It was 'business as usual - day 2' on the Ria Formsa island of Culatra today as an intimidating Maritime Police force stood by and watched members of Polis spray numbers on a further 19 properties scheduled for demolition.
For reasons best known to the State, the Maritime Police froce of 40 had spent the night on the island and were backed up this morning by the looming presence of a Naval frigate which dwarfed the small fishing harbour.(see picture below).
Islanders have cause no trouble and today took to carrying black crosses over their shoulders as the Polis team worked from house to house, identifying those properties that will be flattened in a matter of weeks, leaving some families homeless.
Despite court actions lodged by islanders, and despite many of the properties coming under the rules that exempt fishermen, shellfishermen, or retired from either occupation, Polis continues to carry out its work, oblivious to the public outrage their actions have triggered.
Supportive politicians seem impotent in the face of a government ministry that has lied about its activity, with the Minister of the Environment continuing in office despite his assurances and a parliamentary vote that each house owner would be consulted "on a case-by-case basis" before any further demolitions would take place.
The Algarve Left Bloc MP, João Vasconcelos has pointed out that the possession and demolition of these houses, because the process agreed by parliament last October is not being followed, is illegal.
But still the Polis staff members go from house to house with their spray cans in the knowledge that their organisation is discredited, their last president was sacked, the actions that they are carrying out contravenes a course of action agreed in parliament and that they are causing misery and homelessness to many people who have lived all their lives fishing.
Before being admissable at the European Court of Human Rights, the applicant has to have 'exhausted all domestic remedies' i.e has to go through the entire Portuguese court system to the Supreme Court, by which time everyone affected will have died of old age and will be beyond caring.
Getting police to back up illegal, unpopular, and very public actions like this has to have a high cost, and there has to be a serious pot of gold at the end for whoever is behind it.