Whose Side Are You On? Anti-Austerity Cops Face Off Against Riot Police in Portugal

Defending their pensions from the threat of ever-deepening austerity cuts, as many as ten thousand off-duty police officers and state security agents in Portugal found themselves on the other side of the barricades Thursday night as they faced down their on-duty colleagues in riot control gear.

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With a march through Lisbon that ended at the steps of parliament, the angry police and security union members broke through security fences, and even briefly occupied the entrance to Parliament before the night was over.

The proposed cuts in public pensions are being demanded by the nation’s creditors in exchange for a government bailout package received in 2011.

As Agence France-Presse reports:

Following the raucous protest, the police superintendent of the nation’s police Paulo Gomes tendered his resignation