The left-wing staged demonstrations in Portugal's two main cities on Saturday (22 March) to protest against steep prices rises since the right-wing government came to power last December (1979).
TV Demonstrators in square in Lisbon chanting and waving first ZOOM INTO Anti-government banners
SV Woman speaker addressing rally PAN TO crowd booing
GV Crowd with banners listening to speaker
GV ZOOM OUT Banners to crowd chanting and waving fists
SV ZOOM OUT FROM Demonstrators to male union leader on platform speaking
GV Demonstrators chanting
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Background: The left-wing staged demonstrations in Portugal's two main cities on Saturday (22 March) to protest against steep prices rises since the right-wing government came to power last December (1979). In Lisbon eighteen people were treated for injuries when some demonstrators tried to break through a police barrier and stage a march after a rally.
SYNOPSIS: Thousands of demonstrators responded to the call of procommunist trade unions and allied organisations to rally in the centre of Lisbon and the northern city of Oporto. The demonstrators condemned rising prices under the right-wing government of Prime Minister Francisco Sa Carneiro and called for the government's downfall. They waved black flags - the symbol of hunger dating from the peasant up-risings at the turn of the century - and with clenched fists sang an old revolutionary song. Observers said despite the number of people, the mood was not one of anger.
The cost of living in Portugal has risen since the new Government took office - mainly due to price increase last month (February). Left-wing unions are planning a nationwide series of strikes and demonstrations this week (24-26 March) to protest against the government's policies... particularly in the southern Alentejo greenbelt where the Ministry of Agriculture is taking land away from communist co-operatives and returning it to former owners.
Prime Minister Sa Carneiro denounced the strikes and demonstrations as a concerted political offensive against the first right-wing government since the 1974 revolution.