Forças Populares 25 de Abril
|Popular Forces 25 April |
Forças Populares 25 de Abril
|Dates of operation||1980–1987|
|Motives||Proletarian revolution in Portugal|
|Notable attacks||Rocket attack on the Royal British Club in Lisbon (with the Irish Republican Army), Attack with mortar shells at NATO facilities in Oeiras|
Forças Populares 25 de Abril (English: Popular Forces 25 April) (FP 25 de Abril or FP-25) was a far-left terrorist group operating in Portugal between 1980 and 1987. Most of its members had previously been active in the Revolutionary Brigades (Brigadas Revolucionárias), an armed group with links to the Revolutionary Party of the Proletariat (Partido Revolucionário do Proletariado). A total of 18 people were killed by the FP-25 as a result of armed attacks, bombings and confrontations with the police during bank robberies and escape attempts. Notable attacks included the 1984 firing of four mortar rounds at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon and the 1985 bombing of six NATO ships, including the USS Richard E. Byrd, also in Lisbon.
The most well-known figure connected with the FP-25 was Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho.
The FP-25 brought together the most radical sectors of the Portuguese radical left, who were growing discontent with the development of parliamentary democracy and capitalism in post-Carnation Revolution Portugal. In the organization's "Manifesto ao Povo Trabalhador" or "Manifesto to the Workers" released in April 1980, the organization outlined its opposition to amendments to the Portuguese Constitution of 1976, specifically the abandonment of socialism, the abandonment of agrarian land reforms or the perceived lack of expression of the will of the people.
Opposing the political realities of the time, the FP-25 proposed a model of popular democracy, based on popular assemblies - the so-called basismo ("basism") ou conselhismo ("councelism"), similar to the Libyan or Cuban revolutions. It also defended the non-alignment with either side of the Cold War as a necessary condition to the implementation of socialism in Portugal.
The nature of the armed actions and terrorist attacks showed a preoccupation with different causes: political, economic, environmental, solidarity with other terrorist groups and support of FP-25 militants that had been arrested. The group unsuccessfully tried to intimidate the population, provoke a general revolt and raise a popular army.
Their constant operations of "recovery of funds" (i.e. bank robberies, the main source of funding) and their political and media isolation led the FP-25 to be seen by most Portuguese as no-more than a criminal gang.
Although the FP-25 tried to obtain the support of foreign governments for funding and logistical support, it seems that the majority if the group's financing came from the above-mentioned "recovery of funds". Still, some governments (especially Mozambique) did grant some support, for instance giving sanctuary to militants escaping the Portuguese authorities.