On 14th July, at the Lisbon Criminal Court, the Judge read the final decision of the trial against the “Lisbon 11”, detained during the police repression of the anti-authoritarian demonstration against fascism and capitalism of 25th April 2007. All the defendants were acquitted of the charges against them as the Judge considered that there were no evidences to condemn them.
This was an expected decision, as the testimonies of the accusation witnesses – mainly anti-riot cops – were full with contradictions and sometimes almost anecdotic. Already on the 5th of July – during the final allegations of the Public Prosecutor and the defense lawyers - the Public Prosecutor had to recognize in his declarations that there were not enough evidences to incriminate any of the accused. He started his speech by stating that there was no political motivation behind this trial – obviously disturbed by the protests against it – but the punishing of common criminal offenses. He justified the police acting as “necessary” although “muscled”, as it created its own dynamics in which it became difficult to discover who did what.
We are obviously very happy with this ending, but we cannot avoid to condemn this trial as one more demonstration of how State “justice” works, justifying the authority of the State and guarantying the impunity of its mercenaries until the end, even when it became obvious that they had engaged in an unjustified brutal behavior against the demonstrators. We can draw obvious parallels between the actuation of the police in this case and many recent situations of police repression and brutality not only in demonstrations, but mostly in poor neighborhoods, demonstrating that the “muscled” arm of the State is becoming more and more openly the fundamental guarantee for the functioning of a social and economic system based on inequality, oppression and exploitation.
Associação Internacional dos Trabalhadores