Jul 30 - Defenders Call For EU Official To Monitor Queues

The following is a statement from the Defenders Of Gibraltar on this weekend’s frontier delays:

The Defenders of Gibraltar would like to thank all those people, groups, organizations and political parties who helped during one of the most tumultuous weekends Gibraltar has ever had to endure courtesy of the Spanish Government’s medieval approach to Diplomacy.

The situation which unfolded this past weekend was simply a completely unnecessary and avoidable tragedy to witness; thousands of elderly, infirm and young children were needlessly subjected to being sat in 7 hour queues and 30C temperatures.

It was because of being witness to this tragedy that we made requests through Social Media for volunteers to help distribute water and explain to individuals who was to blame for the situation of the queues; with thousands of tourists in the queue, we felt it was best to be able to speak to individuals and explain first hand who was to blame for this mess and what they could do to help (complain first hand to their local or EU political representatives). We had a very positive response from the individuals affected and the vast majority were very quick to make complaints there and then using their mobile phones or via the internet.

We must never forget that during humanitarian situations one must cast aside political stances or differences of nationality. In situations such as the one which occurred last weekend we Gibraltarians rose to the challenge and showed that ultimately we are human above all else and share a common goal in looking after each other. We showed that we are better than our neighbour’s Government, which commits itself to using such medieval tactics at the frontier to get their way. We must never lose the moral high ground and reduce ourselves to their level. We must continue to show that whilst they continue to treat us inhumanely, we treat their own with kindness. Do not underestimate the strength and gravity of this message.

One of the most harrowing incidents to occur at the frontier this weekend was the unnecessary brutality inflicted upon a local Gibraltarian who had done no wrong. Luckily, the incident was recorded by us and uploaded within the hour to social media platforms – news of the incident spread around the world in seconds and undoubtedly had an effect on the level of diplomatic pressure exerted on the Spanish Government. This is a testament to the speed with which Gibraltarians act to protect each other, and is a positive indicator of the strength of our community. Long may this continue!

We would like to also put forth an idea for both the Governments of Gibraltar and the UK to consider in ensuring a sufficient buffer to preventing Spain conducting such inhuman tactics at the border in the future:

“Formally request the European Union to provide for an individual from the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders ("FRONTEX") to be permanently stationed at the Gibraltar / Spain frontier at all times to monitor and report the level of traffic flow. This would ensure European accountability at all times for any deterioration in the flow of traffic and ensure that the full weight of European diplomatic pressure can be exerted on Spain should it continue to act in such inappropriate ways.”

We feel that the above idea has merit in ensuring that Spain is held to account at all times when it chooses to wield the free flow of traffic as a weapon against us. It would also serve to remind the EU of their responsibility to the well being of Gibraltarians and other fellow EU citizens wherever they may be in Europe; and that we Gibraltarians are also fellow EU citizens.

Unfortunately we believe that the Spanish Government will continue to wield the free flow of traffic at the frontier as a weapon in the near future, albeit predominantly from their side given the justified negative media attention they have received from their actions this weekend. It is of paramount importance that regardless of the excuses emanating from Madrid that we do not back down as a people. One should always stand up to the bully no matter what. If we do not stand up to the action taken by the bully and give in, the implications are too dire to even consider.  A relationship must be built on mutual respect and understanding, which is clearly lacking from Spain when it wishes to impose its desire to have its way whilst holding a gun to our heads.

There are difficult times ahead thanks to the Spanish Government, which even before it was elected already expressed its desire to bring an end to tri-partite talks and ‘get serious’ with Gibraltar. If it was not the fishing dispute, it would be sovereignty of BGTW. If it was not sovereignty of BGTW, it would be the Isthmus. If it was not the Isthmus, it would be the airspace. If it was not the airspace, it would be the environment. If it was not the environment, it would be our economy. If it was not the economy, it would be our right to self-determination.

In summary the problem does not lie here in our homeland, but directly in the corridors of power in Madrid. Let us all stand fast as a people and be as unmoving as our mother rock.

Never give up,

Never give in.

Stand fast against the bully,

Or you will never win.