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ERG/AOP Welcomes SDGG's Firework Announcement


 The ERG/AOP welcomes the Self-Determination for Gibraltar Group's decision to cancel the National Day firework displays. The group has called for clarification on whether accompanying London events that had been announced have also been "ruled out".

A statement from the ERG/AOP follows below:

ERG/AOP welcomes the sensible and right decision taken by the Self-Determination for Gibraltar Group (SDGG) in cancelling the costly and unjustifiable expenses surrounding National Day firework displays and ‘all receptions’ according to its press release. It would be helpful if they could also clarify whether the extravagant accompanying London events that had been announced have also been ruled out,' a spokesperson for Equality Rights Group/Action on Poverty stated.

'At times when the community is going through increasingly tough economic bumps, we can pare back on extras and use the savings to look after those who are in need. This is not austerity, it's merely common-sense good housekeeping!'

‘Given that Government attempted to publicly lambast ERG/AOP for having the ‘audacity’ to question unnecessary expenditure on any public event in these belt-tightening times, including National Day, we wonder now whether Mr. Picardo will similarly hit back at and criticise the sensible action the SDGG has undertaken for the sake of our community in the same way that he so stridently did regarding Equality Rights Group/Action on Poverty when we refused on moral principle to take part in the extravagance that holding Pride 2022 displayed. 

'ERG/AOP did not participate in the Pride event, not because LGBT+ people do not deserve it which they patently do, but because we have a moral obligation to stand up not only for ourselves, but also for others in need in our community. And that sometimes means putting others before ourselves.

'As a human and civil rights organisation, we refuse to look the other way precisely when the poor and those in hardship in our society are having an increasingly hard time of it in coping with both the cost of living going through the roof and energy bills mounting. We made it abundantly clear: we were unwilling to simply dance the night away. And Government should have understood and led the way.

'Equality and solidarity are no mere superficial public relations exercise; they have to ring true across the whole community and through many generations, and rubbing salt in the wound of others who are suffering is just not on. A wound that does nothing to integrate different sectors of Gibraltar to feel at ease with each other, quite the opposite; it creates resentment over time. 

'LGBT+ equality and all other issues of social advancement require more measured thinking and actions. Good laws, which Government have justly followed GGR/ERG in developing, and played a pivotal and historic part in introducing, are necessary; but having sufficient understanding and equilibrium to guide them to a good port over the years is something that Government yet needs to prove.

‘If money can be spent so readily whether by government or the private sector, as occurred with the precipitous decision to hold Pride in 2022, it is clear that the funding which is so absent for the poor and in need is, it seems, far more available than the Administration claims.

‘We continue to call on Chief Minister Picardo and his Government to come up with the already-promised summer Budget plans to once and for all fulfil their promises of a package of relief for the vulnerable and in hardship. People are increasingly disappointed and sceptical at the zero delivery so far demonstrated. Nonetheless, we believe Mr. Picardo could still come up trumps, and it's only then we could all rightly start to feel proud of ourselves!’ the statement ends.