Fragmented Power: Portugal in Revolution, 1974-1975

Greene, Doug Enaa

Publisher:  Links
Date Written:  11/02/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22091

In Portugal the underground Armed Forces Movement's long-planned coup d'etat to bring down the Estado Novo regime was a success; however it was relatively short-lived despite the modest intentions of its organizers. This article takes a look at the popular initiatives that brought Portugal to the brink of a socialist revolution and why it failed.



After decades of living in fear and silence, Portugal came to life again. Demonstrators welcomed the MFA coup and adopted the slogan: "The MFA is with the people, the people are with the MFA." A week after the coup, May Day was celebrated by 100,000 workers in Lisbon with red flags and radical slogans. They did not intend to simply parade, but to purge all traces of the old order. They had pent up grievances to finally satisfy. In the days to come, the jails were opened and political prisoners emerged. Agents of the hated secret police were attacked and imprisoned. Revolutionary graffiti, posters and slogans were found everywhere. Workers turned against bosses and police spies.

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