Together Gibraltar Clarify Position Regarding Yesterday’s Demonstration

Together Gibraltar has clarified that it had “no active involvement or official position” on yesterday’s demonstration organised by “Open Your Eyes” group.

A statement from Together Gibraltar follows below:

Together Gibraltar notes that there is some confusion regarding the Party’s involvement in yesterday’s demonstration, with people on social media criticising the party for both organising and not attending the demonstration. The party would like to clarify that it has had NO ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT OR OFFICIAL POSITION ON THIS DEMONSTRATION. 

For the avoidance of doubt and in order to provide our supporters clarity, our official position on the issues is as follows: 

It is impossible for a party to coherently endorse a demonstration that raises 14 different political grievances on a plethora of issues ranging from mental health, traffic management and community care policy changes. While the party might agree with some of these positions, it will disagree with others, thus making it impossible for the party to officially endorse the demo. 

While TG supports the criticisms of Community Care policy changes expressed at the protest, our views on traffic management issues, for example, are far more nuanced (https://www.togethergibraltar.com/press/line-wall-road-phases), where we support efforts aimed at reducing pollution and car use while remaining critical of the haphazard way these are being implemented. We also believe the issues raised regarding Mental Health policy failures are sensible and relevant, while some positions expressed on environmental policy clash directly with the core values of the party. 

Some of the causes evoke conspiracy ramblings that Together Gibraltar believes damage the very fabric of our society. Our Government has made big and impactful mistakes (many of which we have consistently highlighted), and we believe that, as a consequence, Gibraltar will vote them out at the next general election. 

However, the party does not believe they are “pure evil” as the “Open Your Eyes” group states, nor does it believe that we are living in a “Big Brother” world of absolute pretence. We are lucky to live in a democratic society, albeit flawed, where we can express our opinions, protest, and vote every 4 years. We believe in reformist, incremental change, improving on the things that require change while appreciating the value of all the collective achievements we have made as a society. 

The demonstration flaunted existing social distancing norms, something no responsible party should be supporting in these times - regardless of the recent positive news on cases. 

Besides the extensive list of unrelated and incoherent claims (some of a progressive nature, some markedly reactionary), the protest included chants for “Free Parking” and xenophobic banners protesting Osmosis. 

For the aforementioned reasons, we are shocked that the GSD found it suitable to support this confused and ill-executed event, where many legitimate and well- intentioned causes were sidetracked and their ability to raise awareness and bring real change nullified. It shows a desperate attempt at gaining some form of public relevance after years of decline and uninspired Opposition, and a worrying willingness to engage in cheap, populist practices. 

On the other hand, we hope the Government notes the discord that is emerging within our society. There were good and legitimate arguments expressed yesterday, and a general, overarching message that they would do well to pay attention to. People are starting to get fed up with a style of politics that is often dishonest and disrespectful, and a pervasive cronyism that becomes all the more offensive in times of crisis. 

Together Gibraltar will continue to have a responsible, principled and constructive approach to opposition, offering the people of Gibraltar a real political alternative.