domingo, 30 de setembro de 2012

Martins Junior: The Assault on the Church

Excerpt from the book 'Olhares Multiplos sobre um Homem de Causas' recording fifty years of the life of Madeiran priest and politician, Martins Junior

In February 1985, bishop Dom Teodoro Faria and President Alberto João, organised with the head of the Police, Nuno Homem Costa, the assault on the church of the Ribeira Seca. At dawn, on a dark winter morning, 70 policemen rush the church, smash the door, change the locks, remove books from the arquive, the sound system and other goods which were never returned. The mayor, Jorge Gomes and Father Pestana Martinho, priest of Machico also joined in the operation.

The parishioners who witnessed the arrival of ten police trucks told Padre Martins, "you can go, we'll take care of this". And so it was, Father Martins went to his parents' house, in Banda D'Ale´m, and the police occupied the church and the parish hall. All without judicial mandate. They remained there for 18 days and 18 nights.

Meanwhile, the priest gathered the parishioners in the hills of Ribeira Seca, praying and reading the Gospels. The people behaved with the greatest civility, in contrast to the fury of of certain policemen led by Homem Costa, who dragged people to the Police station and to the Santa Cruz Court, to be summarily judged - although the judge refused.

"During this time the priest said he would leave and so end the confusion, but the people said no", recalls Julia Ribeiro. "The church services  at the time the church was invaded, were held elsewhere in the parish, and there the people would gather to celebrate mass on sundays".

"The people would gather to celebrate mass", adds Maria Gomes, " but always quickly, for the police  might show up." ...

"The police were getting on well in Ribeira Seca and even got to know the songs the people sang, 'The Church belongs to the people, the people belong to God, What are the Police doing, In the house of God?"

After eighteen days and eighteen nights, silently and without explanation, the Police abandoned the church, leaving the people in peace.

Martins Junior became mayor of Machico and Regional Parliamentarian. He was beaten up and thrown out of Parliament by Jardim's men. He continues to be an outspoken and charismatic critic of the dictatorship. 

quinta-feira, 20 de setembro de 2012

PSD Foundation investigation blocked

The Public Prosecutor's investigation into the Madeira PSD Foundation is stopped due to Jardim's parliamentary immunity. Jardim is the Foundation's chairperson. The Regional Parliament also refused to allow Miguel Mendonça and Jaime Ramos, both administrators of the Foundation, to testify.

The Foundation's objectives are charitable, but in reality its activity is party-political. The Foundation owns dozens of buildings which it rents out to the Party. In other words, they are not used for the charitable purposes for which the foundation was set up, but benefit from the tax exemptions associated to its charitable status.

The investigation was launched in 2008 and has been stopped for the last two years.

source: Publico

Jardim (and his cronies) can and do get away with anything due to the gross misuse of Parliamentary immunity to protect the systematic violations of Portuguese law. Criminal prosecution cannot touch these boys, which is one of the reasons they are in power.

segunda-feira, 17 de setembro de 2012

PSD Party a flop

The PSD Party at the PSD foundation's estate called Chão da Lagoa, held on the 9th of September was a shadow of its glory days. Attendance was 10,000 short of last year's event and Jardim's speech was mostly targeted at his internal rival Albuquerque.

Followers of the former PSD youth leader José Pedro Pereira turned up displaying slogans daubed "there is only one President, Jardim and no other" and heckled Albuquerque during his speech.

The PSD youth elections in Funchal held later in the week had to be supervised by hired security in case trouble broke out between rival factions. Pereira's faction lost to the candidate of the current leader, Romulo Coelho, who has been criticised internally for not openly pledging allegiance to Jardim.

Jardim is said to be nervous about the internal challenge and has had his party machine phoning up militants to guarantee their loyalty to him.

Rubina Leal, Funchal city councillor for the PSD recently resigned from the PSD Political Comission, stating that she no longer believed in his leadership. She had in any case stopped being convoked to the Political Comission's meetings.

quinta-feira, 6 de setembro de 2012

Jardim intensifies attacks on party rival

Jardim has been increasing his attacks on Miguel ALbuquerque, the Mayor of Funchal" in official speeches and in articles written in the Jornal.

Jardim refers to Albuquerque as "politically unemployed" and a "sorcerer's apprentice". In an article written in the Jornal (whose orientation is the responsibility of the Bishop) Jardim wrote that it is necessary to resist the internal enemy "formed by people without scruples or education, of those from the past and the present who have chips on their shoulder, those who are frustrated with life, those who are jealous, mercenaries e even those who despite being well treated do not hesitate to betray and stab one in the back".

Albuquerque says he will not be intimidated by Jardim's deliriums, by obscure fantasies which seek to create ghosts where they don't exist