About eight thousand demonstrators led by slogan chanting soldiers marched on the Constituent Assembly in Lisbon on Wednesday night (16 July) calling for its dissolution and the formation of a revolutionary government.
SV PAN Demonstrators & troops marching, chanting
CU Banners PAN TO marchers
SV Soldiers in procession
GV PAN DOWN National Assembly building TO troops on steps
SV Demonstrators marching
SV Soldiers on tank
SV Troops chanting
SV & CU Soldier & civilians on tank (3 shots)
SV Tanks through street
SV People chanting
Initials BJB/0155 BJB/0210
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Background: About eight thousand demonstrators led by slogan chanting soldiers marched on the Constituent Assembly in Lisbon on Wednesday night (16 July) calling for its dissolution and the formation of a revolutionary government.
There was some panic when armoured carriers approached the demonstrators. But the soldiers driving them were from the left wing First Light Artillery Regiment which was the main target of an abortive right wing coup last March. One of the soldiers said they had come to support the demonstrators.
Within hours of the protest the coalition government had collapsed, and the military were again in control of the country. The Popular Democratic party, the second strongest political party in the country, joined the Socialists, the strongest, and left the Government. Now the military faces the task of forming a new cabinet not undermined by political party bickering.
About one hundred soldiers led the crowd marching to the Assembly building chanting "provisional government no, revolutionary government, yes". They carried banners identifying each neighbourhood and workers' committee to which they belonged.