Felix Alvarez OBE is a Gibraltarian human, civil rights, democracy & LGBT activist. Felix Alvarez was born at Gibraltar, to Felix and Laura Alvarez; as a young boy, he attended St. Anne's Middle School in Gibraltar. Alvarez's family moved to London in 1959, living first near the Dalston/Hoxton area of the East End of London but spending the majority of his life in the South London areas of Clapham and Tulse Hill. Alvarez grew up bilingual in Spanish as do most Gibraltarians, yet the experience of being "foreign" in 1960s London was not easy for his family. He has vivid memories of tobacconist notice boards full of accommodation "to let" signs saying "no coloureds or dogs"; the experience of being different in an unaccepting society alerted him from an early age to the situation of the marginalised. As a teenager, Alvarez attended Wandsworth Comprehensive School, a progressive post-grammar school model, famous for its choir and close work with Benjamin Britten, it was during this period of his formative teenage years that, through personal contact, Alvarez joined Peter Hain in his Anti-Apartheid campaigns, work which he continued at university as a young student in the early 1970s.
Returning to London after 3 years in a northern university, Alvarez discovered the Gay Liberation Front imported from the Stonewall riots of New York in the late 1960s. Becoming involved in its activities, Alvarez was one of the founders of Britain's first Gay Community Centres, where pioneering work was undertaken to establish phone counselling and advice, weekly community meetings to raise self-esteem and channel gay and lesbian anger towards change rather than towards self-damage. At this time, Felix Alvarez worked with the Lambeth Community Law Centre and the Brixton Housing Advice Centre in Railton Road. Alvarez went on to qualify in community and social work at Goldsmiths, University of London in 1978. Disillusioned with the downturn of fascist trends in London, Alvarez took up the possibility of work in the Middle East, on what he considered to be an adventure, for 6 months; the adventure lasted 16 years, during which time Alvarez travelled the world. In 1997, Alvarez returned to Gibraltar.
One of his first undertakings on The Rock was to produce an in-depth study and MA thesis on bilingualism in the Gibraltar educational system from nursery schools all the way through to adult vocational training. This was entitled Primary Private Space: Choice in the Host Classroom. A copy was deposited with the John Mackintosh Hall and has become a reference point for international researchers regarding the impact of bilingualism in a community; the research contained implications for Gibraltar's educational policies which, to date, have not been taken note of. Experiencing difficulties as a result of insurmountable bureaucracy and prejudice regarding his non-EU same-sex partner, Alvarez determined to start challenging discrimination of sexual minorities in Gibraltar. By this time Deputy Leader of a political party, he persuaded his party to back him in the establishment of what was to be known as Gib Gay Rights. In a GBC television news broadcast on 4 September 2000, Alvarez announced that "the fear factor" was over as far as gay citizens were concerned.
From on, gay citizens would be demanding equal rights as full citizens of Gibraltar. As the work of the group expanded over the years, GGR has since become Gibraltar's foremost Human & Civil Rights organisation, is known as Equality Rights Group; this is abbreviated to ERG or ERG-GGR. Under his Chairmanship, ERG has achieved important changes in Gibraltarian society, prompting important debate on a range of social political issues, but in particular the following: Connected Health: In a joint Report with drugs rehabilitation group Stay Clean, groundbreaking proposals for restructuring not only the institutions, but the approach and legislative frameworks for dealing with a long-standing drugs problem and increasing sexual health issues in Gibraltar. Alvarez has argued that the War on Drugs paradigm has fed the criminals and grown the problem of substance abuse, he argues for a regulatory framework instead, thereby advocating that illicit drugs be regulated and supplied by Government authorities and caring professionals.
The evident connections between drugs and sexual health, while not always implied in co-morbidity, do interact within the paradigm necessary to destigmatise and give adequate responses to individuals. Media: Gibraltar media outlets are few - but important to the public interest of Gibraltar's young democracy; the problem is that, being such a small marketplace, neither newspapers nor the State tv/radio stations in the territory can hope to survive economically without fundamental and substantial financial support from the Gibraltar Government.'And that's a HUGE problem for Democracy!' says Alvarez. Advocating a re-think on the structuring of media outlets, Alvarez argues for a new scheme whereby outlets are guaranteed funding - yet are protected from political influence or interference'so that the media workers themselves as well as the outlets can breathe and do the professional job they're supposed to of acting with independence not deference to those in power.' Alvarez recognises this to be one of the hardest nuts to crack - since advocating change in this respect faces a wall of resistance from the politicians and Political Parties, but from the Managements of media outlets themselves.
In a situation where media workers have no specific union representati
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by Spain; the landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of, a densely populated town area, home to over 30,000 people Gibraltarians. In 1704, Anglo-Dutch forces captured Gibraltar from Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne; the territory was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During World War II it was an important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar, only 8 miles wide at this naval choke point, it remains strategically important. Today Gibraltar's economy is based on tourism, online gambling, financial services and cargo ship refuelling; the sovereignty of Gibraltar is a point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations because Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and, in a 2002 referendum, the idea of shared sovereignty was rejected.
Evidence of Neanderthal habitation in Gibraltar from around 50,000 years ago has been discovered at Gorham's Cave. The caves of Gibraltar continued to be used by Homo sapiens after the final extinction of the Neanderthals. Stone tools, ancient hearths and animal bones dating from around 40,000 years ago to about 5,000 years ago have been found in deposits left in Gorham's Cave. Numerous potsherds dating from the Neolithic period have been found in Gibraltar's caves of types typical of the Almerian culture found elsewhere in Andalusia around the town of Almería, from which it takes its name. There is little evidence of habitation in the Bronze Age, when people had stopped living in caves. During ancient times, Gibraltar was regarded by the peoples of the Mediterranean as a place of religious and symbolic importance; the Phoenicians were present for several centuries since around 950 BC using Gorham's Cave as a shrine to the genius loci, as did the Carthaginians and Romans after them. Gibraltar was known as Mons Calpe, a name of Phoenician origin.
Mons Calpe was considered by the ancient Greeks and Romans as one of the Pillars of Hercules, after the Greek legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar by Heracles. There is no known archaeological evidence of permanent settlements from the ancient period, they settled at the head of the bay in. The town of Carteia, near the location of the modern Spanish town of San Roque, was founded by the Phoenicians around 950 BC on the site of an early settlement of the native Turdetani people. After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Gibraltar came under the control of the Vandals, who crossed into Africa at the invitation of Boniface, the Count of the territory; the area formed part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania for 300 years, from 414 until 711 AD. Following a raid in 710, a predominantly Berber army under the command of Tariq ibn Ziyad crossed from North Africa in April 711 and landed somewhere in the vicinity of Gibraltar. Tariq's expedition led to the Islamic conquest of most of the Iberian peninsula.
Mons Calpe was renamed the Mount of Tariq, subsequently corrupted into Gibraltar. In 1160 the Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mu'min ordered that a permanent settlement, including a castle, be built, it received the name of Medinat al-Fath. The Tower of Homage of the Moorish Castle remains standing today. From 1274 onwards, the town was fought over and captured by the Nasrids of Granada, the Marinids of Morocco and the kings of Castile. In 1462 Gibraltar was captured by 1st Duke of Medina Sidonia. After the conquest, Henry IV of Castile assumed the additional title of King of Gibraltar, establishing it as part of the comarca of the Campo Llano de Gibraltar. Six years Gibraltar was restored to the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who sold it in 1474 to a group of 4350 conversos from Cordova and Seville and in exchange for maintaining the garrison of the town for two years, after which time they were expelled, returning to their home towns or moving on to other parts of Spain. In 1501 Gibraltar passed back to the Spanish Crown, Isabella I of Castile issued a Royal Warrant granting Gibraltar the coat of arms that it still uses.
In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet, representing the Grand Alliance, captured the town of Gibraltar on behalf of the Archduke Charles of Austria in his campaign to become King of Spain. Subsequently most of the population left the town with many settling nearby; as the Alliance's campaign faltered, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht was negotiated, which ceded control of Gibraltar to Britain to secure Britain's withdrawal from the war. Unsuccessful attempts by Spanish monarchs to regain Gibraltar were made with the siege of 1727 and again with the Great Siege of Gibraltar, during the American War of Independence. Gibraltar became a key base for the Royal Navy and played an important role prior to the Battle of Trafalgar and during the Crimean War of 1854–56, because of its strategic location. In the 18th century, the peacetime military garrison fluctuated in numbers from a minimum of 1,100 to a maximum of 5,000; the first half of the 19th century saw a significant increase of population to more t
Gibraltar Social Democrats
The Gibraltar Social Democrats is a centre/centre-right political party in Gibraltar. The GSD was the governing party in Gibraltar for four successive terms in office under the leadership of Peter Caruana from the 1996 general election until the party's electoral defeat in the 2011 election by the GSLP–Liberal Alliance. In November 30, 2017, the party undergone their second leadership election as its leader, Daniel Feetham resigned In July; as a result, 60.6% of the votes had gone to rejoined GSD member, Keith Azopardi, a minister and Deputy chief minister under the first few years of Peter Caruana reign as Chief minister. Keith had beaten Roy Clinton, who had gained 39.4 % of the votes. The party emerged, after the collapse of the Association for the Advancement of Civil Rights, as the main opposition to the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party. In 2005, the GSD has merged with the Gibraltar Labour Party, retaining the GSD name for the enlarged party; the merger was unpopular with many members of both parties, causing some high-profile GSD members to resign their membership, including deputy leader Keith Azopardi and executive member Nick Cruz, who went on to form the short-lived Progressive Democratic Party.
In January 2013, Peter Caruana, announced he was stepping down as leader and taking up a backbench position until his 4-year term was over. Caruana declared that he would not fight the next election and will be stepping out of politics completely; the leadership was contested by two GSD MPs: Damon Bossino. Feetham was elected on 4 February 2013 as Leader of the party by majority vote of the executive; this was the first time a party's leadership was to be democratically contested between two candidates. The GSD is a centre party with a recent left wing colouration; the party supports the current constitutional status of Gibraltar as an autonomous British overseas territory and is opposed to any proposal of joint British–Spanish sovereignty. The GSD has traditionally been less hostile in its attitude to Spain than its main rival, the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party. In the 1991 by-election to the Gibraltar House of Assembly, following the resignation of GSD Leader Peter Montegriffo, Peter Caruana was elected party leader and won 61.81% of the popular vote to fill in the vacant seat.
In the 1992 election, the party won 20.2% of the popular vote and 7 seats. In the 1996 election, the party won 52.20% of the popular vote and 8 seats. In the 2000 election, the party won 58.35% of the popular vote and 8 seats. In the 2003 election, the party won 51.45% of the popular vote and 8 seats. In the 2007 election to the newly named Gibraltar Parliament, the party won 49.33% of the popular vote and 10 seats. In the 2011 election, the party won 46.76% of the popular vote and 7 seats, unable to secure a fifth term. In the 2013 by-election, the GSD candidate Marlene Hassan Nahon won 39.95% of the popular vote. In the 2015 election, the party won 31.56% of the popular vote and 7 seats. The GSD endorsed the Conservative Party in the 2015 British general election. Daniel Feetham Edwin Reyes Elliott Phillips Roy Clinton Trevor Hammond Lawrence Llamas Gibraltar Social Democrats official website
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located in Europe. It has an area of an estimated population of about 513 million; the EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency; the EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, established by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome.
The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, West Germany. The Communities and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit; the latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the United Kingdom signified the intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal. Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence.
The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower. During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire were thereby attempts to resurrect Rome in the West; this political philosophy of a supra-national rule over the continent, similar to the example of the ancient Roman Empire, resulted in the early Middle Ages in the concept of a renovatio imperii, either in the forms of the Reichsidee or the religiously inspired Imperium Christianum. Medieval Christendom and the political power of the Papacy are cited as conducive to European integration and unity. In the oriental parts of the continent, the Russian Tsardom, the Empire, declared Moscow to be Third Rome and inheritor of the Eastern tradition after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The gap between Greek East and Latin West had been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054. Pan-European political thought emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire. In the decades following the outcomes of the Congress of Vienna, ideals of European unity flourished across the continent in the writings of Wojciech Jastrzębowski, Giuseppe Mazzini or Theodore de Korwin Szymanowski; the term United States of Europe was used at that time by Victor Hugo during a speech at the International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1849: A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas. During the interwar period, the consciousness that national markets in Europe were interdependent though confrontational, along with the observation of a larger and growing US market on the other side of the ocean, nourished the urge for the economic integration of the continent.
In 1920, advocating the creation of a European economic union, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "a Free Trade Union should be established... to impose no protectionist tariffs whatever against the produce of other members of the Union." During the same decade, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, one of the first to imagine of a modern political union of Europe, founded the Pan-Europa Movement. His ideas influenced his contemporaries, among which Prime Minister of France Aristide Briand. In 1929, the latter gave a speech in favour of a European Union before the assembly of the League of Nations, precursor of the United Nations. In a radio address in March 1943, with war still raging, Britain's leader Sir Winston Churchill spoke warmly of "restoring the true greatness of Europe" once victory had been achieved, mused on the post-war creation of a "Council of Europe" which would bring the European nations together to build peace. After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent.
In a speech delivered on 19
Chief Minister of Gibraltar
The Chief Minister of Gibraltar is the head of Her Majesty's Government of Gibraltar, elected by the Gibraltar Parliament, formally appointed by the Governor of Gibraltar, representative of the British Monarch. The incumbent Chief Minister is Fabian Picardo, since 9 December 2011, leader of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party. List of current heads of government in the United Kingdom and dependencies Governor of Gibraltar
A civil union is a recognized arrangement similar to marriage, created as a means to provide recognition in law for same-sex couples. Civil unions grant all of the rights of marriage except the title itself. Around the world, developed democracies began establishing civil unions in the late 1990s developing them from less formal domestic partnerships, which grant only some of the rights of marriage. In the majority of countries that established these unions in laws, they have since been either supplemented or replaced by same-sex marriage. Civil unions are viewed by LGBT rights campaigners as a "first step" towards establishing same-sex marriage, as civil unions are viewed by supporters of LGBT rights as a "separate but equal" or "second class" status. While civil unions are established for both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples, in a number of countries they are available to same-sex couples only. Beginning with Denmark in 1989, civil unions under one name or another have been established by law in several developed, countries in order to provide legal recognition of relationships formed by unmarried same-sex couples and to afford them rights, tax breaks, responsibilities similar or identical to those of married couples.
In Brazil, civil unions were first created for opposite-sex couples in 2002, expanded to include same-sex couples through a supreme court ruling in 2011. Many jurisdictions with civil unions recognize foreign unions if those are equivalent to their own; the marriages of same-sex couples performed abroad may be recognized as civil unions in jurisdictions that only have the latter. The terms used to designate civil unions are not standardized, vary from country to country. Government-sanctioned relationships that may be similar or equivalent to civil unions include civil partnerships, registered partnerships, domestic partnerships, significant relationships, reciprocal beneficiary relationships, common-law marriage, adult interdependent relationships, life partnerships, stable unions, civil solidarity pacts, so on; the exact level of rights, benefits and responsibilities varies, depending on the laws of a particular country. Some jurisdictions allow same-sex couples to adopt, while others forbid them to do so, or allow adoption only in specified circumstances.
As used in the United States, beginning with the state of Vermont in 2000, the term civil union has connoted a status equivalent to marriage for same-sex couples. However, the legislatures of the West Coast states of California and Washington have preferred the term domestic partnership for enactments similar or equivalent to civil union laws in East Coast states. Civil unions are not seen as a replacement for marriage by many in the LGBT community. "Marriage in the United States is a civil union. "It is a proposed hypothetical legal mechanism, since it doesn't exist in most places, to give some of the protections but withhold something precious from gay people. There's no good reason to do that." However, some opponents of same-sex marriage claim that civil unions rob marriage of its unique status. The California Supreme Court, in the In Re Marriage Cases decision, noted nine differences in state law. Civil unions are criticised as being'separate but equal', critics say they segregate same-sex couples by forcing them to use a separate institution.
Supporters of same-sex marriage contend that treating same-sex couples differently from other couples under the law allows for inferior treatment and that if civil unions were the same as marriage there would be no reason for two separate laws. A New Jersey commission which reviewed the state's civil union law reported that the law "invites and encourages unequal treatment of same-sex couples and their children"; some have suggested that creating civil unions which are open to opposite-sex couples would avoid the accusations of apartheid. These have still been criticised as being'separate but equal' by former New Zealand MP and feminist Marilyn Waring as same-sex couples remain excluded from the right to marry. Proponents of civil unions say that they provide practical equality for same-sex couples and solve the problems over areas such as hospital visitation rights and transfer of property caused by lack of legal recognition. Proponents say that creating civil unions is a more pragmatic way to ensure that same-sex couples have legal rights as it avoids the more controversial issues surrounding marriage and the claim that the term has a religious source.
Many supporters of same-sex marriage state that the word'marriage' matters and that the term'civil union' do not convey the emotional meaning or bring the respect that comes with marriage. Former US Solicitor General and attorney in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case Theodore Olsen said that recognizing same-sex couples under the term'domestic partnership' stigmatizes gay people's relationships treating them as if they were "something akin to a commercial venture, not a loving union". Many contend that the fact that civil unions are not understood can cause difficulty for same-sex cou