Portugal // National Mobilization to Fight Against Racism~ 3 min

Crowd in Rossio for an anti-racism event.

By Duarte Guerreiro

After several episodes of serious violence against black, gipsy and immigrant people by police or private security and taking into account the long term disrespect and lack of institutional concern for these populations, several organizatons have mobilized public events to give visibility and organize around matters of anti-racism and the rights of discriminated communities. The manifest says:

The various cases of racism which have been publicly discussed are only the tip of the iceberg of what our communities suffer daily without justice. We must go out onto the streets, together, to fight racism, show our repudiation and our solidarity with the victims of racial discrimination. (…)

The police agressions  against blacks, gipsies and immigrants happen in the neighborhoods, the streets, the public transports and the police precincts. The Portuguese State does little to nothing regarding them. Residents of Cova da Moura were assaulted while suffering racist insults by the Alfragide police. The police covered up the facts, accusing the residents of attempting to invade a police precinct. In Porto, Nicol Quinayas was assaulted by a private security guard from the 2045 company while being targeted with racist insults when she was attempting to catch a STCP bus. After being called to the scene, the police took no further action until three days later, due to public indignation. In Beja, Igor, a young gipsy, was shot in the face by a Beja police agent, when he travelled to a farm to look for work in olive picking. Everyone knows about the far-right infiltration of the security forces. We won’t forget about Élson Sanches “Kuku”, MC Snake, Musso and all those who died or were assaulted by police authorities, without justice being done.

Racism is overwhelming in politics, wether by the absense of representation of blacks, gipsies and immigrants in politics, or the racist acts of several political representatives. There is great inequality in accessing education, health, justice, culture and employment with rights for blacks, gipsies and immigrants. But the silence of several governments and most political organizations is terrifying.

Despite all this, we constantly hear the phrase “Portugal is not a racist country”. We know quite well that this isn’t true, Portugal is indeed a racist country! And the violence is greater still when you add other discriminations such as gender, class, sexual orientation and gender identity. For all these reasons, join the National Mobilization to Fight Against Racism.

Only our struggle ensures justice!

Only our struggle ensures the end of racism!

Guilhotina was present at the Lisbon gathering and recorded a few moments.

My name is Jair da Costa, I was hit by two gunshots while inside my house on the first floor in Couva da Moura. My notion of security around police is gone. When I walk on the street, I’m afraid of them and I panic. My nine year old son is the one who calms me down. I’m here today but its not easy to relive it again. To this day, I have that hurt. It’s a hurt, a trauma I was left with which will never be gone. The notion I had about them [police] in Cabo Verde, when I arrived here, I only heard about it on radio, on TV, when I saw it on the newspaper. But to feel it on our skin really hurts. For me to forget it, only when I die.

Already on July 14, 2018, some of these organizations had carried out a protest against State Racism.

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