TG stands with SNAG in row with Govt
Together Gibraltar on Wednesday said the Gibraltar Government’s “threatening” of local NGOs is an “assault on democracy”, after the latest row between No.6 Convent Place and the Special Needs Action Group [SNAG].
In a statement, Together Gibraltar said it is “appalled” by the Government’s “continued use of government press releases for partisan attacks”.
TG’s intervention comes against the backdrop of strident exchanges between the Government and SNAG.
SNAG criticised what it described as the Government’s personal attack on Atrish Sanchez, a committee member who is also a part of the GSD executive.
The Government had accused Ms Sanchez of highlighting concern over comments made by the Minister for Economic Development, Sir Joe Bossano, on supported employment for political gain.
Earlier this week it stood firm in that view and accused the GSD of “using the mask of SNAG to feign affront”.
On Wednesday, TG slammed the Government’s approach.
“These [attacks] are now being used to directly demean non-governmental organisations and members of the public,” Together Gibraltar yesterday said in a statement.
“These attacks are a heinous assault on our democracy and are precisely what Together Gibraltar talks about when we bring up the culture of fear in Gibraltar.”
“The Government is now admitting that they view political affiliations as an issue and will
treat organisations differently if their members belong to the wrong party, or say the
wrong thing on social media.”
The party “applauds” Ms Sanchez for “standing her ground” and SNAG for “standing by its executive” despite, Together Gibraltar said, “the Government making it clear that they will use her presence as a cudgel to attack them and ignore their input”.
“Fear of speaking out is something Together Gibraltar knows all too well,” the party said.
“Many of our own activists have been forced to keep their involvement quiet because they know that it puts their professional or voluntary positions at risk.”
“We have to ask ourselves very seriously: is this the kind of Gibraltar we want to live
“A Gibraltar where we have to fear speaking out or being associated with “the
wrong kind of people”?”
“According to [Minister for Health, Albert Isola] on Wednesday, even using the wrong hashtag on social media is enough to get one’s organisation blacklisted.”
“Together Gibraltar would also like to remind the public of the unnecessary source of
“Multiple groups, not just SNAG, expressed their frustration with Sir Joe’s damaging comments around supported employment and he has still refused to change course or even to make an apology when asked directly.”
In answer to SNAG’s concerns, Together Gibraltar said it “stands very firmly on the side of
our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities community”.
“Equality has always been one of Together Gibraltar’s pillars and we want to ensure that everyone is given a chance to succeed in Gibraltar,” Together Gibraltar said.
“On supported employment this means treating people with disabilities as individuals, giving them the support and accommodations they need to develop a gainful career on their own merits.”
“Together Gibraltar looks forward to consulting with SNAG on their policies and
manifesto pledges as they have been doing with community groups across Gibraltar.”
“The party is confident that with SNAG’s support they can put forward a vision which
better supports our SEND community.”
“Together Gibraltar will likewise always be there to support our NGOs in holding discriminatory agendas accountable.”