Public demonstration in Porto for an end to the aggression against the Palestinian people


Yesterday, 17 October, around a hundred people took part in a public demonstration entitled "For peace in the Middle East and for the Rights of the Palestinian People" in Praceta da Palestina, Porto.  This public event was organised by the Porto Confederation of Trade Unions (USP), the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC), and the Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East (MPPM).

The speakers were Tiago Oliveira, coordinator of USP and member of the National Council of the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGTP/IN), José António Gomes, member of the National Board of MPPM, and Ilda Figueiredo, President of the National Board of CPPC.  Joana Machado was responsible for the introduction and conclusion of the event, as well as for the presentation of the speakers.

Despite the rain and wind that battered this public demonstration in the centre of downtown Porto, it was a well-attended event that strongly expressed the concern of those present about the current escalation of Israel's war against the Palestinian people, the invasion and siege of Gaza by the Israeli army, the war crimes that are already being committed and the total disregard for the rights of the Palestinian people and UN resolutions regarding Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.

They also condemned the generalised disregard for human rights that is currently taking place, and the systematic destruction of residential buildings and important social facilities by the Israeli army's bombardments.

Calls for peace were heard, as well as such watchwords as: "Gaza is not a prison! Massacre and Siege No!", "Peace Yes, Apartheid No! End the Violence, End the Occupation!", "Peace in the Middle East, Independent Palestine", "Solidarity Justice and Peace" and "Palestine Will Win!"

Towards the end of the initiative, Joana Machado left a message of peace and hope, "and also a demand to the Portuguese government to act coherently with the principles of the United Nations Charter and the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, both of which defend the abolition of colonialism and any other forms of aggression, domination and exploitation over peoples, and that, in the name of peace, it advocate a ceasefire and the opening of negotiations based on compliance with international law and UN resolutions that are clear on the need for an end to Israel's policy of occupation and oppression and the fulfilment of the Palestinian people's right to build their state in the pre-1967 borders and with its capital in Jerusalem. "

A new initiative to protest against aggression and in solidarity with the Palestinian people and in defence of peace was announced for 26 October in Porto. 

The media was present, particularly RTP, which took statements from the MPPM board member who took part in the demonstration, some of which were then broadcast on one of the station's news programmes.

Photos by Henrique Borges

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