Troops fired in the air and used tear gas on Saturday (21 June) to break up a demonstration by about 500 Maoists demanding the release of their colleagues from Caxias political prison, near Lisbon.
GV, TV & SV Demonstrators march chanting through streets (3 shots)
GV Military, police and armoured vehicles arrive 92 shots)
SV & GV Demonstrators around military vehicles (2 shots)
GV Demonstrators chanting PAN TO armoured vehicle
GV Military vehicles and soldiers chase demonstrators, shooting (2 shots)
Soldiers cross road watched by silent groups
Initials BB/0231 BA/AH/BB/0255
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Background: Troops fired in the air and used tear gas on Saturday (21 June) to break up a demonstration by about 500 Maoists demanding the release of their colleagues from Caxias political prison, near Lisbon.
Waving red flags, the demonstrators marched on the prison where hundreds of their colleagues, arrested last month, are being held.
About a mile from the prison, troops of the internal security force, in armoured care, blocked their way.
The demonstrators stood on the highway for an hour, shouting "immediate freedom for anti-Fascist prisoners" before the troops charged, using their guns.
Three demonstrators were detained, but the only report of injuries involved one protestor who was hurt when he fell.
The demonstration was organised by the extreme left wing Movement for the Reorganisation of the Proletariat Party (M.R.P.P.).
The incident followed a communique put out by Portugal's Supreme Revolutionary Council warning that it would take tough measures against extremist attempts to disrupt public order.
The communique followed demonstrations outside the offices of the Republica newspaper, whose control has been the cause of a bitter struggle between Portugal's Socialist and Communist parties.
And last Wednesday (18 June) 700 Catholics were trapped all night by left wing extremists, in the palace of the Archbishop of Lisbon.
SYNOPSIS: Panic sweeps through the crowd as the troops charge. Demonstrators flee as soldiers fire over their heads. The troops use sticks on boots.
The demonstrators were obviously not expecting such a tough response. But the troops' action shows the ruling council decided harsh measures were necessary following the violent demonstrations in Lisbon last week. The demonstrators fled into woods, and some took refuge in a nearby stadium, breaking up a national athletic meeting.
Three people were later said to have been detained. But no serious injuries were reported.