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8 The Portugal News •  22 Sep 2018                                 News


      Protests staged throughout Portugal against racism




       Dozens of people gathered in Lisbon’s iconic Rossio Square last                              imilar protests were also  there is a problem with racism
                                                                                                    staged in Braga and    and it is time to talk about it”.
       weekend to protest against racist, discriminatory and xenophobic                             Porto.                 “There is institutionalised racism,
                                                                                              SSpeaking to Lusa News       such as cases of police violence
       attitudes that are sometimes committed by institutions, such as by the                 Agency, Lúcia Furtado, of the  or unequal access to health, for
       police, according to the many associations who organised and took part                 DJASS Association for Afro-  example”, she said, reiterating
                                                                                              descendents, one of the various  “the problem exists and needs to
       in the gathering.                                                                      associations that organised the  be addressed, acknowledged
                                                                                              protest, said: “Portugal is a racist  and debated, and there must be
                                                                                              country; it has always been a  proposals to tackle it”.
                                                                                              racist country. Remember that in  According to the Left Bloc,
                                                                                              2015 we had young people who  despite racism being a crime, it is
                                                                                              were beaten at the Alfragide  not being punished as such and,
                                                                                              police station and the trial is still  said Isabel Pires, “there are often
                                                                                              ongoing. Racism exists at    cases of police violence, street
                                                                                              institutional, structural and  and workplace harassment that
                                                                                              personal-levels”.            remain unpunished”.
                                                                                              Ms. Furtado also highlighted the  The PCP communist party also
                                                                                              way Africans are portrayed in the  lent its support to the protest,
                                                                                              media and the way history is taught  represented by MP Rita Rato,
                                                                                              in school as another racist attitude.  who said “anti-racist and anti-
                                                                                              “We want to draw attention to this  discrimination struggles are
                                                                                              phenomenon and we want the   inseparable from the quest for a
                                                                                              people and the institutions to  fairer country”.
                                                                                              begin to acknowledge racism.  “Portugal retains traces of
                                                                                              This is not an attack on anyone or  institutionalised and non-
                                                                                              the population, it is a structural  institutionalised racism and we
                                                                                              problem”, she explained.     must fight against it, especially
                                                                                              The activist also drew attention to  when fascist and neofascist forces
                                                                                              the misapplication of the    are growing in our country and
                                                                                              nationality law, saying that most  throughout Europe”, she reflected.
                                                                                              people have no idea that many  The law establishing the Legal
                                                                                              youngsters who were born in  Regime for the Prevention,
                                                                                              Portugal are not Portuguese and  Prohibition and Combat of
                                                                                              do not have the right to     Discrimination on the basis of
                                                                                              nationality.                 racial and ethnic origin, colour,
                                                                                              Left Bloc MP Isabel Pires was  nationality, ancestry and territory
       A protestor takes part in the National Mobilisation Against Racism 2018, staged last weekend in Lisbon.
       A protestor takes part in the National Mobilisation Against Racism 2018, staged last weekend in Lisbon.  also present at the gathering  of origin has been in force since
       A protestor takes part in the National Mobilisation Against Racism 2018, staged last weekend in Lisbon.
       A protestor takes part in the National Mobilisation Against Racism 2018, staged last weekend in Lisbon.
       A protestor takes part in the National Mobilisation Against Racism 2018, staged last weekend in Lisbon.
       Other gatherings also took place in Braga and Porto. (Photo: Lusa/Tiago Petinga)
       Other gatherings also took place in Braga and Porto. (Photo: Lusa/Tiago Petinga)
       Other gatherings also took place in Braga and Porto. (Photo: Lusa/Tiago Petinga)
       Other gatherings also took place in Braga and Porto. (Photo: Lusa/Tiago Petinga)
       Other gatherings also took place in Braga and Porto. (Photo: Lusa/Tiago Petinga)       because, she said, “in Portugal  August 2017.
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