The Portuguese political left, led by pro-Moscow communists, on Saturday (19 April) staged the biggest anti-Government demonstration since the ruling right-wing alliance came to power last January.
SV AND PAN: Row of demonstrators carrying long red banner and banner and chanting
SV: Demonstrators holding hands to form human barricade
SV PULL BACK Demonstrators chanting and waving fists TILT UP TO poster
SV: Demonstrators carrying long banner and chanting, waving fists
SV: Demonstrators carrying flags and chanting
SCU: Placards PAN TO banner being carried by demonstrators
GV: Crowds singing with musicians
SV AND PAN: Speakers on platform and demonstrators below chanting and waving fists. (2 shots)
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Background: The Portuguese political left, led by pro-Moscow communists, on Saturday (19 April) staged the biggest anti-Government demonstration since the ruling right-wing alliance came to power last January. The rally followed a right-wing rally in Lisbon on Wednesday(16 April).
SYNOPSIS: On Saturday a long column of demonstrators shouting "the people do not want fascists in power", marched down the capital's Avenue of Liberty to protest against the government's choice of a strong opponent of communism as its Presidential candidate.
The demonstration was repeated in many of Portugal's main towns. There have been several other rallies for and against the Government in recent weeks and they have created the atmosphere of an election campaign only three months after the government came to power. The pro-Communist march coincides with a new wave of labour unrest. Strikes have been called almost every day in key sectors of the economy.
The demonstrators object to the announcement by the ruling alliance that General Antonio Soares Carneiro will be its presidential candidate. The mandate of General Antonio Ramalho Eanes as president expires in January next year and these demonstrators do no want him replaced by a tough anti-Communist, They also called for the resignation of Prime Minister Francisco Sa Carneiro.
In the city's main square the leader of the Intersindical Trade Union Confederation Jose Luis Judas told the crowd the right wing alliance has left the working class no alternative: it must use all constitutional means to defeat the government.