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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

April 25th Always! Fascism Never Again! - Paulo Raimundo

Paulo Raimundo speaks, April 25, 2024

April 25, 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution in Portugal. That revolution showed the true power of the people when the people of Portugal rose up to overthrow decades of fascist rule.

Paulo Raimundo, General Secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) gave a rousing and inspiring speech before the Portuguese Assembly of the Republic in honour of this anniversary and calling for its spirit of freedom, justice and equality to be embraced again.

Mr. President of the Republic,

Mr. President of the Assembly of the Republic,

Mr. Prime Minister,

Presidents of the Supreme Court of Justice,

the Constitutional Court and the

Supreme Administrative Court,

Captains of April,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We mark the fiftieth anniversary of the April Revolution, that unique event, which is projected in the actuality of our collective life and is the reference for the construction of the present and future of the country.

I would like to evoke the courage and determination of the young captains of April, in that early morning that woke up to a vigorous popular mobilization that established the People's Alliance – MFA, and transformed the military uprising into a liberating Revolution.

A Revolution that is the result of a long journey of struggle and resistance of 48 years, where men and women, mostly young, gave everything, many of them their lives. A struggle where, with pride, the Portuguese Communist Party was always in the front line of combat against the fascist regime that supported the half dozen families that ruled the country.

The Revolution enshrined concrete freedoms and opened the door to political, social, economic and cultural democracy; enshrined political, social, labour and cultural rights; redistributed wealth more fairly; imposed social justice; equality; distributed land to those who work it; freed the country from monopoly domination; built Local Government and regional autonomy; enshrined equality between men and women in law; it put an end to the colonial war.

A revolution that opted for a society at the service of the majority as opposed to in the interests of a minority.

That minority that has done and is doing everything to destroy these victories and recover lost power, that has done and is doing everything to falsify and rewrite history.

Revolution was a dream, a realization and a construction, it was values and hope for a better life that the counter-revolution and right-wing policy seek to deny.

April is not the majority of young people earning less than a thousand euros in salary.

April is about young people being able to live, work and make their lives in their own country.

April is the National Health Service and from it the guarantee of care, treatment and access to health for all.

It is the right to public schools and to the highest levels of education for all.

It is the right to housing, not the protection of banks and speculators.

April is Culture, it is the defense of Nature and the Environment, of ecosystems, of water as a public good.

April is scientific and technological development in Portugal.

April is against discrimination of all kinds.

April rejects hatred, racism and xenophobia.

April freed the country from fascism and from its regime of organized and silent corruption.

April took the country out of the hands of a few who distributed among themselves the wealth created and condemned the people to poverty.

April is a fight against the largely restored power of capitalist groups and multinationals over national life.

April is about putting an end to the entanglement between economic and political power, the root cause of corruption.

April is the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic in everyone's life and every day.

April is peace, cooperation and solidarity between peoples, it is the political resolution of conflicts.

April is the just life and happiness to which we are entitled, and which cannot be achieved with low wages, precariousness, unregulated working hours, forced emigration, with the injustice that particularly affects children and young people.

April is the path that needs to be resumed, putting an end to the cycle of right-wing policies that have led the country to growing inequalities.

This is the great challenge facing democrats and patriots, the workers, the people, all who live and work here.

But it is above all a task of the youth, of those who were born and grew up after the Revolution, of the children of that dawn. The task of taking into their hands the realization of this April of rights, dreams and fulfillment.

Workers fight for better wages, careers, and respect; women are fighting for their rights; young people demand the conditions so they can live in their own country; pensioners want a dignified life; people aspire to the right to have a home; parents want time for their children and children's rights; Immigrants demand political and social rights.

Struggles that are also demands of this April which, as Álvaro Cunhal said, "is not a mere past event that we remember, but a great historical achievement that maintains deep marks in present life and contains experiences and values indispensable for the future of Portugal".

And there is life confirming the achievements, the values and the example that endure, resist and that were and are present in thousands of commemorations of the 25th of April.

These values, this April that takes to the streets today, in the popular celebrations in the squares and avenues of Liberdade throughout the country, in a powerful affirmation of their vigor.

A clear, lively and exciting response from the strength that emanates from the People.

It is this April that will be reaffirmed in the great day of the 1st of May, the day of work and of the workers.

"They can decree the end of art, it's like decreeing the end of rain"

Taking this poem by Garota Não, I dare to say that: they can decree the end of April that this is like decreeing the end of Hope and it is this Hope in that April that we need to take back, it is just like music, a song without an ending, a song that is played and sung, tuned in different shapes, tones by that people who are the ones who form it.

April 25th Always! Fascism Never Again!

Long live the 25th of April!

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