Protests staged throughout Portugal against racism

in News · 20-09-2018 09:56:00 · 0 Comments
Protests staged throughout Portugal against racism

Dozens of people gathered in Lisbon’s iconic Rossio Square last weekend to protest against racist, discriminatory and xenophobic attitudes that are sometimes committed by institutions, such as by the police, according to the many associations who organised and took part in the gathering.

Similar protests were also staged in Braga and Porto.
Speaking to Lusa News Agency, Lúcia Furtado, of the DJASS Association for Afro-descendents, one of the various associations that organised the protest, said: “Portugal is a racist country; it has always been a racist country. Remember that in 2015 we had young people who were beaten at the Alfragide police station and the trial is still ongoing. Racism exists at institutional, structural and personal-levels”.
Ms. Furtado also highlighted the way Africans are portrayed in the media and the way history is taught in school as another racist attitude.
“We want to draw attention to this phenomenon and we want the people and the institutions to begin to acknowledge racism. This is not an attack on anyone or the population, it is a structural problem”, she explained.

The activist also drew attention to the misapplication of the nationality law, saying that most people have no idea that many youngsters who were born in Portugal are not Portuguese and do not have the right to nationality.
Left Bloc MP Isabel Pires was also present at the gathering because, she said, “in Portugal there is a problem with racism and it is time to talk about it”.
“There is institutionalised racism, such as cases of police violence or unequal access to health, for example”, she said, reiterating “the problem exists and needs to be addressed, acknowledged and debated, and there must be proposals to tackle it”.
According to the Left Bloc, despite racism being a crime, it is not being punished as such and, said Isabel Pires, “there are often cases of police violence, street and workplace harassment that remain unpunished”.
The PCP communist party also lent its support to the protest, represented by MP Rita Rato, who said “anti-racist and anti-discrimination struggles are inseparable from the quest for a fairer country”.
“Portugal retains traces of institutionalised and non-institutionalised racism and we must fight against it, especially when fascist and neofascist forces are growing in our country and throughout Europe”, she reflected.
The law establishing the Legal Regime for the Prevention, Prohibition and Combat of Discrimination on the basis of racial and ethnic origin, colour, nationality, ancestry and territory of origin has been in force since August 2017.


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