By Giles Brown
GIBRALTARIANS are ready to fight to protect their 300 years of independence from Spain.
A number of patriotic groups this week swore their allegiance to the British flag and voiced their indignation that the overseas territory had once again been violated following bullets being fired at a jet skier by Spanish police.
Both the local UKIP party, which set up just two months ago in Gibraltar, and a group that goes by the name The Defenders of Gibraltar, insist they are prepared to fight against this ‘aggression’.
Insisting the time for talking is over, they claim that Spain has for too long bullied and usurped them with no justification.
They insist this mirrors the growing anger of the ordinary Gibraltarian on the streets today after Dale Villa, 32, was shot at four times while riding his wet bike off Gibraltar on Sunday.
The group has now called for ‘real warriors to defend Gibraltar’ at all costs.
“This is happening more and more and more,” insisted Defenders of Gibraltar chairman Gareth Gingell. “The Guardia Civil are acting in a crazy manner and this is totally over the top,”
The former serviceman, 26, insists his group has been warning the authorities that something like the shooting incident was inevitable, since his group set up last year.
“Members of the Defenders of Gibraltar have been working tirelessly to bring attention to the oppression and harassment of British citizens, by the Spanish Paramilitary, in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters for well over a year.
“We have been warning that it was only a matter of time before the Guardia Civil became more brazen in their illegal incursions.
“It comes as thanks to the apparent UK inaction and apathy, and unfortunately that day has now come.”
He added that even on Wednesday, the day after the story broke, patrols of Guardia Civil boats were being aggressive and there was a tense stand off developing between the Royal Navy and the Spanish police.
“Yesterday’s incursion into Gibraltar, just days after the shooting, just goes to show that it really doesn’t matter to the Guardia Civil.”
He insists the mood today in Gibraltar is one of anger.
“People are really really disenchanted,” said the IT worker. “People on the street are saying this is all the fault of the UK government… they’ve let this happen by letting the Spanish get away with this for so long.
“We are good people. We do not deserve to be harassed by our much larger neighbours simply because we want the same rights as the rest of the world. “Spain’s oppressive tactics against Gibraltar, their attacks against our economy, our sovereignty, our people, need to stop, and they need to stop now.
“The time for just words is over. It’s time to put the words into action before some gets killed!”
UKIP’s Sean Howlett, who recently visited Gibraltar, having set up a branch in the enclave also expressed his anger at the recent attacks.
He said: “These flagrant breaches of international law by Spain such as the the malicious shooting at the jet skier should not go unpunished.
“The British authorities should pursue this with the utmost vigour.
“We are calling for the British Government to demand the arrest and trial of the Guardia Civil officers involved in the incident.”
Meanwhile local British expats living nearby on the Costa del Sol voiced their increasing concern at the developing crisis.
Many of them are already feeling put down by a string of new laws and regulations that appear to be targetting them and they fear that relationships between the Spanish and expats could be approaching breaking point.
One local expat Pauline Olivera, whose husband works in Gibraltar, said: “I am very concerned at this development.
If the Spanish are leaning on Gibraltar in this way and through regulations at home to disadvantage ex pats, isn’t it time we encouraged our people in the UK to look elsewhere for their holidays? I feel sure trying to get a UK National Daily to run some sort of campaign might be worth a shot, specially in light of shots being fired.
Spain forgets just how much UK tourism is worth to them. I moved to Gibraltar last year, it’s civilised, friendly and provides employment to very many Spaniards…look at how that is repaid! (and no I don’t visit Spain from here, I support the local economy)
I’m sick & tired of the Spanish authorities. A big thanks to Gareth from the DOG for doing all your incredible work. A note to Spain : We, the Gibraltarian people, will decide our future – and British it is.
“The Defenders of Gibraltar, insist they are prepared to fight against this ‘aggression’.”
I´m surpised that anyone in their right mind woud think this is worth going to war over.
…and while we’re at it give our Royal Family more money too!
GREAT Britain: England, just the small top part of Ireland, Scotland who hate us, Wales who hate us. All get on fantastically GREAT with no internal problems and GREAT political and social respect for the way they treat their citizens!
It all depends on whether we want to be the “Malvinas” and the “unifying cry” of a by the looks of what is going on, a crumbling political institution. Think about it. A bit more than just words is needed from UK, yes, but lets not start a war! And please let us not allow ourselves to be used by those who don’t know the essence of what it is to be a Gibraltarian and jump on the bandwagon of our righteous indignation.
Patience is a virtue they say and all things comes to those that wait patiently.
Anyone who has had a look back at the history and circumstances of why the Frontier was closed in the late 1960’s would recognize in the present the events in Spain that led to it.
Do not be mistaken, I am right there with all of you if the real need arises, but let us not be rash and allow the politicians to do their thing.
And Tony Bishop, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if everyone thought like you with your “idle patriotism” during the two great Wars! The typical I’m all right Jack attitude and to hell with everyone else.
why dont spain get out of Ceuta and Meliilla in N Africa
Inthename: You’re seriously equating a spat in the bay of Gibraltar with the two world wars? This isn’t just “idle patriotism” but also a jingoistic Little England mentality. Or in this case, Little Gib.
Stefanjo sweetheart, have you read my first comment?
Let me tell you something about these people up there in the photograph and those that are not in the photograph. They have been doing a good job by making as many more people aware of the very real harassment, antagonism, in fact the very same jingoistic attitude you accuse them of having, but coming from Spain for the past sixty years in one form or another. Or what do you call shooting rubber bullets at a guy on a jet ski on a Sunday afternoon? Do you think they were playing paint ball?
These very same people are the ones who when there were eight hour queues from Gib into Spain were making sure that those in the queues were not suffering unnecessary hardships by providing water and also food for those with medical problems as well as information and explaining to those held up in the inhuman queue that it was not Gibraltar who was holding them up and the reasons why this was happening. They were the ones who were filming and exposing themselves to the GC while the queues continued. You seem to know very little of what is going on or else you would not call the shooting incident “a spat”.
Spats like these are the ones that if not checked in time by those in office lead to full blown confrontations i.e. wars. And that precisely is what we are trying to avoid, aren’t we all?
I resent the “idle patriotism” comment made above hereby my answer to this comment because it is not idle patriotism. It is fighting for our rights. Maybe if more people fought for their rights, and by the word fight I do not mean shooting down people, I mean raising ones voice and standing up to be counted when and if necessary. Everyone, including DOG, I am sure, hope it wont be necessary. Just that sometimes when the other side seems to be “excessively” hard of hearing and ignores the many diplomatic protests there have been, there may be a need to use a Bigger megaphone by those whose responsibility it is to defend these British Territorial waters.
And just in case, Little Gib, like you call us has been standing up to “goliath” on the other side for three centuries now, so so much for your little.
It is time for action, words do not work with the Spanish.
If the UK doesnt step in soon, they should either move politically to allow us to defend ourselves and be in charge of our own Foreign Affairs. Simply issuing strongly worded statements and `expressing regret` means nothing to these Guardia Civil.
If UK doesnt defend Gib it is time for Gibraltar to defend itself once and for all. We are more than willing and have enough cash to be able to.
Whoa there! Hang on a second. Or I am living in another space in time, or Gibraltar has asked for independence and I am the only one that has not heard about it!
Sorry JohnyB with one n. Gibraltar is British, the Queen is our Queen, and as far as I know we are inseparable. We govern ourselves, we finance ourselves, we don’t cost the British tax payer in UK ( N. Ireland, Scotland, Wales inclusive) one single penny and what is just as important we form part of the British Forces and NATO and proud of it that is enough for me. We abide by the same rules and regulations, and form part of the European Community.
I think someone has been watching too many Van Dam movies.
Time to step back into the real world and take a cold shower!
Allow diplomacy to do its work before throwing out the baby with the dirty water.
Patience and a cool head is required when continuously provoked. As far as I can see,the best way in the long run is not to rise to the bait but to continue to thrive the way we have been doing. Economically, we have the 4th highest GDP in the world and rising. Our politicians seem to be making the right moves internationally by signing up to the latest regulations and enhancing our global reputation. Nowadays, due to the advances in technology, we are punching above our weight irrespective of our small size physically. We seem to be building at a phenomenal rate while our large neighbour is crumbling in so many ways.
We hold the moral ground and this is the way to defeat our foe in the long run and not by endangering the lives of human beings who,once dead remain dead!
Just relax ,chill and enjoy the summer. If the queues get too long just stay here. Let the Guardia Civil show off their big boy toys. What a waste of time and money by a country who cannot afford to miss-spent a single penny.Spain is crumbling at the seams dear friends.
Exactly El Fifi. The best revenge is success. And it was YOU who mentioned the World Wars Inthename. Completely over-egging a worthwhile pudding. Sweetheart.
Can anybody recommend a good objective book on the history of Gibraltar? I must admit my knowledge is limited and have only visited and seen it through tourist eyes.
wow – firstly vigilantes regardless of their motives are never an answer as they are not answerable to anyone, and regardless of their intentions they generally screw things up. Whilst the last govt in Gibraltar was in power, there was talk of joint airports, co-operation and generally low queues to get in and out and everyone happy. This new govt – problems with spain, antagonism, generally everyone hating everyone else…mmmm I wonder what the common denominator is? Spain has denied the shooting and other than some very convenient people filming the incident no proof, bullets, being hit or anything are available – can this be a set up? it seems to me that there are plenty of people in gib wanting to jump on this bandwagon and hate. Have a good long think, without spain, you would have no outside space, beaches, kite surfing in tarifa, marbella, banus and afforable housing for locals as well as workers in gaming – who may not need them for long once the tax is passed but thats another story. Think long and hard before allowing the politics of hate dictate what you say and do and certainly do not let vigilantes dictate what the outcome will be!
You know Vlad one tires of people who throw the “hate” label onto us when it’s just not true. It shows complete ignorance of the history of Gibraltar. The Gibraltarian and the La Linea community have always been intrinsically entwined both economically and through family ties. La Linea, the town came to be precisely because Gibraltar was there, in a country riddled with poverty, and who found work and business opportunities with the then Garrison and People of Gibraltar. The name they gave La Linea then was La Linea de Gibraltar – the Line of Gibraltar. Spain broke those ties between 1969 and 1985 by closing the border and removing by force over 6,000 Spanish workers whose livelihood depended on crossing the border every day, not Gibraltar! Nothing can alter that fact. In fact Gibraltar never closed those gates throughout the time the Spanish gates remained chained and with a big heavy padlock. No access by land, none by sea, and airspace restricted. The frontier was closed then, not because the dictator suddenly had an overwhelming pang to recuperate Gibraltar. It was because it was used as a smoke screen to distract from the civil and social unrest that Spain was experiencing starting in 1962.
WE had to re-invent ourselves. La Linea became a ghost town where half its population were forced to either move to another city in Spain or emigrate.
Those ties were renewed when, with the Dictator gone, and a newly born democracy, Spain with the Socialist Government at the time PSOE who wanted to access the European Union were told that unless the frontier was opened they could not be part of that Union. They did not have a sudden humanitarian urge to allow us to access the mainland, it was purely economic reasons or maybe it was a combination of both, the social government’s awakening tied in with economic reasons.
Things improved for both cities little by little with the occasional “patriotic” hiccups whenever the right was in power with the names of Braña in the forefront and his interminable queues. His reasons? Their reasons? Their impatience that despite what they deemed was their humanitarian gesture towards the Gibraltarians we continued to want to remain British!! So, once they were firmly into the EU with all the economic advantages that that was providing Spain, they thought it fit to put a “timescale” on their “humanitarian” gesture. Forget the now 10,000 Spaniards now finding work in Gibraltar, forget the renewed family ties, forget the economic boost.
The previous government of Gibraltar, the current government, and all those that have preceded them have always aimed for good relations with their neighbour. Normal relations are advantageous to both. But whereas Gibraltar freely opens its access to jobs for Spaniards, buys from Spain, Gibraltarians spend their money in Spain, and enjoy what the people and the country can offer as normal tourists, Spain resents the advantages that the open Frontier brings to Gibraltar and the Gibraltarians! Yet they accuse us of siphoning their economy into Gibraltar and giving nothing in return. We now know where and who has been doing the siphoning if you care to switch on the telly or read the newspapers worldwide. Anyone with a thread of intelligence would have sussed them out immediately. So what do they do now? They raise the patriotic cry of Gibraltar Español! Again!
The current Government of Gibraltar did not break down the Tripartite, Spain did the minute the current PP Government came into power!
Like El Fifi, I and the majority of Gibraltarians are all for patience and a cool head. We have had three centuries of it. Nothing that they do will alter the fact that we will never give up our homeland and our nationality. No stick nor carrot policy will ever change that.
This is NOT hate Spain and the Spaniards. But don’t you think that Gibraltarians might, just might, be sick and tired of being used as scapegoats by politicians hell bent on distracting their countrymen from internal troubles. Granted, the “We need Warriors” headline was a bit over the top and should be somewhat considered as letting of steam of concerned people not vigilantes as you now call them , and yes, some should not be allowed to jump onto our bandwagon, but that does not alter the fact that we have the right to protest, now does it? We have as much right to enjoy riding ski jets in our waters as the next man without the worry of being the object of some trigger happy cowboy in uniform. Your insinuations that this incident was staged belies your motives of apparent appeasement. Get over it Vlad Paco. Gibraltar is British. You lost it 300 years ago. Full Stop. Lets all enjoy life.
There are a myriad of books out there about the History of Gibraltar. I would recommend The Rock of the Gibraltarians, by military historian and former Governor of Gibraltar Sir William Godfrey Fothergill Jackson ISBN 978-1919657073. I would also recommend you read some of Paul Preston’s books too. It might give you some more insight.
Just relaxing with a glass of Ribera del Duero after a day down in Catalan Bay. The sun is shining, there’s a cool breeze blowing and that Union Jack is still flying from that mast head at the top of the Rock. And I say to myself what a wonderful world, especially if you live in Gibraltar.Those fortunate enough to live here are certainly blessed!
Inthename…thank you for the book suggestions, I know it was a bit off topic so I appreciate it.
Nobody speaks on behalf of the ” original” inhabitants who were forcefully removed from their home by the Dutch and British invasion.Where are there rights? San Roque is the authentic Gibraltar with the flag of gibraltar and all official documents that were transfered to San Roque during the invasion.The people of San Roque await the day when they will be able to return to their anscestors home GIBRALTAR:
Yet another person who doesn’t know the facts. If you were intelligent enough you would be wise enough to read some history books (Spanish & English) where you’ll read that the residents were given a choice, stay or go. Most left freely taking with them what they wanted.
Instead we now have a Franco Spain causing 5-6 hours queues!!
This is despite the fact that there are at least 5,000 Spanish workers here and most of them don’t speak English, the official language of Gibraltar – a British Overseas Territory not even defended by the British!
Calpe325 you misrepresent the facts as being a voluntary exit by the original population of Gibraltar. They were given little choice by knowning that recently Cadiz had been ransacked by the British and that a number of inhabitants (women and children) who had taken refuge in a “Ermita” where the women were raped and robbed by the soldiers. That was not uncommon for the times but for you to try portray it as “voluntary” is totally disingenuous. The realiy is that they had no choice. Nobody in their right mind would abandon their home and property by choice. Franco was a dictator no question about it but he also held Spain together at a time when an ultra-left wing government used their own “SAS” to assasinate the leader of the opposition. Anarchy was the order of the day and in those circumstances democracy doesn’t work. Spain with all its faults is wellcoming country just like Gibraltar.
Is a colony, it haven´t been independent.
And she must be returned to Spanish sovereignity in accordance wit the United Nations.
get out of the Canaries,Ceuta and Mellila – NOW.
There is not a single UN Security Council or General Assembly resolution which says that Gibraltar is or should be Spanish.
Considering it was a Moor who founded the settlement at Gibraltar and considering the Moors held the Rock for the best part of 700 years, more than double the length of time it was held by the Medina Sidonias and then the Crown of Castille, I would has you have the incorrect “original” inhabitants.
Franco is a good guy bcause he held Spain together? You mean his version of Spain and to hell with the democratic wishes of the people, esp the Catalans and Basques. Next you’ll be telling us Mussolini was good because he got the trains to run on time and Hitler was good because he built the autobahns…
Someone said Spain should get out from Ceuta and Melilla in Africa. Well, my dear, you should study history. Ceuta and Melilla were founded by spaniards, they always belonged to Spain, and the only time they belonged to some other country were a few years they belonged to Portugal. They are no colonies. They are not included in the UN list of territories to decolonize. Gibraltar is in that list, since it’s a colony, it is.
About Gibraltar… Gibraltar stays English because of the Treaty of Utrecht. Well, The Treaty of Utrecht doesn’t give Gibraltar territorial waters. So the Guardia Civil is working in Spanish territorial waters…
Recently, Gibraltar put a lot of large concrete blocks in the Spanish waters. They make imposible fishing there, since nets get catch in the blocks. Those blocks have destroyed the seabed. Gibraltar has destroyed the seabed.
“Recently, Gibraltar put a lot of large concrete blocks in the Spanish waters. They make imposible fishing there, since nets get catch in the blocks. Those blocks have destroyed the seabed. Gibraltar has destroyed the seabed.”
Hey Spaniard, why didn’t you mention that Spain has itself also dropped many hundreds of these blocks too, even in La Linea? Is Spain destroying the seabed too therefore? Strange why you forgot to mention that little fact.
Actually, the only thing that destroys the seabed is the method of “fishing” that the Spanish fishermen use, namely the dragging of the seabed with theirnets, which in turn destroys all young marine life.
When Rajoy asked the opinion of the main Spanish conservation group in Andalucia to give their opinion on the blocks dropped by Gibraltar, he said they adhered to all standards and would improve marine life.
So there you go, your argument totally demolished in a few moments lol.
Spain has used those blocks in some areas to prevent from “pesca de arrastre” or “bottom fishing”, where it is forbidden, in studied areas. It’s done all around the world. Even Greenpeace use blocks to protect some areas.
Bottom fishing is not the method the Spanish fishermen use in general, as you suggest.
Gibraltar is not using the blocks to prevent from that fishing method, since most of the boats that used to fish there are smaller than the ones which can use “bottom fishing”.Gibraltar use them as a barrier to extend into the water, to reclaim land from the sea. That is why they have destroyed the seabed, more land. There is another reason: Gibraltar wants to protect a cable they want to install in Spanish territorial waters to independice their comunications. Both are “ecological” reasons, aren’t they? Sure…
And I say again, Fred, my friend, that Gibraltar has no territorial waters, so, all of those works in the sea are illegal.
Spaniard, when I want an opinion on these concrete blocks I defer to an expert, who in this case is the marine scientist from Cadiz who was asked for his opinion by Rajoy himself (and whose opinion you have just ignored). ‘Bottom fishing’ is used by Spanish fishermen because their nets were getting snagged on the blocks – pretty much answers your own question, does it not?
Your claim about Gibraltar having no territorial waters is just that, a claim. In fact, their waters may even be extended in the future. Please stick to the conservation aspects and do tell us why your own countryman from Cadiz says that the blocks adhere to all conservational and environmental requirements. If the blocks are used all around the world, why are you surprised that they are used here too?
Does anyone know why the concrete blocks they put down have metal bars sticking out of them? Are these part of creating marine life too or just to cause trouble?
Trevor, it sounds like you also don’t agree with the scientist from Cadiz (that the Spanish themselves appointed) who said that the blocks were perfectly acceptable. You must know more than him lol.
‘HAVE A GO AT EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING’ Fred. I was just asking a question.
Are the bars sticking out the the blocks designed that way to form a reef? that’s all.
Best go and ask your ‘scientist from Cadiz’ mate. ha ha
sorry ‘out OF the blocks..’ I can’t type today.
the scientist from Cadiz said, the scientist from Cadiz said, the scientist from Cadiz said – Is Fred just like a teenager?
Does anyone know the answer to this thanks?
Ok. Here you go again, Fred. No, my friend, I’m not an expert in seabed, but I studied about it and the sea life, since I am a veterinarian. I myself can understand rather well an ecology paper or biological study. I agree with blocks used on ecological purpose. But they didn’t have such a noble intention… Those concrete blocks aren’t used there to create a reef. The metal bars are for the nets to hook on them. And, again, no, Gibraltar doesn’t have territorial waters. It’s not a claim, it’s the Treaty of Utrecht. The very same Treaty which gives Gibraltar to the UK. If you agree with the Treaty to keep Gibraltar English, then you have to agree with it when it doesn’t give you territorial waters. Kisses!!! ;*
Spaniard, please leave the Treaty of Utrecht out our little discussion because the Treaty is irrelevant to whether or not these concrete blocks are helping to conserve marine life, and that is the topic of discussion here, not the political nonsense that you seek to keep raising. It is strange that a person such as yourself, who loves animals, would seek to argue over instruments that are ultimately designed to protect marine species. Perhaps the blocks do have a dual purpose i.e. deterrent and conservation. If so, that makes them even more effective. I’m sure you’d agree that fishing a species to extinction is not very wise?
Uf, I forgot to answer you, Fred. I must mention the Treaty once and again, since you don’t seem to understand that if you don’t have territorial waters, it is not your bussines to put concrete blocks there. Gibraltar is not allowed to do that. You can’t leave out of a discussion the facts. And you and I know ecology is not their pourpose…
Spaniard, it must be in human nature to kill each other. Easily done and I can see how easy it is for wars to start, print a few articles in any paper around the world or tell the people some stuff on the TV every day and you can wind them up no end and most of the population fall in line and that includes the UK. Chill out and enjoy your life. If you have a lot of energy, put your efforts into getting rid of your usless corrupt politicians then you won’t be worrying about the 100 fish that are left down that way.
@spaniard, who says Gibraltar has no territorial waters? Let Spain go to the UN.
Spain don´t recognise territorial waters to UK around the rock and the Isthmus.
Gibraltar is a colony, can´t have territorial warers, territory, etc.
@Anselmo, yes I know Spain’s position, but this needs to be decided once and for all by the UN. Why are Spain afraid to debate this?
I’m afraid, Fred, the UN had decided long time ago Gibraltar must be decolonized. You can read about it in ther resolutions of 16th december 1965; 20th december 1966…
@Spaniard, self-determination is already a main principle of international law given the Charter of the United Nations. You’ll be waiting a very long time. Good luck.
All Spain has to do is wait a few more years – Britain is so paupered and impotent the Brits are on their knees forever begging us (the US) and lately even the French (!!) to defend their sorry, inconsequential little island(thanks Russlanders for THAT astute comment).
Brits will soon be so poor they won’t be able to sustain any overseas presence of any kind, and slink out of Gib exactly like their poxy grandparent Brits were forced to when they could not afford to be in Asia and Africa any more, even after all that barbarically obtained plunder and loot they hauled back to Britain from those parts of the world.
That is what you get for deluding yourself into thinking you can afford to play with the Big Boys and get into World War action – even with the US saving Britland, and forgiving all the loans and lend-lease money the Brits owed us, so they could go around deluding themselves they had repaid us, idiot ego-maniacs bankrupted Britland just to pretend they mattered any more, leading to the inevitable loss of empire.
Led by contemptible chief toady lick-spittle Winnie ‘Fat drunk bum’ Churchill, that champion of Gallipoli and other equally moronic misadventures.
And no amount of Brit leaders come a-grovelling to Washington and jumping at our (the Brits’ lords and masters) every bidding is going to save Britain.
Malvinas and Gibraltar going… going… pretty soon all gone, baby
My philosophy tutor at university always used to say that you know you have won the argument when your opponent starts resorting to abuse. QED.