April 25th marks the 46th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, when four decades of authoritarian rule would abruptly end. The Portuguese celebrate Freedom Day on 25 April every year, and the day is a national holiday in Portugal. Heinz Bierbaum comments on the occasion:
“It is perhaps one of the most important days in Portugal’s recent history. On 25 April 1974 a coup by the Armed Forces Movement (MFA) put an end to 48 years of the Estado Novo dictatorship in Portugal, demanding to stop the Colonial Wars in Africa and starting what would become known as the Carnation Revolution. The MFA quickly overwhelmed the government, sparking spontaneous demonstrations where civilians ran out to the streets, despite being ordered to stay at home.The name comes from the fact that no shots were fired and when the population started to go out to celebrate, carnation flowers were put into the muzzles of rifles and on the uniforms of the army. The revolution has not only put an end to fascism in Portugal without use of direct violence, it also led to a new democracy. The Carnation Revolution was a political‐social‐economic upheaval, which implied changes in the wider relations of production. It is an example of how working people can take a modern economy into their own hands. These changes evolved during the two-year transitional period known as Processo Revolucionário Em Curso, which also was characterised by power disputes between left- and right-wing political forces.
To celebrate the anniversary of the Carnation Revolution is especially important in the actual situation in Europe. We are facing a deep crisis caused not only by the coronavirus but in particular by the neoliberal austerity policy. The crisis clearly shows the failure of the predominant economic and social model. We have to change policy radically. The neoliberal policy has to be ended. We need a political alternative focusing on public welfare. The political message of the Carnation Revolution is still highly topical.
On behalf of the European Left Party we pay tribute to the antifascist struggle of the Portuguese people which led to the Carnation Revolution that was an unique and a brave example of trying to establish a different path.”
[pic credit: https://bit.ly/2VCLIcV ]