About 4,000 people, mainly mothers, marched through the streets of Lisbon on Saturday (20 March) to protest against a wave of kidnapping, attacks, thefts and drug-taking in Portuguese schools.
GTV Large crowd of parents marching through streets, carrying banners and chanting
SV Women carrying banner as they march
SV Parents marching, chanting slogans
GV PAN DOWN Sao Bente government building TO Marchers assembling on steps
GV PAN OVER Crowd shouting outside government building
Initials CL/1837 CL/1845
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Background: About 4,000 people, mainly mothers, marched through the streets of Lisbon on Saturday (20 March) to protest against a wave of kidnapping, attacks, thefts and drug-taking in Portuguese schools.
They chanted "no to drugs" and "down with crime" outside the Sao Bente government palace. A resolution was passed calling on the government to take urgent action.
They were unable to reach the entrance of the palace, as the fore-court has been blocked for the past week by 600 taxis owned by drivers who have returned from Portugal's former colonies. The drivers are pressing for licences to operate in Portugal.
According to Reuters the past two years of revolution in Portugal have wrought havoc in schools, with pupils obeying the commands of political factions rather than teachers.
Five days age police appealed to students not to leave their schools between classes, following the recent rape of two schoolgirls. The incidents have outraged the public, but the police have appealed to parents not to panic.
An official statement said that if the population was willing to collaborate effectively with the police it would be possible to fight the present crime wave and "turn Lisbon into an orderly and morally clean city".