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Anti-immigration, anti-fascist demos to be held in Porto on Saturday


Photo by Sebastiano Piazzi on Unsplash

An anti-immigration demonstration and an anti-fascist demonstration authorised by the Public Security Police will take place 350 metres apart on Saturday in downtown Porto.


Contacted by Lusa, a source from the Metropolitan Command of the PSP in Porto said on Tuesday that the two demonstrations, which will be accompanied by police officers, have been authorised.


Porto City Council also said that, as with all demonstrations, a police assessment had been requested from the Porto PSP Metropolitan Command.


"The police opinion is not contrary to holding the demonstrations," it added, pointing out that the right to demonstrate "does not require authorisation" from the mayor and that the security assessment is "the exclusive responsibility of the PSP".


"It is not up to the Porto City Council to make judgements on exclusively police matters. The demonstrations planned for 6 April do not coincide geographically. The police measures that may be adopted for this specific purpose fall within the exclusive competence of the PSP," he adds.


Called by the 1143 group, the "Less Immigration, More Housing" demonstration is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. in Praça D. João I, according to the PSP.


On the social network X (formerly Twitter), the group, whose spokesperson is far-right activist and prior convict Mário Machado, is calling on "all patriots to make their presence felt" in Porto to show "opposition to the invasion of immigrants, which is the main reason for the brutal rise in housing prices".


"It's not enough to stop immigration. It's urgent that we start the process of remigration for the overwhelming majority of these individuals and make our voices heard," he said.


In another post on the same social network, the far-right group claims that "the April Fascists want to ban patriots from demonstrating in Porto".


With the meeting point set for Praça D. João I, the protest will continue along Rua Dr Magalhães Lemos, Avenida dos Aliados and Rua Sá da Bandeira, ending where it began.

For its part, the Habitação Hoje association has also organised a demonstration, "Against Fascism, More and Better Housing," for Saturday.


According to the PSP, the action will start at 5 p..m. in Praça da Batalha, which is 350 metres from the meeting point of the far-right protest.


On Facebook, the association is calling for "the working class, Portuguese and immigrants, to unite against fascism, hatred and disinformation".


In an attempt to prevent the demonstration called by the 1143 group from taking place, several organisations involved in the "demonstration against fascism" launched an open letter addressed to the president of Portugal, the mayor of Porto, the commander of the Porto PSP and other justice officials.


Consulted by Lusa, the letter, similar to the one published in January following the demonstration "against the Islamisation of Europe" in Lisbon's Martim Moniz, calls for "an end to this demonstration which (...) is an incitement to hatred and violence and not merely an exercise of freedom of expression".


"With this letter, we intend to defend the safety of all immigrants in Portugal, combat racism, xenophobia, religious hostility and the growth of hate speech that we have been witnessing," they added.


SPC/ADB // ADB.

Lusa

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