March 23, 2012

Two photo journalists were hit by the police in Lisbon

From time to time I bring some more serious matters to this blog. Yesterday Portuguese workers were on strike nationwide. My country is at crossroads and I can't see the end of it. Portugal's biggest union CGTP called for a general strike to protest against the centre-right government's labour market reforms. Portuguese are protesting against exploitation and growing impoverishment. The strike aimed the erosion of workers' rights, lower salaries and record high unemployment. People feel that austerity measures don't solve anything and that we will soon be as bad as Greece.

In Lisbon a small group of young demonstrators clashed with police and two photographers were hit by the police who charged the group. As you may know sometimes it's difficult to protest without provocation. I read that eggs were thrown to bank buildings and persons that were near picking money from cash machines by this group. Probably policeman were hit too with anything that was at hand. But when responding the police stroke two photojournalists and now are offering silly explanations for what happened. The caption reads: Anyone can identify it as a journalist. That's what the police is saying. It's clear for me that the behavior of the police assaulting journalists in the full exercise of their duties constitutes a crime and a serious violation of basic personal rights of the victims. The man properly identified as a journalist and the police did not stop. He was assisted at the hospital. No so long ago policemen were protesting because they have low salaries and poor working conditions. At that time they got my solidarity. Not know. I'm shocked. This is just the beginning. I expect that we will see a lot more incidents in the near future. And I am worried. (Second image source: Reuters)

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