The Portuguese ‘Coletes amarelos‘ movement, copying the ‘gilet jaune’ demonstrators in France, is holding a series of national protests on Friday, December 21, that includes gatherings in Faro and Portimão.
In the regional capital, the demonstration is scheduled to take place next to the Forum Algarve roundabout, while in Portimão, the group will meet in Praça 1.º de Maio, both events starting at 7:00 p.m.
The “peaceful and non-partisan” movement is made up of 13,000 members, all of whom “are dissatisfied with the various problems of the present time.”
A spokeswoman for the ‘Movimento Coletes Amarelos Portugal‘ (Yellow Jackets Movement Portugal), Ana Vieira, said she expected as many people as possible in Friday’s protest, so as to, “amplify the discontent” she believes exists among the population.
A reduction in taxes and fees, the increase of the national minimum wage, the adoption of anti-corruption measures in the public services and business, changes to the Penal Code and the Electoral Law and the reform of the National Health System are some of the areas of Portuguese life that the demonstrators want magically to appear.
“We intend to amplify the voice of the people’s dissatisfaction. We do not support acts of vandalism and violence of any kind, but we will not be responsible for the acts of each individual,” the movement’s organisers said.
In a statement, the Public Security Police said that its officers will carry out, “all necessary actions to guarantee public safety, order and tranquility, establishing a balance between exercising the right of demonstration and the right to free movement, especially road traffic.”
Police are urging demonstrators to respect, “the principles laid down in current legislation which regulates the right of assembly and demonstration, and the instructions and orders of the Police to ensure the safety of demonstrators and other citizens.”
For those not taking part in the protests that are planned to take place in 25 locations in the country, the Security Police advises they avoid the areas in question.
One of the more idiotic initiatives started by the group was to post messages on WhatsApp, asking members to fly drones near Lisbon airport in order to shut it down to air traffic.
Following this appeal, the National Aeronautical Authority announced exclusion zones for Lisbon, Porto and Faro airports.
An official source at ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal explained that “in view of the threat to use drones near Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon, that have been made public and in view of the potential impact on airport activity and safety and the consequences for all passengers, “contacts have been established with various authorities” to ensure close monitoring to intervene in accordance with the legislation in force.”
This means that within a radius of 6 kilometres around the airports there will be no drones allowed in the air between 06:00 and 18:00 on December 21, 2018.
The yellow vests movement is a political movement that began with a petition posted online in May 2018.
The first mass demonstrations began in France on 17 November 2018 and soon spread to Wallonia, Belgium.