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Current Sociology

http://csi.sagepub.com/ Gerao Rasca and beyond: Mobilizations in Portugal after 12 March 2011
Britta Baumgarten Current Sociology 2013 61: 457 originally published online 17 April 2013 DOI: 10.1177/0011392113479745 The online version of this article can be found at: http://csi.sagepub.com/content/61/4/457

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Gerao Rasca and beyond: Mobilizations in Portugal after 12 March 2011


Britta Baumgarten
CIES (Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology) Lisbon, Portugal

Current Sociology 61(4) 457473 The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0011392113479745 csi.sagepub.com

Abstract This article analyses the Portuguese mobilizations that started with the Gerao Rasca in March 2011. The author argues that international events and the import of ideas from movements abroad had an important impact on the organizational structure and the claims of the Portuguese mobilizations. The nation-state, however, remains a very important factor in activism: organizational structures as well as claims are to a great extent country-specific. The article provides also an overview of the protest events and the field of actors involved in the organization of protest. Data come from 10 months of field research, which included participant observations, in-depth interviews and the analysis of websites and mailing-lists. Keywords Gerao Rasca, Portugal, transnational activism

Introduction
The Portuguese protest of the Gerao Rasca (The Desperate Generation) on 12 March 2011 was the biggest demonstration in Portugal since the Carnation Revolution of 1974. This protest was the first of a series of national demonstrations that have to be regarded as part of a bigger picture of worldwide mobilizations against austerity measures and for participatory and deliberative democracy. The date of 12 March 2011 was also a starting point for remarkable changes in the organizational structure of Portuguese mobilizations. Although the main trade unions remain important actors, civil society activists managed to organize large public protests independently for the first time that year.
Corresponding author: Britta Baumgarten, CIES Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology, University Institute of Lisbon, Travessa do Giestal 5 RCE, 1300-277 Lisbon, Portugal. Email: britta.baumgarten@gmail.com

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This article focuses on the mobilizations that have taken place in Portugal starting on 12 March 2011, and takes into consideration an international framework of protest. Portuguese activists have recognized the high importance of internationalization, and international events have undoubtedly played an important role in the organization of Portuguese activists. However, this article argues that their activities are predominantly oriented towards a national framework. This low degree of internationalization of the Portuguese activism is explained by two factors: (1) the movement is relatively new and internationalization takes time to develop; (2) although various new groups with different aims and practices developed in 2011, the classic model of activism that strategically targets the nation-state and that is thus more oriented towards a national framework of action prevails in the Portuguese protests. From the transnational perspective Portugal is an especially interesting case because (1) Portugal was one of the first countries within the cycle of large protests all over the world in 2011 that referred to each other; (2) the framework of the Portuguese mobilizations is on the one hand very international (worldwide economic and European debates on how to resolve the crisis; impact of international actors on Portuguese politics, etc.) while on the other hand a great part of the political decision-making is still based at the national level, which suggests state actors as the main target of the claims, and (3) there is one major national event in the history of Portuguese protest, the Carnation Revolution in 1974, that still plays an important role in the contemporary protests. So far the entanglement of national and transnational aspects of the current activism in Portugal has not been analysed. Data for this article were gathered during 10 months of field research, which include participant observations of the preparation of protest activities, the organization of popular assemblies and work meetings of different activist groups1 in Lisbon. Furthermore I conducted in-depth interviews with activists, and followed Internet activities of the groups. The time period covered by this article is 12 March 2011 until July 2012. This article focuses on the Lisbon movements with only some reference to other regions of Portugal.

The national framework and transnational cooperation in social movement research


Transnational activism (Tarrow, 2005) is nothing new. It has been widely studied by social movement scholars, particularly since the rise of the global justice movement (GJM) (Della Porta, 2007; Olesen, 2010; Smith, 2002; for an overview see: Van Dyke and McCammon, 2010). Research on transnational social movements is often placed within a framework of costs and benefits and observes how actors deal with given obstacles mainly using the concept of strategic actors. Furthermore, there is a focus on already existing global actors, like the Global Social Forums, the GJM, or transnational advocacy networks (Bandy and Smith, 2005). Talking about transnational activism often implies a notion of the nation-state being in the process of losing some of its importance due to the various processes of globalization (Tarrow, 1998: 181182). However, the nation-state still plays an

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important role in the transnational cooperation of social movement actors. For most global movements, the nation-state remains the main target (Johnston, 2011: 197); thus, claims are still predominantly directed towards politicians at the national level. The levels of state intervention and the main areas of state engagement (e.g. social welfare, the way the economy and the society are regulated) provide different frameworks for social movements action. Furthermore, the organizational structure of civil society is very much affected by the nation-state, through, for example, state spending and regulation (Johnston, 2011). Countries differ in structural aspects of civil society (e.g. segmentation, networks of cooperation) but also in the openness or closure of the political system. All these factors impact the support base for a movement (Melucci, 1996: 323). Also, discourses are to a great extent still nation-based. They are dominated by national media and centred on national issues. They influence internal discourses in local social movements. As comparative studies show, there are great differences in frames across countries (Ferree et al., 2002) that cannot be interpreted as purely strategic choices made by social movement actors. Besides, most social movements are to a great extent based on activist groups that centre their day-to-day activism at the local and national level. They have developed their specific subcultures (Johnston, 2011; Moore and Roberts, 2009) in long-term internal processes of interaction. These subcultures include, for example, specific practices, values and narratives. Differences at the transnational level are favourable as a source of inspiration for new practices, knowledge and different experiences. Movement actors benefit from joint campaigns and solidarity between movements; they meet and, in some cases, they become a transnational movement (Tarrow, 2005: 164).2 Thanks to these international exchanges, new action forms and new worldviews are often taken up and integrated into the national context (McAdam and Rucht, 1993; Soule, 2007; Tarrow, 2005). The exchange of ideas and practices across borders always entails selection and interpretation (Strang and Soule, 1998: 266). Transnational frames have to be translated into the national context in order to gain resonance within this new framework (Olesen, 2005: 431434). As mentioned earlier, the Portuguese mobilizations starting in 2011 are to be regarded as part of a bigger picture of worldwide protests. The year 2011 is particularly interesting to analyse transnational cooperation of social movements. During that year, social movements became extraordinarily visible throughout the world and strongly referred to each other. Forms of action, such as the occupation of central public spaces and the organization of public assemblies, were transferred. The actual movements, however, cannot be regarded as a global social movement. Their aims are too diverse and, apart from the numerous informal ties established between them and punctual cooperation (joint days of action, informal exchange of information over the web), there is no established structure of cooperation (for an overview of 2011 mobilizations, see Tejerina and Perugorra, 2012), like for example in the GJM (Della Porta, 2005). Within this framework of the 2011 protests it is exciting to observe how social movements relate to groups and events located in other countries. This article builds upon insights of the literature on transnational activism to observe how a social movement that is (mostly via the Internet) situated in a globalized net of communication refers to this context in its daily work.

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The context of mobilization in Portugal: Civil society, protest antecedents and organizational structures
Civil society has traditionally been weak in Portugal. Compared to Northern European countries, Portuguese people are less involved in civil society groups and are less politically active (Fernandes, 2012; McCloughan et al., 2011). During the Estado Novo (19261974), political activism was largely repressed and steps were taken to depoliticize the population. During the revolutionary period of 19741975 various attempts to organize civil society were undertaken by political parties, trade unions and citizen groups.3 Portugals transition, between April 1974 and the end of 1975, was an extreme case of high participation and popular mobilization through a variety of forms. [and] saw an explosion of associative movements concerned with every aspect of social life (Fernandes, 2012: 11). This short time of high political participation was followed by a long period of low participation (De Sousa Santos and Nunes, 2004; Hamann and Manuel, 1999). Today, the majority of the Portuguese population does not believe in the efficacy of political participation and trust in institutional politics is very low (Pinto et al., 2012). Although demonstrations are generally welcome in the rhetoric of the political elite (Fishman, 2011), political participation in activist groups and demonstrations in particular are disapproved of by many Portuguese. This poses serious difficulties for civil society groups. Groups remain small, and activists report a lack of support, particularly in smaller cities. There is a constant debate within and among groups about how to attract new participants and engage them in politics. New activists also cannot be recruited easily through personal networks. The actual mobilizations are connected to earlier mobilizations with an international dimension: protest against the involvement of the International Monetary Fund in Portugal in 1983, against Portugal joining the European Union in 1986 and mobilization of the global justice movement (GJM) after 1999 including the Social Forums. Portuguese protests against the Iraq War in 2003 were important as a part of mobilizations in various cities around the world (Walgrave and Rucht, 2010). The May Day demonstrations, organized by a Portuguese activist platform since 2007 (Feixa et al., 2009), are part of a European phenomenon that started in 2001 in Milan, Italy (Mattoni, 2006). All mobilizations share a refusal of neoliberal models and were also organized in participatory processes without great impact of the trade unions. The GJM was an especially important antecedent in terms of practices of decision-making: here the principle of consensus was practised for the first time. With the rise of this movement, particularly after 1999, the locally based citizen movements also re-emerged in Portugal. They operated mainly at the local level and were largely ignored by the media (De Sousa Santos and Nunes, 2004: 11). While the earlier mobilizations were neither based on a stable network of civil society actors, nor resulted in such a network, in the GJM groups from various areas, like the feminist, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), student, ATTAC and ecological movements, worked together in the Social Forums with political parties from the left and with trade unions (Nunes, 2011). The networks built in these times, however, did not continue after the failure of the Portuguese Social Forums. To this day, most activist groups maintain only informal sporadic contacts to activists abroad.

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According to my fieldwork data, many activists participated in social movement groups long before 2011. Networks of activist groups were created but today of these only the May Day platform remains. Thus none of the earlier international platforms played a role in the 2011/2012 protests. The international dimension of protests grew between 1992 and 2002; however, it remained weak when compared to local and national protests (De Oliveira Mendes and Seixas, 2005: 123).

A short overview of recent mobilizations in Portugal


Before 12 March 2011 large protests against cuts in state spending and labour market reforms in Portugal were mainly organized by big union confederations: the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGTP Confederao Geral dos Trabalhadores Portugueses) and the General Workers Union (UGT Unio Geral de Trabalhadores). This dominance of union-led mobilization ended with the protest of the Gerao Rasca (the desperate generation), organized independently from the trade union confederations. The participation of 200,000500,000 protestors, according to different sources, made it the largest demonstration in Portugal since the 1974 Carnation Revolution.4 The day marked a turning point; after this protest, the level of mobilization by civil society actors5 increased, including the birth of various new activist groups and cooperation networks. New initiatives and movement platforms rose and various political events and joint activities were initiated. Although the number of participants in the March 2011 protest was not reached again until 15 September 2012, there were several other massive street demonstrations connected to the economic crisis. I distinguish them in three categories: 1. Union-led demonstrations and general strikes. These protests are nothing new in Portugal (Estanque, 2010). Since 2007, however, some activist groups have tried to gain visibility within these protest events. They advocate for the rights of groups that tend not to be represented by trade unions, e.g. migrants, women and precarious workers. Trade unions organized demonstrations on 1 May and 1 October 2011, and on 11 February 2012, and two general strikes combined with demonstrations on 24 November 2011and on 22 March 2012. 2. Independent protest events and social movement platforms. Although activist groups have always organized smaller demonstrations, large protest events organized without union participation are a new phenomenon in Portugal that began in May 2011. The activist platform 15O, that formed during the occupation of Rossio Square, called for protests on the international day of action of 15 October and on 24 November 2011, and 21 January and 22 March 2012. The international day of action on 15 October was the 150s most successful protest event. It was part of an international event that took place in 82 countries to protest for a political system in favour of the people instead of the financial elites, and for more influence of the people (15october.net/). 3. Occupation of public spaces.6 Beginning on 20 May 2011, the first occupations of public spaces were initiated as rather spontaneous actions by small groups. Protestors occupied central locations in four major Portuguese cities the largest of which was Lisbons Rossio Square, where up to 100 people camped overnight

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Current Sociology Monograph 2 61(4) for 15 days. From 15 October to 12 December 2011 Ocupar Lisboa, the Occupy Lisbon Movement, occupied a small area in front of the Portuguese parliament. An occupation of the large Eduardo VII Park in Lisbon was planned several months in advance in weekly meetings by the activist platform Primavera Global Portuguesa (Global Portuguese Spring) and took place as part of the international days of action on 1215 May 2012, called Global Spring (takethesquare. net/2012/03/04/call-for-a-global-spring-in-may-2012/).

The three protest categories differ in their structure of organization, but also in the type of participants. The first type of protest, union demonstrations and general strikes, is based on a top-down organization that involves considerable financial resources. These protests are characterized by the display of standardized posters and flags, and the repetition of a stock of slogans, with almost no individual forms of expression. Most participants are older than 40 and members of the unions. The second type, instead, often involves a long planning process consisting of open public assemblies where participants jointly decide upon posters and routes in endless debates. Individual posters and slogans are welcome as long as they do not contradict core values of the movement platforms. Before the demonstration there are public events of painting individual posters and at the end of the demonstration there is almost always a public assembly, including an open microphone. These demonstrations are more diverse than the first type. The third type differs from the second type mainly in the concrete form of action. In Portugal, most participants in the occupations do not stay overnight. During the daytime there are various assemblies, workshops and meals organized by the participants.

Organizational structure of social movements involved in the 2011 demonstrations


Even though there are many experienced activists in Portugal, most of the main groups involved in the 2011 demonstrations have arisen since 2007. In addition, the demonstration of 12 March 2011 gave rise to various new activist groups and new forms of action throughout the country. Thus, many activists regard 2011 as a time of new departures. In the following short overview of those groups active in the recent demonstrations I distinguish between (a) classic activist groups, primarily fighting for specific, more or less already defined rights;7 and (b) groups promoting predominantly civil society participation and public debate; groups that do not have fixed goals but prefer openness, the construction of alternatives and a joint process of finding solutions: the PPA groups8 (see Figure 1).

The classic groups


Many groups protesting precarious work and life situations, such as FERVE (Fartas/os dEstes Recibos Verdes [Tired of the False Green Receipts]), PI (Precrios Inflexveis [The Inflexible Precarious]) and Intermitentes do Espectculo (On-and-off Show Artists), emerged in 2007, when the first May Day protests took place in Portugal. These groups established forms of cooperation with unions; they supported striking

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Figure 1. Overview of the groups, platforms and locations of activism involved in the 2011/2012 mobilizations.

workers and organized joint public debates (Marques Neves, 2011). The 3Rs (Renew, Rebuild, Rejuvenate), an initiative of teachers directed against cuts in state expenditures, especially in education, was born in 2009. A further initiative of this kind is the CADPP (Committee for the Annulment of the Portuguese Public Debt) that calls for the Portuguese foreign debt to be cancelled. The movement of unemployed workers, Movimento Sem Emprego (MSE), was founded in February 2012 and has received a lot of attention since then.

The PPA groups


Then there are groups that focus predominantly on participation, public debate and alternatives beyond the state. I therefore call them PPA groups here. They mainly came into being after 12 March 2011. The 12 de Maro and Movimento Geraes are movements that predominantly promote democracy. Both focus on deficits in the democratic decision-making process and work on policy proposals. After the demonstration on 12 March 2011, Movimento 12 de Maro [M12M], for example, organized the Forum das Geraes (Forum of the Generations), a forum to debate solutions to the economic crisis, which they defined moreover as a political and social crisis. The Indignados de Lisboa organize assemblies in public places with the aim of politicizing people, discussing urgent problems and organizing protest activities. The assemblies are open to all kinds of proposals, which are then developed in working groups. Currently there are assemblies in some districts of Lisbon and in some cities in the north of Portugal. The first national meeting of the Portuguese assemblies took place in Coimbra on 14 January 2012.

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Anonymous Portugal is fighting against censorship and for a free Internet. Activists of this group provide the technical support meetings for the movement platforms and protest events, e.g. setting up live streams or building platforms for information exchange. Although this group operates mainly through the Internet, some activists in this group join in the various assemblies of the Indignados and have taken part in occupations and other events of the various platforms. Further there are various groups that practise alternative ways of living and founded their platform Convergir (Converge) on 15 September 2012. Verdadeira Democracia J is a group inspired by the Spanish 15M. It was created at Rossio Square and ran the occupation. As the name indicates, this group aims at participatory forms of democracy and a better control of politicians. Ocupar Lisboa is a small group that organized the occupation in front of the Portuguese parliament from 15 October to 12 December 2011. During this time they held several assemblies to talk about alternative ways of democracy and of living together. The proper functioning of these two groups depended on the common occupied space: the location and the event. Thus they also belong to the third category.

Platforms, locations and events to organize mobilization


Cooperation between all groups is organized by platforms and through public events. May Day is a movement platform that has mobilized since 2007 each year from February to 1 May against all forms of precarious work. 15O, the most important movement platform of 2011, as mentioned earlier was created with the occupation of Rossio Square from 20 to 22 May 2011. It embraced up to 38 activist groups and holds public assemblies and debates. Primavera Global Portuguesa is a platform that was founded to prepare Portuguese protest and occupations during the international days of action starting on 12 May 2012. It included a wider variety of activists than 15O, but did not continue work after the respective events it was created for. The meeting Activar was organized on 21 and 22 April 2012 to present the work of the groups, exchange information and make contacts. The Iniciativa de Auditoria Cidad (IAC) is an initiative of trade unionists, politicians and activists from various groups that emerged with the intention of auditing Portugals public debt, to discover the origins of the debt, its contents and the contracts related to it. In contrast to the activist group CADPP it does not call for the complete annulment of the public debt, but is trying to find out which parts of the debt are illegal. Furthermore, there are some physical spaces of activism: RDA 69 was founded in 2010 and is a building run by activists where political debate and dinners take place and a bicycle garage is run. Similar to this is the Casa Viva in Porto. This has comprised so far the occupation of two buildings. Es.Col.A da Fontinha a former school in Porto that had been closed down was occupied in April 2011 and occupants were evicted on 19 April 2012. The building was used as a cultural space and according to my interviewees was an important meeting place for many activists in Porto. Less than a week after the eviction from Fontinha, So Lazaro 94, an abandoned building in Lisbon, was occupied as a spontaneous action of solidarity. Until eviction at the end of May 2012, the building was used for activist meetings, cultural events and included a small give-away shop.

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The field of activists within the Portuguese mobilizations is broad and, although there is some overlap between activists who belong to various groups at the same time, it is to a certain extent divided. Apart from the distinction between what I have called the classic and the PPA groups, there is the reformist versus revolutionary division, with some of them favouring improvements within the existing system, and others fighting for a revolution. Further contested questions are whether they should cooperate with members of the unions and political parties, and whether to advocate for the cancellation of Portugals public debt. Not only are the activists personal backgrounds rather similar within than between the groups, there are also long-term friendships between activists of the same group. The groups cooperate mainly to join forces in street protest and to exchange information. The Portuguese government and the international economic system serve as common opponents. The movements do not differ largely in their practices, decision-making and participation. As cooperation with stronger partners, like the trade unions, is difficult (Marques Neves, 2011) and other options, like most NGOs, church groups or the majority of the local associations, are not available as partners in protest, cooperation between the movement groups themselves remains one of the few options to gain strength. A look at the antecedents of the actual mobilizations shows that there have been several instances of closer cooperation before, always in times of larger mobilization. In these times activists tend to put their efforts into the often very time consuming meetings.

International dimensions of the Portuguese mobilization References to international events


There is generally a great openness to ideas from abroad among the Portuguese activists. Messages about events in other countries are sent via mailing lists and Facebook, and films about protest events in other countries are shown in public. Demonstrations on 15 October 2011 and 12 May 2012 were organized as a part of international days of action. The Arab Spring and its claim for democracy became a key reference for all large demonstrations in 2011. It was not only strategically used in calls for protests and manifestos by social movement actors. It was also widely referred to by journalists and portrayed mainly positively. As already shown in this article, international movements and events had largely impacted Portuguese politics before. The occupation of Puerta del Sol in Madrid in May 2011 had a huge impact on the Portuguese mobilizations: it gave birth to the occupation of four public places in Portugal. The occupation of Rossio Square in Lisbon started as a demonstration of solidarity9 with Puerta del Sol by mainly Spanish protestors in front of the Spanish consulate in Lisbon. Later they went to Rossio Square, where many people joined their protest. The Portuguese activists imported forms of action, like the occupation of public space, and the Spanish manifesto was read out those assembled at the occupation. The occupation of Rossio Square was an important starting point for many groups, including the platform 15O. Apart from international events, however, there is a great importance of national events. The Portuguese demonstrations of 12 March 2011 were inspired by a song performed at a huge concert in Lisbon. On 24 January, the Portuguese band Deolinda

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performed Parva que sou! (How stupid I am) for the first time. This song is about the precarious situation of a generation of educated young people.10 Many activists mention the experience of having listened to this song as a starting point for the mobilizations of 12 March 2011. The organization of the demonstrations started less than two weeks after the performance and the call for protests refers to the generation of young, well-educated but precarious or unemployed people with no hope of escaping their situation, which the song is about. The self-description of the protestors as Gerao Rasca (The Desperate Generation) in addition refers to the same term used for the Portuguese student demonstrators in 1992.

Ideas from abroad


Portuguese activists have for a long time imported slogans, repertoires and forms of action, like the practice of assemblies and the occupation of public spaces. Ideas for new forms of movements were also taken from abroad: particularly Indignados de Lisboa, Ocupar and Anonymous. These groups tend be more international in their demands, but they do not automatically have a close contact with similar movements in other countries. In the case of the Indignados, the principle of organizing and the name was inspired by the Spanish Indignados. Ideas are exchanged loosely via the Internet and through private contacts of individual activists. Generally, there were only a few international meetings that had an impact on the organizational structure of the Portuguese activists. The initiative for a citizens audit of the Portuguese debt (IAC) is the result of a successful international meeting of about 130 activists from several countries. It was organized in cooperation with the Open Civic Forum in Iceland and part of a series of meetings throughout Europe. According to my interviews and observation of meetings, there is a great interest in international cooperation. It is highly valued and possible activities with activist groups from abroad were discussed frequently. In practice the ideas are then often not continued because local issues come first and absorb all resources. With regard to international claims and frames, a special focus is set on social movements from other countries facing austerity measures and heavily indebted. The protests in Greece have been used as a thread, claiming We consider ourselves Greek. The slogan Spain! Greece! Ireland! Portugal! Our struggle is international! was prominently proclaimed during the 2011 demonstrations. It was meant to show the international dimension of the protest and similarities in the political and economic framework. Nonetheless, the targets of Portuguese protests remained mainly at the national level: claims were directed at national politicians. Adaption to country-specific events, political decisions, culture and history is very common. The revolutionary period of 1974/1975 and its songs are still major references in the mobilization of many activist groups (De Sousa Santos and Nunes, 2004: 12). Many of the banners and posters displayed during the 2011 demonstrations refer to Portuguese political decisions and scandals. Moreover, frames are adapted to the national context. The claim for grassroots democracy and wider citizen participation, for instance, is one that has united most movements at a global level in the large demonstrations of 2011. At the top of their homepage the 12 March movement (www.movimento12m.org/) framed this claim in a very Portuguese way, citing Jos Saramago, the Nobel Laureate in Literature: real democracy includes

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the capacity of the citizen to intervene in politics and in all circumstances of public life. Freedom of press and freedom of political organization is only the minimum condition for achieving the goal of making every citizen a politician a starting point on the way to achieve the spiritual and civil riches of the authentic citizen. Taking a closer look at the single protest events, we observe great differences in the international dimension of claims. Table 1 shows the main claims of the activist groups in the large demonstrations of 2011/2012.11 Claims that are referring primarily to a global context and not to national politics and claims that reflect the main claims of the Arab Spring, the 15M in Spain or the Occupy movement (like democracy, transparency, control of banks and capital) are taken as an indicator of a high degree of international references. Although the demonstration on 12 March 2011 was inspired by the Arab Spring, the claims are refer entirely to national politics. International claims and frames have the highest impact on 15 May. Here also the call for protest included explicit international references. In reference to the Spanish revolution, the call to occupy locations in Lisbon, Oporto, Coimbra and Faro announced on Facebook was named the Portuguese revolution. It made an appeal for solidarity with the Spanish occupations and used the Spanish framework. For the demonstration on 15 October 2011 the international call for protest was translated into Portuguese (www.15deoutubro.net/manifestos/internacional.html). Two of the three claims included in the demonstrations banner refer to peoples rights and real democracy. In the manifesto of the platform 15O, the protest is explicitly declared as international. It, nevertheless, adapts an international claim to the national context: According to the constitutional principle achieved on 25 April 1974 the economy must be subordinated to the general interest of society. The demonstration organized during the general strike of 24 November 2011 was organized by 15O, parallel to the demonstration of the two main trade union confederations. All claims relate closely to current national politics. An international reference and the frame of the 1% versus the 99%, however, were used in 15Os press release and in the call for protest by the activist group PI. The calls for protest on 21 January and on 22 March 2012 did not contain any references to international events, claims or movements abroad. They referred to the countrys specific situation and current political decisions. In reflections on the January 2012 protest in activist meetings, the absence of any attempt to relate the protest to international events was criticized as a weakness and one reason for the relatively low participation. However, the protest on 1215 May 2012 organized by a different platform and being part of international days of protest contains mainly international claims. There are three general trends to be drawn from the description above: 1. Claims refer mainly to national politics when the trade unions call for the protest, and when activist groups or platforms call for a protest on the same day that the trade unions organize a demonstration. The activists seem to have adapted their claims to this most classic actor and left the international dimension aside.

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Table 1. Overview of main demonstrations and their claims. Demonstration Organizer Associated to international day of action? No Claimsa national international A right to employment, the  improvement of working conditions and the end of precarious life situations, the right to education, the acknowledgement of qualifications in salaries and fair contracts (C)  Portuguese adaptation of the Spanish manifesto: against the global phenomenon of the actual loss of rights and opportunities; political institutions have become an instrument of the economy (M)  Participative democracy, transparency in political decisions End to precarious existences (P)  Right to work with a contract, suspension of debt payment with a public audit, keeping 13th and 14th salaries (P)  Right to work with a contract, against privatization of strategic sectors, suspension of debt payment and a public audit about this debt (P) Against debt, austerity, precarious  life situation, unemployment, poverty (P) Reinvent democracy: participation,  sharing, transparency, social justice and environmental protection (C)

12 Mar 2011

Various activist groups

15 May 2011 + occupation Rossio Sq.

Various activist groups

Yes

15 Oct 2011 24 Nov 2011 Demonstration + general strike 12 Jan 2012

15O CGTP UGT 15O 15O

Yes No

No

22 Mar 2012 Demonstration + general strike 1215 May 2012

CGTP 15O Primavera Global PT

No

Yes

aIn most cases the claims coded here are just translations of the main claims; they were put into a succinct phrase when they contained more than a sentence. The main claims were either the only claims or the placing of the claims was used as an indicator for their importance. Source: Own database collected from the respective social movement websites: www.15deoutubro.net/, acampadalisboa.wordpress.com, www.movimento12m.org/, www.primaveraglobalpt.info/.

2. Claims are more international on international days of action. The activist groups then adapt their claims to the international context, just as they adapt claims to the larger trade unions when these call for protest. 3. The data show a decline in international claims, which is striking in a context of an extraordinarily high degree of protest activity around the globe and no lack of interest among the Portuguese activist groups in international cooperation. In such

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a context, we could have expected the 15O to have included more international claims as a sign of increased cooperation. The decrease of international claims in the protest calls and posters has to be explained by other factors. After October 2011 some of the PPA groups that tended to promote the international claims, like the Indignados de Lisboa and Movimento Geraes had left the platform 15O and thus no longer had an influence on the main claims of the protest posters. The classic activist groups promoting social rights and consequently focusing on the state as a reference for their claims dominated this process from November 2011 onwards. It is the decisions taken by 15O that led the development of the main claims at demonstrations towards a focus on national claims. But this does not reflect an overall trend towards the national within the Portuguese movement as the protests on 1215 May 2012 refer to mainly international claims. Participants of the alternative platform involved in the organization of this event came from a broad range of groups including PPA groups that had either left or never joined the platform 15O. Claims were more international at this event, because these groups are less focused on claims directed at national politicians.

Conclusion
Although there are various ideas imported from the 2011 mobilizations in other countries, the Portuguese protests rely largely on classic social movement groups, whose claims are predominantly directed at the nation-state. The theoretical arguments listed in this article in support of the thesis that the nation-state is still important for social movements are confirmed by the data. The state is the main target of the Portuguese protests and the public discourse is Portugal-specific. Although the economic crisis and the austerity measures have affected other countries in a similar way, and although important decisions impacting Portugal are taken at the European level, it is still the Portuguese politicians that are blamed or called on to act. The organizational structure as well as most of the claims and frames of the movement remain country-specific. International events and the import of ideas from movements abroad, nevertheless, had an important impact on the organizational structure and the claims of the Portuguese mobilizations. Most joint initiatives of the activist groups have their origin in international events. Activists see their struggles related to the various struggles in other countries; they import action forms, frames and ideas from other countries. The broad international claims, however, in order to resonate, are often adapted to the reality of the Portuguese society. As shown in the article, the types of claims are also very much dependent on the groups involved in the organization of the protest. Classic activist groups mainly follow the idea of fighting for the rights of a specific constituency and target the nation-state. Although they support and practise participatory approaches and debates and take part in all platforms and events, their focus is on rights guaranteed by the state. These classic demands are not influenced by the international context but have always been there. Thus the main claims of the classic groups are rather referring to national than to the global context. The PPA groups instead promote primarily democracy from below and often also alternatives to the state. These claims refer more to the international framework. Because of

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the weakness of Portuguese civil society, activist groups are in a difficult position: their organizational structures remain weak; there is no widespread recognition of their contribution; and there is a lack of trust and strong alliances between them. Internationalization for them is a way to become stronger and more visible, but the movement often does not have the resources and established contacts to act beyond national borders. Thus international contacts up to now remain mainly at an informal, personal level. Funding
The researcher is financed by the Portuguese Fundao para a Cincia e a Tecnologia (SFRH/ BPD/74743/2010).

Notes
1. Activist groups or social movement groups are the structural part of a social movement, e.g. citizen groups or NGOs. Similar to the term social movement organizations (McCarthy and Zald, 1977) the term stresses the importance of organizational structure in social movements. The social movement groups I focus on are characterized by a minimal structure that consist of regular meetings with specific practices of debate and decision-making, and own Internet pages or Facebook sites, so I prefer the term activist groups because only a few of these groups are formal associations (e.g. the Precrios Inflexveis since 2012), NGOs are marginal in the 2011 mobilizations in Portugal and paid work is a rare exception (e.g. some activists belonging to the feminist organization UMAR). In contrast to the Spanish 15M, Portuguese social movement actors have no problem to use the term activist. Activist thus is used for a single person, to differentiate it from activist groups or social movement groups (used synonymously). 2. Following Tarrow (1998: 184) transnational social movements are regarded as sustained contentious interaction with opponents national and nonnational by connected networks of challengers organized across national boundaries. 3. Citizen groups are defined as specific groups belonging to the field of civil society actors. They are organizations of like-minded individuals who pursue policies unconnected with their vocational concerns (Berry and Schildkraut, 1998: 139). They are independent from trade unions, political parties or the church, but include NGOs. Citizen groups are characterized by a rather informal structure of decision-making, based on face-to-face meetings of citizens. 4. The newspaper O Publico reported there were about 200,000 protestors (www.publico.pt/ Sociedade/reportagem-um-enorme-e-pacifico-protesto-contra-o-governo_1484523; accessed 18 November 2011), while on their website the organizers, M12M, claimed half a million people took part in the demonstration (www.movimento12m.org/?q=node/15; accessed 18 November 2011). 5. Civil society actors here are defined by the classic spatial definition as those groups and organizations in a society that belong to an intermediate area apart from the state, the community and family life and the economy: associations, free groupings, organizations and nongovernmental organizations. To furthermore specify the term I also include characteristics used in the social interaction approach, namely: independence, self-organization, compromise in conflicts and non-violence, the public interest and fundamental recognition of other attitudes and ways of life (see Baumgarten et al., 2011: 291292). 6. The occupation of buildings, as observed in Spain (Martnez and Garca, 2012), is not a common practice in Portugal. 7. These groups defend the rights of a group of people, e.g. the precarious worker, the

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8.

9.

10. 11.

unemployed or more broadly the working class and have a rather antagonistic idea of defending these rights against, for example, great capital. The classification of a group as classic activist group is related neither to the age of the group nor to their organizational structure. Although organizational practices differ between activist groups, this characteristic does not distinguish the classic from the PPA groups: many practices of meeting and decision-making, a repertoire of action or openness to new members are similar in groups belonging to the different types, while they sometimes differ in-between one type. Those kinds of manifestations of solidarity are also found on other occasions, e.g. following police violence against an occupation in Barcelona, or solidarity demonstrations during the elections in Greece. The refrain for example translates: How stupid I am! And I wonder how stupid this world is, where you need to have studied to become a slave. The claims are taken from calls for protest (C), posters calling for protest (P) and from manifestos (M). The first choice of data was posters because they include a restricted number of claims that were largely debated in preparatory meetings for the demonstrations. For the demonstration of 12 March 2011 I have selected as the data source the text posted on Facebook for this demonstration, which included a call for protest, because the poster did not include claims. It is identical to the manifesto issued on the website of the M12M group (geracaoenrascada.wordpress.com/manifesto/). For 12 May 2011 the first manifesto produced in the assemblies (acampadalisboa.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/1%C2%BA-manifesto-do-rossio/) was chosen, because it reflects the joint debate of activists from various groups.

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Britta Baumgarten, PhD, is a research fellow at the Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology, University Institute of Lisbon. She studied sociology at the University of Bielefeld and at the ISCTE in Lisbon. She worked as a researcher in the project UNEMPOL and as a researcher in the research group Civil Society, Citizenship and Social Movements in Europe at the Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB). Her current research interests are in social movements in Portugal and Spain, transnational activism and civil society.

Rsum Dans cet article, janalyse les mobilisations portugaises partir de la Gerao Rasca en Mars 2011. Je soutiens que les vnements internationaux et limportation dides de mouvements ltranger avaient un impact important sur la structure organisationnelle et les revendications de la mobilisation portugaise. Ltatnation, cependant, reste un facteur trs important dans lactivisme: structures organisationnelles ainsi que les revendications sont dans un pays de grande tendue spcifique. Tout dabord, ce document fournira un aperu des manifestations et le champ des acteurs impliqus dans lorganisation de la manifestation. Alors je me concentre sur la dimension internationale de la mobilisation portugaise. Les donnes de cet article proviennent de dix mois de recherches sur le terrain, ce qui inclut les observations des participants, des entrevues en profondeur et lanalyse des sites web et listes de diffusion. Mots-cls Activisme transnational, Gerao Rasca, Portugal Resumen En este artculo analizo las movilizaciones portuguesas, comenzando con la Gerao Rasca en Marzo de 2011. Sostengo que eventos internacionales y la importacin de ideas de movimientos en el extranjero tuvieron un impacto importante en la estructura organizativa y las reclamaciones de las movilizaciones portuguesas. El estado nacin, sin embargo, sigue siendo un factor muy importante en el activismo: las estructuras organizativas, as como las demandas de los activistas portugueses son, en gran medida, especficas de Portugal. Este artculo proporcionar una visin general de los eventos de protesta y el campo de los actores involucrados en la organizacin de la protesta en Portugal. Los datos provienen de diez meses de investigacin de campo, que incluy observacin participante, entrevistas en profundidad y el anlisis de sitios web y listas de correo. Palabras clave Activismo transnacional, Gerao Rasca, Portugal

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