Unidade Estudantil, nº2, Terça – 26 de Janeiro de 1965, Fundação Mário Soares, AMS Arquivo Mário Soares.

Demonstration in front of the Aljube Prison

16 March 2021
PIDE assault on the premises of the Students Association of the Faculty of Sciences. Mário Soares Foundation DAP – Documents Artur Pinto (1965)

#Inthisday, January 26, 1965, a demonstration took place in front of the Aljube prison demanding the release of the students trapped there. Outside, family members and other students shouted “Freedom for students”, “Freedom for political prisoners” and “Down with PIDE”. Inevitably, the demonstration was violently suppressed by the Riot Police.

The students were detained on 21 January. About fifty student leaders had been arrested at the University of Lisbon, accused of subversive activities and imprisoned in the “curros” of Aljube. PIDE managed to decapitate the essentials of the PCP organization at the University of Lisbon in a single blow, after complaints made by a student leader to PIDE. The next day, January 22, University Day was celebrated and the rector’s intervention would be interrupted by the voice of a mother saying “Free my son”, followed by cries of “Freedom for imprisoned students”.

The 1965 crisis, centred mainly on the struggle for the release of prisoners, became somewhat secondary to the struggles of 1962 and 1969. The year 1965 would be fertile in protests, strikes, episodes such as the closure of student associations and various student struggles. It is in the aftermath of the 1965 struggles that several students are expelled from the University and others forced to go into exile. In the memory of all of them, the act of the colleague, who had broken the glasses of his glasses to swallow them afterwards, was the imprisonment of high school students, the young man of only 15 years delivered to PIDE after summary judgment and globally, the violence of the torture that took place.

The repression of the demonstration in front of Aljube unfolded in persecution and police violence in downtown Lisbon. Months later, in July / August 1965, following growing national and international protests against the conditions of detention practiced there, the political prison of Aljube would be closed.

In the Documentation Center of the Aljube Museum, testimonials are available from many of the participants in the 1965 Academic Crisis.

Image: Student Unit, nº2, Tuesday – January 26, 1965, Mário Soares Foundation, AMS Mário Soares Archive.

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