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Gibraltar protests at Straw `betrayal'.

Byline: Lyndsay Moss

RESIDENTS of Gibraltar reacted noisily to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's statement on the Rock's future yesterday, using car horns, whistles and beating pots and pans to voice their disgust.

The cacophony resounded down streets and through buildings as the people came out in protest over the Foreign Secretary's indication that joint sovereignty with Spain looked to be on the cards.

Members of the Self-Determination Group of Gibraltar (SDGG) and the Voice of Gibraltar (VOG) first targeted The Convent, the official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar since 1728, and originally a convent of Franciscan Friars.

The protesters used whistles, pots and anything else they could lay their hands on - the aim to make as much noise as possible.

Passing vehicles honked their horns in solidarity as they passed the angry, but peaceful, protest.

Banner-waving protesters then transferred their demonstration to the naval base, flocking as one through Ragged Staff Gates and continuing to make their action as noisy and noticeable as possible.

On arrival at the base, the harsh din was replaced with a more tuneful sound of Gibraltar's National Anthem as some protesters united in song.

Then, holding aloft their Keep Gibraltar British banner, they stood side-by-side outside the base's gates, preventing MoD vehicles from entering.

Gibraltar politicians were united in condemning the plan as ``a betrayal''. The Integration With Britain Movement (IWBM) described the statement as a shameful betrayal of all Gibraltar's loyal British subjects by the British Government.

Meanwhile, the Spanish government said their ultimate aim was Spanish sovereignty over the Rock.
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Article Details
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EXGI
Date:Jul 13, 2002
Words:258
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