Last Tuesday the closure of more than a hundred STOP stores led musicians and shopkeepers to call a demonstration for today, the day on which the municipal executive meeting takes place.

The meeting is scheduled for 15:00 in front of Porto City Hall and the demonstrators should leave at 19:30 as the shopping centre was a space where for over 20 years different areas have been used as rehearsal rooms or studios.

A meeting was also scheduled for today in Lisbon, starting at 3 pm, next to the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, it was announced on the Manifestation in Defense of STOP's social media.

The demonstration initially aimed to claim the “immediate opening” of the 105 spaces sealed by the Municipal Police “due to the lack of operating licenses”, but the mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, admitted on Friday that the space could reopen as long as security measures were complied with.

To return to work, STOP will have to have a fire engine at all times, the municipality is available to invest in safety means (hoses and nozzles) and provide training to users of the space so that, in case of fire, they know how to act, Rui Moreira said, in a press conference.

The proposal to reopen the shopping center was received with caution by the two associations representing musicians, who are still deliberating on the feasibility of the solution and the future of the space.

With the reopening proposal on the table, the focus of the demonstration is now on “not only the size and diversity of the community” of the STOP but also the importance of that “cultural hub” for artists, shopkeepers and residents in Porto, said, the two associations in a statement.

After the closure that left almost 500 artists and shopkeepers with “nowhere to go”, hundreds of musicians occupied Rua do Heroísmo for about five hours in protest, forcing the police to divert car traffic to other areas of the city.

As an alternative to the shopping centre, Porto City Council presented two solutions: the Pires de Lima school and the top floors of Silo Auto.

For the musicians, both spaces “lack the conditions to accommodate the entire STOP community”, not considering them as an adequate solution for their relocation.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Rui Moreira guaranteed that he would not authorise the construction of “any hotel” on the site of the shopping centre, having, the following day, again rejected the existence of movable interests and defended that the municipality would have bought STOP if the owners “could and wanted” to sell the property.

"We don't know of any real estate project there", assured the mayor.