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CM hears from woman caught up in frontier demo

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo yesterday met with the local woman who was assaulted by one of the demonstrators during the course of Wednesday’s border protest by an organisation representing Spanish police and Guardia Civil.

In dramatic scenes, a scuffle broke out after local woman, Erika Gonzalez, stepped out of her car to confront a protestor who had tried to hit her, only to be kicked by another of the demonstrators.

According to a Gibraltar Government statement, Ms Gonzalez briefed the Chief Minister on the series of events which began with her being verbally abused and ended with her vehicle being damaged and her being physically assaulted by two men after confronting the individuals responsible for the abuse.

Mr Picardo said: “I am very grateful that Ms Gonzalez was able to come to No.6 to explain exactly what happened yesterday.”

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“I was able to express to her my anger and regret at the way in which she was attacked and I was also able to pledge the government’s full support in any issues which arise from this deplorable and regrettable incident.”

REACTIONS

This comes as Gibraltar’s political entities and unions continued to condemn the events at the frontier.

The Gibraltar Police Federation added its voice to the ringing condemnation espoused by Gibraltar-entities in the wake of the chaotic border protest.

“The Gibraltar Police Federation in conjunction with the Forum members of the Sindicato Unificado de Policias (Policia Nacional), SIAT (SVA) and the GGCA strongly condemn the actions of JUSAPOL at the frontier,” the federation’s chairman, Henry Bautista, tweeted.

Additionally, the Executive Committee of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party slammed the attitude taken by some demonstrators on the Spanish side of the land frontier against Gibraltarians.

“In particular we condemn the hijacking of the demonstration by elements of the Spanish extreme right wing political movement, Vox,” the Committee said in a statement adding “This is totally unacceptable.”

“One of our citizens, a young woman, had to endure insults from some demonstrators culminating in damage to her property and a physical assault.”

“Those that were demonstrating for better wages for the Spanish police force are entitled to make their claim, but it is one to be made to the Spanish national government in Madrid and has nothing to do with us.”

The GSLP added that it gives its full support to all Gibraltarians who were forced to go through that “ordeal”.

The Chairperson of the GSLP, Pepe Baldachino said: “I am a lifelong socialist and trades unionist.”

“I believe in workers’ rights to strike, which the party defends.”

“But violent actions, such as the ones we saw in this demonstration, are not trade unionism.”

“It is really bad to see right-wingers using a strike to camouflage their provocation and their anti-Gibraltar extremism.”

“We in the GSLP stand with the Gibraltarians who were attacked at the frontier and will seek to assist them in whatever way possible.”

“Everything possible must be done to ensure this does not happen again.”

UNITE

Unite the Union also moved to condemn the actions of some of the demonstrators and said it intends to raise the matter at all levels within the European Union.

In a statement the Union said the “fascist, irresponsible and unacceptable actions of those far right individuals, who participated in what would otherwise have been a legitimate claim is completely unacceptable, especially when those in question are in fact members of a uniformed body.”

It added that these actions merit a thorough investigation followed by strong disciplinary action.

“The off duty officers who provoked and participated in yesterday’s incident should not forget that they represent the state for which they work and yesterday through their actions they belittled the Spanish Government and the rest of their colleagues,” Unite said.

Additionally, Unite called on the Spanish authorities to identify the individuals concerned with a view to taking disciplinary action in this respect so that incidents of this nature do not repeat themselves.

“No individual should ever be subjected to such inhumane and unprofessional conduct by any uniformed body solely because of their nationality.”

“These actions included, material damage to individuals property, insults, assault and racist, nationalistic provocations.”

“Actions which Unite believes to be unbecoming of a member state of the modern European Union.”

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