reality must be transformed. The institutional racism in Portugal places great difficulties to participation, to citizenship and difficulties to people’s dignity. We must all unite against racism, we must all be actively anti-racist, everyday, in all moments of our lives. We can’t witness situations of discrimination and racism and not act. We must always walk side by side. Let no one walk alone. Let no one suffer racism alone.
Actively we say “No to racism, no to xenophobia, no to discrimination!”
“Those born in Portugal are Portuguese and that’s the end of it!”
The right-wing racists of PNR (National Renovation Party) once more showed up to parasite other peoples’ protests in search of media exposure fumes, having around 10 members on the other side of the road, screaming against cultural marxism, reverse racism and the Left Bloc, for some reason.
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