‘Shoulder political responsibility for Daphne’s assassination’

Calls for political responsibility to be shouldered for the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia dominated the vigil held at the foot of the Great Siege Memorial on Friday evening to mark the five-month anniversary since her death.

The sizeable crowd that gathered continued to call for justice. Academic Vicky Ann Cremona said history would remember those who had stuck their necks out to stand up for what was right in the face of what was wrong. She reminded those gathered that the French Revolution was started by only 600 people who would not tolerate tyranny.

She asked the crowd whether the leaders of the two main political parties had the right morals to lead the country, which was met with a resounding ‘NO’.

Lawyer Edward DeBono said the Great Siege monument represented the struggle for victory against oppression. As Malta faced a new siege, the monument now represented Caruana Galizia, he said.

He insisted, as did Cremona before him, that political responsibility for her death must be shouldered. He referred to resignations in Slovakia where three Ministers, including the country’s Prime Minister, resigned in the weeks following the murder. In Malta, no member of the government has carried any political responsibility for the assassination.

Activist Alessandra Dee Crespo addressed the crowd next. She quoted extensively from Caruana Galzia writing to show its continued relevance. Her words, Dee Crespo said, were louder and more relevant today than ever before.

People then placed candles and flowers at the memorial, which also included a photo of Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend who were murdered in their home in February.

The crowd then moved to Castille Square opposite the Prime Minister’s Office where ‘The People’s Playlist’ was blared out of a sound system – a message to those who need to listen, #Occupy justice said.

The ‘mafia tune’ was the first to kick off – the theme song from the film The Godfather. It was followed by equally symbolic songs: In Questo Mondo di Ladri (In this World of Thieves) by Antonello Venditti; Panama by Van Halen; You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two – The Artful Dodger’s signature tune from Oliver the Musical; Under Pressure by Queen and others.

The event mocks one organised by the Malta Philarmonic Orchestra in February entitled ‘The Prime Minister’s Playlist’ in which the public was introduced to Joseph Muscat’s ‘favourite tunes’. It was an event repeatedly criticised and ridiculed for echoing the tactics of dictatorial regimes.

#OccupyJustice, an activist group led by women, said: “We are playing The People’s Playlist and whatever the Prime Minister may think, it is far from serene”.

“Prime Minister, the country is teeming with acts of corruption committed by people close to you and you keep looking the other way. Why?” they asked.

The activists also projected a video onto the wall of St James’ Bastion recounting the story of Daphne’s assassination – and asking why the Prime Minister was not listening to the people when they ask for resignations.

#OccupyJustice said that five months from the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta is still in the dark as to who commissioned the killing; corruption atrocities were surfacing every day; and the culture of impunity was encouraged instead of blocked.

The activists once again asked what the Prime Minister’s vested interest was in keeping by his side those exposed in the Panama Papers – his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Minister Konrad Mizzi. They reiterated their call for the resignation of Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and Attorney General Peter Grech who “are dancing to the government’s tune, meaning that the country’s key institutions are held hostage by the government”.

“We will keep on fighting to save the reputation of our country and we will not rest until justice is served,” #OccupyJustice said.


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