Many of Portugal's eight and a half million inhabitants took to the streets on Friday (26 April) to celebrate the previous day's military coup which had brought General Antonio De Spinola to power.
GV Crowds with banners through street
SV Marchers shouting and waving (2 shots)
SV Police in landrover
SV Crowd shouting
SV Flowers handed to police in landrover
SV TRACKING SHOT People welcoming prisoners as they pass
SV PAN Ditto
CU Prisoners being jubilantly greeted
Initials BB/0336 JT/DW/BB/0358
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Background: Many of Portugal's eight and a half million inhabitants took to the streets on Friday (26 April) to celebrate the previous day's military coup which had brought General Antonio De Spinola to power.
The were also emotional scenes outside Caxias Jail north of Lisbon as nearly a hundred political prisoners were released and greeted by their families and friends.
General Spinola promised the release of political prisoners as the first step in a programme to restore political freedom.
Many of their cells were taken by arrested members of the secret police, which has now been abolished.
SYNOPSIS: Jubilant crowds marched through the streets of Lisbon on Friday to celebrate the military coup which had toppled Dr. Marcello Caetano on the previous day and brought General Antonio De Spinola to power.
General Spinola has promised a programme aimed at restoring political freedom. The secret police have been abolished. Newspapers, now freed from censorship, have been enjoying record sales.
The only check on the celebrations was a stern broadcast warning that any unruly demonstrations would be harshly dealt with. This followed an attack on the offices of a newspaper which had supported the previous Government.
But the day's major event was the release of nearly a hundred political prisoners from Caxias Jail, north of Lisbon.
By midnight a large crowd had gathered outside the fortress prison. Singing patriotic songs and chanting "long live freedom" the crowd -- many of them friends and relatives of the prisoners -- became more and more excited as the time for the release drew near. The army and navy units made little effort to restrain them. By midnight the atmosphere was electric. Then the first prisoners were sighted -- walking to freedom, their baggage in hand.
Their reception was nothing less than overwhelming. Their reunion with their families intensely emotional. Many of them had been in prison for four or five years -- one of them for twenty. Nine were women, sixty seven men, and one very young indeed. They were released in batches of four to prevent the crowd getting too excited. But it had little effect.