Solidarity with Palestine on the Setúbal Peninsula

Hundreds of people took part in the four initiatives held in the Setúbal Peninsula on 15 November 2023 to denounce Israel's barbaric crimes against the Palestinian people, most notably the ongoing massacre in the Gaza Strip which has so far resulted in more than 11,000 Palestinian deaths (almost half of them children), a million and a half displaced people and immense material destruction, creating a humanitarian catastrophe of unprecedented proportions.

The participants particularly demanded an immediate ceasefire to put an end to the massacre.  They also drew attention to the danger of the war spreading to the whole of the Middle East and called for a fundamental solution to the issue, which necessarily implies the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.  The slogan "Palestine will win" was repeatedly chanted in solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people.

There were four cities on the Setúbal Peninsula where simultaneous actions took place—Almada, Baixa da Banheira, Montijo and Setúbal, the regional capital—organised by the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC), the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGTP-IN), and the Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East (MPPM).

The rally in the city of Setúbal, in the central Praça do Bocage, featured speeches by representatives from each of the promoting organisations: Carina Ferrão from CPPC, Luís Leitão from CGTP-IN and José Oliveira from MPPM.  The speakers discussed the drama that is taking place in Palestine, particularly in the Gaza Strip.  They denounced Israel's head-on violation of international law and called on the Portuguese government to take a clear and coherent stance, demanding an end to the massacres and to prevent the war from spreading, as well as to act in favour of a political solution that finally materialises the numerous United Nations resolutions, which have always been violated and ignored by the state of Israel.

Of particular note was the significant number of municipal officers who came to show their solidarity and that of the people they represent.  Present were the mayors of Setúbal and Palmela, André Martins and Álvaro Amaro, respectively, and various members of the municipal administrations, as well as the mayors of the parish councils of Sado, São Sebastião, and Gâmbia, Pontes and Alto da Guerra, as well as members of the administration of the Setúbal Union of Parish Councils.

In Almada, a gathering with a public tribune took place by the river, in Rua do Ginjal.  The action included speeches by Rita Magalhães (CPPC), João Paulo Sousa (CGTP-IN), and Carlos Silva (MPPM), who, denouncing Israel's escalation of violence and crimes against the Palestinian territories over the last forty days, demanded an immediate ceasefire and political solutions that would realise once and for all the self-determination of the Palestinian people in their territory, the only way to achieve peace.

It was near the Baixa da Banheira train station, on Alameda do Povo, that voices of solidarity were heard with the resistance of the Palestinian people, who are fighting for their inalienable national rights.  With contributions from members of each of the promoting organisations, namely Rui Garcia (CPPC), Eduardo Florindo (CGTP-IN), and Carlos Carvalho (MPPM), demands were made for an immediate halt to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza and compliance with the UN resolutions that have been promising a sovereign and independent State of Palestine for decades.

Warning of the danger that Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people and its repeated disregard for UN resolutions represent for peace in the Middle East and throughout the world, they also demanded clarity from the Portuguese government in condemning the brutal massacres committed by Israel and in demanding that the state of Israel comply with international law.

In Montijo, a vigil outside the town's bullring denounced Israel's escalating crimes.  Those present raised a Palestinian flag, expressing their solidarity with the Palestinian people and demanding an immediate ceasefire.

In all four initiatives, there was a commitment to continue mobilising in defence of the Palestinian people, particularly for the initiatives to be held around the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at the end of November.

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