Equality Rights group GGR - Citizenship in Democracy EQUALITY RIGHTS GGR

News and Information from Gibraltar on Equality, Human, Gay and Social Rights

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

We host Peter Tatchell visit to Gibraltar

Peter Tatchell, human rights spokesperson for the Green Party of England and Wales, arrives on the Rock tomorrow on a fact-finding tour, as a guest of Equality Rights Group GGR. "I'm pleased to welcome Peter to Gibraltar," Chairman Felix Alvarez said today. " It's good to have him here on a fact-finding mission. Anyone who shows interest in Gibraltar’s people is welcome as far as GGR is concerned."

Mr Tatchell is the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for Oxford East. Famous for his gay rights activism, he is the author of several books, has a weekly column on The Guardian website, and hosts a weekly internet TV programme, “Talking With Tatchell” at www.18doughtystreet.com.

He recently wrote a controversial article on the status of human rights in Gibraltar for The Guardian’s Comment is Free website, following which he was invited to get a first-hand account of the local situation and to meet Gibraltar’s political leaders.

Tatchell and Equality Rights Group Chairman Felix Alvarez will be jointly meeting with Joe Bossano (GSLP), Joseph Garcia (Liberals) and Keith Azopardi (PDP) during his stay. Details for a meeting with Chief Minister Peter Caruana have yet to be finalized.

Mr Tatchell, meanwhile, is also scheduled to meet with members of the disabled community, as well as the Environmental Safety Group, Friends of the Earth and members of the gay community.

“Having written and campaigned in support of Gibraltar human rights activists for many years, Tatchell says he is ‘’keen to get first-hand knowledge and meet local campaigners.”

“This visit will be a listening and learning exercise. I want to broaden my understanding by meeting Gibraltarians and hearing their concerns. Perhaps I can also share with them some of my campaign experience and ideas.

“I strongly support Gibraltar’s right to self-determination. The European Union and wider international community should respect the right of Gibraltarians to decide their own future.

“I am glad to see The Rock strengthening its involvement with the wider European family of nations and peoples, and beginning to embrace European standards of citizenship and human rights. I look forward to seeing further progress in the fields of justice and equality.

“In today’s globalised world of instant communication and international travel and trade, all the world’s peoples are interlinked and mutually dependent. We share a common future, regardless of whether we live in London, Gibraltar, Baghdad, Moscow, Beijing, Jarkarta, Sao Paulo, Sydney or New York.

“It is important to acknowledge our common humanity, the universality of rights and freedoms, and our need for joint international action to solve the global problems of climate change, terrorism, war and poverty.

“For me, solidarity has no frontier and I hope to demonstrate the value of mutual exchanges and support during my visit,” concluded Mr Tatchell. Peter Tatchell will be available to meet members of the public at Charlie’s Hole-in-the-Wall next Saturday from 9.30pm and says he “looks forward to meeting people of all walks of life there in a relaxed atmosphere.”