Thousands of peasants and farm workers staged a mass rally in Beja, southern Portugal on Sunday (18 January) in support of the leftist, controversial agrarian reform programme.
GV & CU Cunhal speaking (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM Crowd chanting TO Cunhal continuing
SV PAN Crowd chants
Initials BB/2000 MW/MR/BB/2010
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Background: Thousands of peasants and farm workers staged a mass rally in Beja, southern Portugal on Sunday (18 January) in support of the leftist, controversial agrarian reform programme.
The six thousand people, mainly from the Algarve and Alentejo, heard Communist Party Secretary-General, Alvaro Cunhal reiterate his party's support for the programme and criticise other political bodies for their opposition to it.
Mr. Cunhal also attacked small farm owners in northern Portugal who have held rallies recently in apposition to the reform law.
Leftist landless labourers have seized about 400 farms, many at gunpoint, covering about a million acres (2.5 million hectares) in southern Portugal and turned them into collectives.
On the same day as the Communist rally, leftists advertised a big sale of cheap farm produce, from the collectives, in Lisbon's Onions Square.
But most of the 5,000 shoppers who turned up were disappointed, as the small amount of vegetables, fruit and nuts were quickly snapped up by early buyers.