After a year of absence, the Portuguese people return to the streets to celebrate the Carnation Revolution and the end of the dictatorship – Ora Pois

Prevented from commemorating the carnation revolution in the streets in 2020, when the first lockout against Covid-19 was in force, the Portuguese were able, this year, to return to face-to-face celebrations.

Although still with restrictions, distances and mandatory masks, April 25, which marks the 47th anniversary of the end of the Estado Novo dictatorship, was celebrated across the country.

National holiday and public holiday, the date was also celebrated with a special session in Parliament and a speech by the President of the Republic.

The most emblematic event, on av. da Liberdade, in Lisbon, has happened again. Although the organizers did not encourage in-person participation, many people insisted on following the traditional procession.

The sunny and hot day – against the weather forecast, which had anticipated a storm – seems to have motivated the Portuguese to suspect civic participation as well.

The April 25 parade returned to the streets of Lisbon in 2021 | Photo: S. Couvreur

The audience for the Lisbon protest, as usual, was a mix of age groups, including many older people, students, young workers and families with children.

A detail: this year, it was more difficult to buy the carnation, which is a symbol of the holiday. Perhaps because they did not trust the parade quorum, traditional flower sellers could not keep up with the demand.

Many families with children were present in Lisbon | Photo: S. Couvreur

The parade is marked by the participation of delegations from various cities and associations, which usually display banners condemning fascism and extolling democracy. In addition, of course, to claims such as better wages and better health care.

Many Brazilians participated in the protest and there was criticism of the government of President Jair Bolsonaro (without a party). At different times during the parade, the demonstrators chanted the choir “Bolsonaro genocida”, in reference to the management of the pandemic in Brazil.

Brazilians also participate in April 25 | Photo: S. Couvreur

THE REVOLUTION

On April 25, 1974, a movement of upheaval in the Portuguese barracks took to the streets and led to the fall of one of the longest dictatorships of the twentieth century.

Inaugurated by António Oliveira Salazar in 1933, the so-called Estado Novo lasted 41 years, a period marked by repression, poverty and a bloody colonial war.

In 1968, Salazar was the victim of an accident and was unable to remain in charge of the country. He was replaced by Marcello Caetano, who had already occupied several ministries under the exceptional regime. Salazar died in 1970, but the regime he created was still in effect.

With the troops and the population joining the revolutionary movement, Marcello Caetano announced his surrender in the early evening of April 25.

The former autocrat went into exile in Brazil, living in Rio de Janeiro and working as a university professor. He died in 1980, never returning to Portugal.

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