Speech by Paulo Raimundo, General Secretary of the PCP, Rally «Strength of April. The usual courage!»

With our usual courage, we will fight the struggles that lie ahead

A salute to all of you, a salute for your militancy, for your effort, a salute for the commitment and dedication of this magnificent party collective to the cause of the workers and our people.

A special salute to the youth and JCP for the creativity and combativeness they put into the election campaign we carried out.

A campaign of great importance and meaning and whose results do not portray the effort and dynamics created.

The concerns and discontent that we all feel is fair and understandable.

In fact, what characterised the campaign we carried out was contact, clarification, the construction every day and inch by inch of a result, was a growing mobilisation.

And after all this, this effort, this growing animation and confidence, we have an election result that created a situation even more favourable to big capital and the intensification of a right-wing policy, but the importance of the content and mobilisation of our campaign, which won and secured votes, projects beyond the elections, projects into this struggle that continues.

The nearly three million votes concentrated in right-wing parties constitute a negative aspect for the country, for the workers and the people.

A vote based on demagogy, lies and illusion, and which dragged and deceived thousands into the false idea of change, this change that is in fact demanded, but which will not come at the hands of PSD, CDS, IL and Chega.

From these parties will only come more favours to the interests of economic groups, more attacks on public services, more dismantling of the NHS and Public Schools, more attacks on the democratic regime.

From these political forces, which claim to speak in the name of the people but are nothing more than instruments at the service of economic groups, from these forces one can only expect even more injustice and inequality.

And so it will be, even if at this stage they put forward, under the pressure of the struggle, this or that specific measure, this or that tactical option, they may even come with a Budget amendment in an attempt to deceive their real project, but without ever jeopardising the interests of those who actually determine their actions, that is, the economic groups.

Besides the manoeuvres and fabricated disagreements between PSD, CDS, IL and Chega, whenever there is a need to safeguard the interests and aims of big capital, there will be the necessary convergences to try to carry out these aims.

The number of MPs serving the interests of economic groups increased considerably in the aftermath of the elections.

And it is in this game of shadows between what is dealt openly and what is decided behind the scenes, it is in this new correlation of forces that attempts will be made to resume the Troikian project interrupted in 2015.

That is what they want and let no one be deceived by the possible entry with kid gloves or by this or that specific measure, because what they want is the intensification of exploitation, the liquidation of rights and the increase of injustices, what they want is to return to those dark times when they were all there, those who today remain in the PSD and CDS, those who have since moved on to IL and Chega.

What binds them all is much stronger than what eventually separates them.

This is not a question of persons, their intentions or desires, but rather of projects and commitments.

Commitments to and dependant on economic groups, of those who effectively sustain and support them, and are in fact decisive for political options.

They may well promise the world, but at the end of the day what prevails is the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.

And we are here largely due to the responsibility of the PS.

With everything in their hands, a majority, a government and financial conditions, it chose not to respond to the central problems of the lives of those who live and work in the country, and, by not doing so, it increased the rightful anger and feeling of injustice of millions of workers, while at the same time kneeling before the benefits and support for economic groups.

A PS that, particularly in the last two years, gave rise to and fed the most reactionary forces. The results of these options are visible. We are facing a new political framework. A situation that we are here to face. And face it from the first minute, starting with the predictable formation of a PSD/CDS Government.

Here we are doing it with all the means we have at our disposal, whether in institutions or on the streets.

We do not give up on any instrument, we do not give up on making it clear that, as far as it depends on the PCP, the right-wing project will not be implemented.

If the AD Government is nominated, we will table a motion of rejection.

There is no need to wait until it takes office to find out what the Government's projects and aims are.

From there will only come more injustice and exploitation.

The right and its projects can surely count on the frontal opposition of the PCP.

It is this political dimension of positioning that the motion of rejection assumes.

Don't ask the PCP to feed illusions, we know quite well, and already, what can be expected from the right, we know quite well who always shoulders the right-wing project, we know quite well, no matter how much media coverage is created, how negative the project of the PSD and CDS itself represents.

With the PCP there is not the least tolerance for the right-wing project, do not ask us to be patient or to wait and see the path of national disaster. Let everyone assume their responsibilities and decide what they will. On our part there are no illusions or benefits of doubt.

We will be the opposition, we will be the force for construction and progress.

Responding immediately to the commitments made and the needs that arise right away in the lives of the workers and people.

Keeping our word, doing after the elections what we said before.

Here, in this force, there is no room for false promises or deceit.

Here we are for the general increase in wages; for the extra increase in pensions; for respecting, valuing workers, retaining professionals in the NHS; to restore teachers’ service time and put an end to precariousness in schools; to fix food prices and lower VAT on electricity, telecommunications and gas; to stop the increase in rents and put banking profits to support increases in interest rates; to fight privatisations, corruption and injustice; to defend and enforce the Constitution of the Republic.

All this needs an answer, that's how it was on March 9, that's how it is today.

Right-wing policies cause instability in the lives of the workers and people. It is this instability in life that has to end.

The interests of the people and workers are irreconcilable with the interests of economic groups. This is the real confrontation, and it is what we need to choose.

Either you choose the interests of the people and workers, or those of the economic groups.

Either you choose an alternative policy at the service of the majority or maintain and worsen the choice of a minority.

You either choose to significantly increase wages and distribute the wealth that has been created, or you choose to maintain and deepen a situation where the richest 10% have more than half of all the country's wealth.

You either choose an increase in pensions, or one disrespects the dignity owed to those who have worked their entire lives.

You either choose to invest in public services, in the National Health Service, in Public Schools, in transport, in culture, in the implementation of rights, or you choose to give up 11 billion euros to serve the Euro, in the name of the correct accounts of big capital.

You either choose to recover the productive fabric, the strategic sectors, sovereignty, and respond to the needs of the country and the people, or you give up all the wealth that drains from the country to abroad, like the 13.8 billion euros in profits and dividends, the result of privatisations, the free circulation of capital, and the country's external dependence.

You either choose to fight speculation and stop the rise in prices of essential goods, such as food, or you promote Sonae's 354 million euros in profits.

You either choose the paths of peace, or war and the arms industry.

You either choose to put banking profits to support the increase in interest rates or the difficulties and sacrifices for workers, pensioners and families continue.

These are the choices that have to be made, everything else is proclamations and intentions.

With the PCP the choices are very clear and what is required is the same clarity from everyone else.

Our election result does not make the choices that have to be made any less legitimate or less urgent.

An election result that reflects a negative development is in itself a sign of resistance.

If there are reasons for us to be dissatisfied, there are also those who are very dissatisfied with the results we had, first of all those who thought and did everything they could to keep us out of institutional representation.

Let the same ones who promote false solutions channel discontent

The same ones who propagate pointing the finger at the neighbour, at the co-worker, at the immigrant, by stirring up a false sense of insecurity, by deflecting attention from what is the main cause of their situation, these forces that present themselves as anti-system but they are the worst thing the system has, this capitalist system based on exploitation, predation, oppression and aggression.

Nourished, funded and supported by those who benefit most from the system, injustices and inequalities that, without contemplation or fear, we intend to put an end to.

Our party collective will not fail to analyse the election results.

This needs to be done by the Party and by the many, many friends who participated with us in the electoral battle.

We are doing it, we will do it, but as we go, intervening, fighting and organising to move forward.

It is with the strength that the people gave us, it is with the more than 200 thousand votes and the 4 elected MPs, but it is also with the global strength that we have, far beyond the institutional, that we will be, as always, with the workers and of the people.

Following up on the election campaign experience, a campaign of contact carried out by thousands of CDU activists, PCP and PEV activists, and many, many people without any party affiliation who came together and built the CDU's result inch by inch.

Continuing the remarkable dedication and militancy with emphasis on youth participation and the joyful, committed, creative and determined way in which they got involved in the election campaign.

Continuing contacts, conversations, clarifications, with those who, even though they did not vote for CDU this time, did not fail to recognise the justice of our proposals and even our importance.

This connection must be continued, developed and enhanced.

A patient but necessary work whose importance goes far beyond electoral disputes.

A work that has already continued in the journey of contact with the workers and the population between March 21 and 24.

In this new political framework, the struggle will be a necessary obstacle to right-wing policies, to the offensive against rights and living conditions.

It will be the struggle to impose a policy in favour of progress, better working and living conditions, in defence of public services.

The PCP will be there to carry out this struggle, on the streets, in the institutions, in the Assembly of the Republic.

Struggles that are taking place all over the country, in a wide range of sectors and adopting the most diverse forms.

Struggles underway and in preparation, like those of teachers, doctors, nurses, journalists, charity workers, retail workers, students, youth, women and many, many others.

With our usual courage, we will fight the struggles that lie ahead.

With determination and joy.

Being, as we have always been, the force that counts, the decisive force, the force that does not bend in the face of attacks from the right, wherever they come from and however they come.

The force that carries with it the project, the values, the rights of that transforming April.

Here we are, with determination to build the alternative.

Here we are and we call for this struggle that determines, here we are and we call for great and massive popular celebrations that are under preparation for the 50th. anniversary of the 25th. of April.

A great moment of affirmation of its transforming example, of its achievements, of its values and of its present and future project, which is the April Revolution.

It's time to take to the streets.

It's time to take to the streets everywhere and raise high this project for the future that is April.

April is more future, it is a future that comes to fruition in May.

This May Day is a great and powerful journey that is facing all the workers, but also the democrats.

Let's make May Day a huge construction of the workers and a great moment to affirm their fair demands and the change that is necessary.

This demand for change, which will also have to be expressed in the elections for the European Parliament, an opportunity to, with the vote for the CDU, affirm the necessary path for the country and for Europe.

The path to improve living conditions, for development, social progress, peace and cooperation among peoples.

It is this path of future that is required, this path that the April Revolution marked for the construction of a progressive and sovereign Portugal, of achievements, advances and remarkable transformations and which decades of right-wing policies have denied in the name of a capitalist restoration project.

When today the idea of change is brandished so that everything remains the same, here we affirm that true change requires a break with right-wing policies, true change requires breaking with retrograde conceptions and practices that are at the root of inequalities and injustices, the change that is required is the construction of an alternative that resumes this new cycle in national life that the April Revolution opened.

There is no solution to national problems, there is no answer to the problems of the workers and the people without returning to what the April Revolution represented.

You cannot invoke April and conspire against April, destroy what was most advanced in terms of rights and social achievements, deny what April meant of cutting off that economic power that supported fascism and which now once again dictates and commands politics, impoverishes democracy and the liberating path that April represented.

It is for this new path that the forces of capital have interrupted, it is for this patriotic and left-wing path that the PCP calls on the democrats, patriots, those who live and work here, that it calls on everyone to mobilise to build the alternative that is needed.

An action and mobilisation around the concrete solutions that are needed in favour of those who work and of the people, an action that is necessary and that faces the interests of those who think they are the owners of all this, an action that converges in the defence of the democratic regime and compliance with the Constitution of the Republic.

The circumstances of intervention in light of the election results are necessarily more demanding, but the youth, the democrats, the patriots, everyone who lives and works here knows that they can always count on the PCP.

This Party, with 103 years of life and a unique history, of dedication and struggle against all forms of exploitation and oppression, for freedom, democracy and socialism.

A Party firm in its ideal, which does not abandon its principles.

A Party that does not abandon the dream, the political project, the revolutionary action.

A Party that is here to face all the challenges that are placed before it, a cohesive, united, firm Party collective that increasingly wants to be a key player and a builder.

Here we are knowing that the tasks that the current situation poses to the Party are great and demanding.

A Party that assumes with conviction and honours its communist identity.

A Party to which all of us communist militants are immensely proud to belong, assuming the legacy left to us by successive generations of communists.

Long live the workers’ struggle!

Long live JCP!

Long live the PCP!