Sunday, 31 March 2013



We in Gibraltar are a proud and courageous people, born on an invincible stone fortress which reaches out majestically from the sea like a Gothic cathedral. We are a principally Mediterranean people, who's ancestors came not only from European, African or Middle Eastern shores, but also much further afield. In effect, our forefathers traveled the world for a better life and were drawn in by the majesty of the rock. Though its land has always been unforgiving, it has always been of central importance to the trading routes of old. As such, Gibraltarians today are inherently entrepreneurial, a fact no doubt reflected in the economic successes of the Gibraltar of today.

Our strengths as a people have always been our diversity of religious and spiritual beliefs, our overpowering sense of community and justice, and most importantly, a love for this OUR Rock. It has enabled us to weather countless conflicts, the machinations of dictators and to drive us onto the path of further emancipation and self determination. In summary, Gibraltar and its people are unique – we have a lot to give to humanity, and I sincerely believe our time to shine will come; if only we are ready to embrace the opportunity when it presents itself.

Our weaknesses however, are what worry me the most. It is the singular reason which drove me to return to my homeland from my adventure to understand the world. Our greatest weakness is the recent underlying hypocrisy within our homeland that economic success and the maintenance of it, should depend upon placating the Kingdom of Spain by negotiating for what is ours by right. The idea that we should not talk too loudly of our rights being trampled on in case Spain reacts in a manner which affects our pockets, our weekend trips to Spain, or 'la vida buena' that we have. It is the idea that we should just come to terms with the oppressive tactics which emanate from successive Madrid Governments because nothing will ever change, because there is no political will or desire to hold Spain to account. It is an idea that I was told by a Gibraltarian politician who shall remain unnamed, which is:

“Gibraltar has always survived by flying under the radar”

It is an idea which I am intrinsically opposed to. The idea that one should cower to the bully, remain in the shadows for fear of what the bully can do. It is an idea that was forcefully opposed by our forefathers, who would have rather been reduced to sheer poverty than capitulate to the oppressor. Indeed our forefathers defiance of those who sought to ride roughshod over our rights is what brought us 13 years of a closed border and untold suffering, Franco's systematic attempt to wear down our collective will. I look back at that dark moment in our peoples history with sheer pride that regardless of the emotional, political and economic turmoil that ensued we stood as unmoving and as steadfast as our mother rock. We did not give in. It is what moulded us into who we are today.

But sadly, I can see that our will has slowly been eroded; through an osmosian strategy that seeks to diminish our national identity, equates continued economic prosperity as being reliant on the oppressor and the promotion of a care-less attitude in our people.

I personally will not bring shame upon those Gibraltarians of our past who stood fast against the tide, simply to negotiate for what are already our rights enshrined in the UN Charter as well as numerous EU and Human Rights directives, or for 'la vida buena'. On the contrary, I will in concert with others continue to highlight Spains continuing political oppression of our homeland to the wider world, in the hope that those who share our vision of democracy and freedom hold Spain to account on its actions. If you share this ideal, I humbly ask that you assist the Defenders of Gibraltar in holding Spain to account – we cannot do this alone.

One must never be afraid to speak out against injustice, even if you risk compounding it simply by speaking out. In this endeavour I am always reminded by Martin Luther King, who said that:

“Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle, the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

For those who doubt that the Defenders of Gibraltar will make any difference, I also point out something which Margaret Mead the cultural anthropologist once said:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

By Gareth Gingell
Chairperson and Spokesperson for the Defenders of Gibraltar

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you are a member of the Fascist GE (Facebook group) you are just wasting your time thinking you can comment on here and use this blog as a platform - see ya!