Pidjiguiti Massacre Day

03 Aug 2020  Mon

Guinea-Bissau annually observes the public holiday of Anniversary of the Killing of Pidjiguiti on August 3 or the Pidjiguiti massacre day. This Memorial Day commemorates the victims of the Pidjiguiti massacre in 1959.

In 1956 Amilcar Cabral founded the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, which was fighting for the liberation of Portuguese Guinea and Cape Verde. For three years the party was quiet, gaining support under its nonviolent banner. The first major activity, organized by the party, was a dock-workers strike for better salaries in Pijiguiti Docks, Guinea. The strike began on 3rd August 1959.

The strike was suppressed by the police. Police officers opened fire on the striking workers, killing over 50 people. This event made the leaders of the party rethink the strategies of achievement of the desired result. They concluded that the only way of achievement of independence was armed struggle, thus beginning the uprisings against Portugal.

Amilcar Cabral was depicted in 1989 banknotes of Cape Verde with the denominations ranging from 100 Cape Verdean escudos to 2,500 Cape Verdean escudos. The above note is a One Thousand Escudos banknote which depicts the portrait of Amilcar Cabral on the obverse along with a Cornstalk. The reverse depicts butterflies and Desert Locusts.

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