Refugees from Portugal's former African colonies have started a "round-the-clock" demonstration outside the parliament building in Lisbon, with the intention of staying there until attention is paid to other grievances.
LV PAN DOWN Sao Bente Palace with police and guards on steps.
SV Refugees with banners chanting and pushing against barricade. (2 shots)
SV Unconscious demonstrator carried to waiting ambulance. (2 shots)
SV AND LV Other demonstrators watch as ambulance drives off. (2 shots)
LV AND CU Demonstrators chanting at barricade. (2 shots)
GV Demonstrators in front of Sao Bente Palace.
Initials VS 1440 VS 14.50
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Background: Refugees from Portugal's former African colonies have started a "round-the-clock" demonstration outside the parliament building in Lisbon, with the intention of staying there until attention is paid to other grievances.
On Wednesday (5 May) a large crowd of refugees- known as "retournados" - staged a noisy protest, during which they changed slogans and jostled with police and republican guards behind a barricade set up around the Sao Bente Palace - now the Portuguese parliament headquarters.
Two refugees were injured during the demonstration and were carried away to waiting ambulances on stretchers.
On Thursday (6 May) refugees occupied several luxury hotels in Lisbon, in protest against a government probe into suspected swindles. They were angered when the government ordered a census to find out the exact number of people who fled to Portugal from the colonies during the last two years.
There are an estimated 800,000 "retournados" in Portugal, with one third of them living in the Lisbon area. Unless the government intervenes they will have to leave the hotels in which they are living by the end of this month.
Their biggest grievance, however, is lack of work. According to Visnews cameraman Anthony Steward, they claim that they are discriminated against because they are "retournados", although they are quick to claim that they are as Portuguese as anyone else.
Steward says that they have no money, no food, no jobs and that most of them are politically right-wing. He quotes one refugee as saying: "In 48 years Portugal had one government, now in the two years since the revolution there have been six and none of them have worked".