About 20,000 people turned out for a mass rally in Lisbon on Thursday (16 January) night to back the Portuguese Socialist Party in opposing a Communist-sponsored scheme to unite all trade unions in one confederation.
GV PAN Crowds inside hall
SV Leaders listen to speaker
GV Banner ZOOM OUT TO speaker and leaders applauding PAN TO crowds cheering
CU Soares waving fist with other leaders
CU Crowds and party leaders chanting and waving fists in rhythm.
Initials BB/2200 MF/AH/BB/2237
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Background: About 20,000 people turned out for a mass rally in Lisbon on Thursday (16 January) night to back the Portuguese Socialist Party in opposing a Communist-sponsored scheme to unite all trade unions in one confederation.
Dr. Francisco Salgado Zenha, the Socialist Justice Minister, attacked the proposed law as a betrayal of trade union liberty.
He accused the communist party of flaunting the rules of democracy, waging an anti-socialist campaign -- and trying to install a single trade union movement similar to that under the old right-wing regime overthrown by last April's military coup.
As the excited crowd chanted "Down with Social Fascism" and "Down with dictatorship", Dr. Salgado Zenha said: "What is at stake is the question of liberty in Portugal, a liberty which for some weighs tons and for others only a few milligrams".
But he declared he had no intention of resigning over the affair.
The Socialists and Centre-Left Popular Democrats (P.P.D.) are opposed to the scheme because they fear it will mean the big Communist-sponsored unions will dominate all the others.