The Fight for
 Self -

 Joe Bossano

 National Day

Original Text

Public Address on National Day
at Casemates Square, 10 September 1994.

We have today given the lie to the idea that we are hostile to anybody; that we are against talking to our neighbours, or that we have no friends in Parliament. Both Houses of Parliament, both British political parties stand solidly with the people of Gibraltar today as they stood 30 years ago. But we have clearly to take this battle to every comer. We have to enlist the support of friends in Catalunya. We have to get the support of our friends in Portugal, our neighbours. We have to fight our corner ourselves. Our friends are there to support our fight. But the credibility must come from us standing up ourselves and shouting without fear what we feel in our hearts.

Let me tell you something important about today, something probably most of you have forgotten and many of you may not even know. When we had the Self-Determination Group choosing the 10th of September on the first national day before your Government declared it a public holiday, it was on the 25th Anniversary of the Referendum. That was an important day in Gibraltar's history, because it was the first time in our history that we had been given the opportunity to express our wishes.

But it is also an important day because 30 years ago today, on the 10th of September 1964, we had the first elections in Gibraltar for the first Chief Minister in Gibraltar. 30 years ago we had a new Constitution in Gibraltar which for the first time in history produced a transfer from the Colonial Government to the Elected Government. 30 years ago the elected representatives produced a booklet signed by every elected member which stated:

"The soil of Gibraltar should belong to no one but the people of Gibraltar and the people of Gibraltar do not desire to be united with Spain."

We have been saying this for 30 years, not one day, 30 years. We are not going to be manipulated. We are not going to be blackmailed. We are not going to be frightened to say what we are entitled to say, to achieve what we are entitled to achieve. To get the respect for our right that everybody else in the world has. We are not asking for special treatment. We are asking for equal treatment.

You know that the rally last year was of enormous help to me in my presentation in the United Nations. I will be appearing again before the Fourth Committee, in your name, as your representative, knowing that the whole of Gibraltar is united on this issue. I will keep on going back until the UN says "yes" to us."

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