Daphne: One month, zero change

Women lead a number of events today renewing civil society’s month-long call for justice following the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia on October 16.

#Occupyjustice delivered a bayleaf plant to the Prime Minister’s office in Valletta with the message: “Prime Minister, may this bayleaf plant remind you that we have been waiting a month for you to take action on our demands for justice. He who does not want to know is a fool. He who does not do anything is a coward. He who knows and does nothing is an accomplice.”

The bayleaf is a symbolic plant being used by the activists as a symbol of strength and courage, after Daphne Caruana Galizia’ sons – Matthew, Andrew and Paul – sent the activists bayleaves from their mother’s garden by way of gratitude, when they were camping in Castille square three weeks ago.

#Occupyjustice is asking for the immediate resignation of Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and Attorney General Peter Grech, and for both positions to be replaced by persons who have the approval of two-thirds of the House.

#Occupyjustice is a group of activists led by women determined to fight for what is right, for justice and for a fair and equal society.

Another activity organised by activists Tina Urso, Lelly Fenech, Becky Vella and Emma Paris, is a silent walk at 6.30pm in Valletta. From the main entrance to the City, the walk proceeds through Republic Street to Caruana Galizia’s memorial next to the Great Siege Monument.

“Our message to everyone is don’t give up. Don’t expect others to do the dirty work, don’t be afraid to get out on the streets and don’t feel as though this is a lost battle. So much good has come out of fighting for what people believe in around the world – Malta is no different. Please encourage others to fight the battle from the streets, and not from behind their screens,” the activists said.

Meanwhile, banners were erected in different locations last night. They carried her last words: “The situation is desperate,” which has been used a slogan in the protests that have accumulated since her assassination.

Banners erected last night with Caruana Galizia's last words.

Banners erected last night with Caruana Galizia’s last words.

Caruana Galizia was Malta’s most prominent journalist, assassinated by a car bomb on 16 October.

The European Parliament yesterday backed a strong cross-party motion calling on the Police Commissioner to start investigations on Minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, among other things.

The Police Commissioner has refused to conduct these investigations since the release of the Panama Papers, even though Malta had the only Minister in the EU to be mentioned in the scandal despite reports by the Financial Services Intelligence Unit that flagged concerns on money laundering.

A press room was named after Caruana Galizia in the European Parliament in Strasbourg last Monday. Her husband, Peter Caruana Galizia spoke out for the first time since his wife’s assassination:

“To say my wife is brave…was brave, sorry, is true, but bravery has little value without a sense of purpose and a sense of injustice and without a capacity for outrage. Daphne’s investigative work taught her more than anyone cared to know about Malta’s underworld and its links to politics, about how laws are bent to favour the powerful and public goods diverted to private interests

But Daphne never grew cynical; she grew outraged and appalled by the increasingly sordid and frightening facts that emerged from her work. The more frustrated she grew at the state of our country, the more beautiful our garden became, the more trees she planted, the more books, art, ornaments and curiosities from all over the world arrived at our home,” he said.

She lives on, “in my three sons who have so much of her strength and integrity, she lives on in the people who choose to protect her legacy rather than manipulate it, she lives on in the courage that some of Malta’s journalists have recently found and in the outrage of the most influential reporters in the world who recognised Daphne as one of their own,” he added.

Peter Caruana Galizia addressing the launch of a press room in the European Parliament named after his wife, slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Peter Caruana Galizia addressing the launch of a press room in the European Parliament named after his wife, slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

More than 20 friends, journalists, artists and academics have come together to compile a book on the life and work of slain Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Pre-orders for the book, Invicta, are being accepted until the end of the month. Send an email to: [email protected] The deadline is 30 November.

 

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