(cv) Sylvia Machado / YouTube
Former PNR leader Mário Machado, spokesperson for Group 1143.
The Court confirmed the ban on the far-right demonstration, organized by Mário Machado’s group, but despite this, the anti-Muslim protest continues this Saturday. At the same time, a counter-demonstration takes place, an anti-racist rally.
The PSP is preparing a police operation that will start at 2pm to avoid possible confrontations among the anti-Muslim and anti-racist protesters who have protests organized for this Saturday, in Lisbon.
“The top priority is that militants on both extremes don’t cross each other. We have to prevent clashes“, points out a police source to Correio da Manhã (CM).
O Intervention Corps has been mobilized and there will be police officers in civilian clothes and uniforms to maintain order.
Anti-Muslim march despite ban
The Lisbon Circle Administrative Court (TACL) confirmed, this Friday, the decision of the Lisbon City Council (CML) to prohibit the demonstration from taking place “Against the Islamization of Europe” which is promoted by the neo-Nazi Group 1143, whose spokesperson is Mário Machado.
“Mário Machado’s action was declared unfounded”, lawyer José Manuel Castro reveals to Lusa regarding the court’s decision.
The action was presented by far-right activist Mário Machado for “protection of rights, freedoms and guarantees”, considering that the prohibition of the CML would be a violation of the right to freedom of expression.
This prohibition was based on an opinion from the PSP that points out “a high risk to public order and securitysince serious vulnerabilities associated with the social and physical characteristics of the space indicated by the promoter are identified”.
The president of the Internal Security Observatory, Hugo Costeira, criticizes the ban, noting that it could even contribute to a greater mobilization of protesters far-right.
“I do not see it favorably, regardless of the subject, that any type of demonstration, whether extreme left or extreme right, can be banned based on reports made by a police force [sobre] one hypothetical lack of security“, points out Hugo Costeira in statements to Rádio Observador.
The anti-Muslim demonstration was supposed to take place in the areas of Martim Moniz and Mouraria, places where many immigrants from countries such as Bangladesh live and work. But, with the ban, the protest moved to Largo de Camões in Lisbon.
The far-right protest will begin at 6 pm and the objective is march to Lisbon City Hall.
Mário Machado has already called for the participation of what he defines as “the patriots”, asking that “don’t hide behind a computer”. “The time has come to show our face, to be present with our ideas and convictions”, he highlights in a message on X, the former Twitter.
“We will always comply with the Constitution, the established norms”, he also highlights, highlighting the intention of the protesters to oppose “invasion of Islam and to this entire program that is being organized by the extreme left of population replacement in Europe“.
The idea of “population replacement”, or the “Great Replacement”, is a racist theory which has been disseminated by far-right and neo-Nazi movements.
Arraial to say “Enough” to the racist wave
Before the anti-Muslim demonstration, a multicultural and anti-racist festival will begin, at 4 pm, at Largo do Intendente in Lisbon.
“We are going to hold a cultural concentration, to celebrate diversity and plurality against racism and prejudice“, refers to Lusa Vicente, from the Mutual Support Network organization and spokesperson for the promoters.
The initiative is organized by several immigrant collectives and civil society organizations that want to show that the population in the area “is not alone”, he states.
With the title “They Will Not Pass!”the festival presents itself as an action against xenophobic movements.
“People of Islamic faith or from Muslim backgrounds are also our sisters and who also deserve to be here as much as anyone else“, highlights Vicente.
“It is necessary to say ‘Enough!’ to this racist wave which every day gains more space in European public discourse and is now trying to infiltrate Portuguese territory”, write the promoters of the festival on social media.
“Far-right political parties feel increasingly comfortable, basing themselves on lies and misinformation to gain support, while being legitimized and tolerated by traditional parties in the name of the ‘political game’”, highlights the organization.
For the promoters of the festival, the action of the extreme right aims to reach the immigrants from Hindustan who are in the area, “with the aim of terrorize this populationmaking her feel unwanted and spreading hatred and prejudice in Portuguese society”
PSP prepares several scenarios
The PSP is “planning a police operation that can be adapted to different possible scenarios” for this complicated context.
In a statement, the PSP states that it “continues to collect information and monitor developments regarding” the far-right demonstration to “assess potential risks associated with the initiative and plan the police operation best suited to the needs”.