The main avenue in Lisbon – Avenida da Liberdade – was flooded by 90, 000 people saying ’No to War!’ last weekend. The three left parties in parliament – the Socialist (social-democratic) Party, Communist Party and Left Bloc – the CGTP (Portuguese TUC), and more then 140 organisations of all kinds, called for this demonstration.
Stop the war in Iraq. Portugal.
Anti-war movement comes onto the streets
It was a very noisy, vivid and combative march where Bush, Blair, Aznar and Durão (the prime-minister of Portugal) were denounced loud and clearly in the chant: "Bush and Byrão, Blair and Aznar: Murderers!". The demand "Bush, keep out of Lages!" was just as well received as "No War; Jobs and Education!".
At the end of the demo., a well known classical piano player, Maria João Pires, read a joint statement of the organisations accusing Durão Barroso, the prime minister, of acting in a shameful, subservient way towards US imperialism and calling for keeping up the campaign to stop the war.
Other cities saw anti-war demos: Porto assembled 2,000 protesters, Coimbra 1,000 and also around 1000 in Faro. In Evora, there was a 500-strong demo, and in Funchal, Madeira Island, 200 people said ’No to war!’.
The mainstream Left parties are completely lacking a clear political explanation of the roots of war as well as failing to give a perspective to workers and youth. They offer just a pacifist approach and declare their sadness at the fate of UN. Mário Soares, a former (’socialist’) President and Prime Minister even named the Pope as "the only who can stop war"!
In contrast, the CWI group, Alternativa Socialista, is campaigning to set up local anti-war committees to inform, mobilise and resist. We say that only a mass international workers’ campaign that builds international strike action and organises mass disobedience can disrupt imperialism and its war.
Only the overthrow of the profit system and the setting up of a socialist democracy can put a real end to wars, as well as poverty, unemployment, disease and terror.
Statements against the war by Alternativa Socialista (CWI in Portugal) were passed out to protesters and donations were given to help the work of Alternativa Socialista.