Open Your Eyes 14 Point Protest

Leo Olivero

Petition handed to the Governor and Chief Minister

Yesterday saw what can be considered as a rare public event in modern day Gibraltar when the ‘Open Your Eyes Group’ (OYEG ) organised a public demonstration. Though, it has to be said, not many public demonstrations are organised nowadays on any issue. And that can be construed as being not only a good thing, but potentially, a disturbingly bad one for democracy!

The OYEG, was originally formed by a concerned group of citizens on the back of some wide ranging subjects and controversial issues which the group now strongly holds the government accountable for.

14-Point List of Grievances

The Group put together a 14-point list of grievances they felt should be addressed in the manner and with the transparency in keeping with those concerns, they say, the Government accepts for the people of Gibraltar. The 14 points are as follows: I. Closure Line Wall Rd. 2. Expanded introduction of blue zone parking areas. 3. Midtown parking new pay policy. 4. Chatham Counterguard. 5. Traffic Zones. 6. Europort Avenue. 7. Mental Health. 8. Bullying at Work. 9. Community Care. 10. Pension. 11. Housing. 12. Environmental Issues. 13. Policing and Enforcement. 14. Democratic Deficit.

Yesterday, leading up to the protest, there was a mild sense of trepidation. Though there was also no lack of confidence that there would be a diverse assembly or gathering of people at Casemates. Members of the community, who organisers hoped would at least turn up to acquaint or familiarise themselves with the groups purpose, and others to protest on those issues they supported or felt strongly about.

The demonstration was due to commence at 6 pm at which time OYEG founder member Clive Borrell addressed the crowd gathered and thanked everyone for their presence and for taking part in the group’s first public action.

Mr Borrell then went on to say:

“I am not a politician. I am not a lawyer. But I am at one with you all to face a common problem.

A problem that is growing by the day. What have we done to deserve this? Have WE stolen something? Cheated or Lied? What are we being Punished for? We cannot allow this to continue in silence. We cannot afford to do so. The future of our people is in jeopardy. Gibraltar as we know is disappearing fast and we have to do something about it.

We do not want a government that have their backs turned to us. Who do not give us the answers. Who continuously fail to provide reasonable information and answers to us.

Who disrespect the House of the People our Parliament by denying to answer questions to other elected officials concerning vital information. What is going on? What do they hide? Who do they really Govern for?

Many of us here and our fathers fought to free ourselves from the shackles of Colonialism. To achieve our own self-government, to control our own destiny.

To find ourselves in 2020 with a local government who is attempting to keep us fettered bound and gagged, that is one of the reasons many have not come, ya esta bien señores que el pueblo de Gibraltar es bueno no tonto y esta harto y nos siguen acribillando.