The Great Siege monument which for the past year has been turned into a makeshift memorial to demand justice for slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has been completely blocked off but activists said they will not allow government to “kill” her memory.
Scaffolding and black hoarding were unexpectedly erected around the monument on Saturday and justice and culture minister Owen Bonnici took to Facebook to announce that the lower part of the monument will be undergoing restoration.
Despite the latest move to black out the memorial, activists vowed to continue their struggle to demand justice for the journalist murdered on 16 October 2017.
Speaking to The Shift News, Tina Urso from il-Kenniesa said: “Everyday you see Joseph Muscat and this government openly killing Daphne’s memory and what she stood for. The government noticed 13 destroyals of a memorial space wasn’t putting anyone off, so now they barricaded Daphne’s memorial. This won’t stop us either.”
Occupy Justice also said they were undeterred by the move. The activists posted a photo of the memorial on Facebook (after it had been cleared yesterday ahead of Victory Day celebrations) once again filled with candles and flowers, and Caruana Galizia’s photo placed again at the centre.
Occupy Justice activist Pia Zammit told The Shift News: “The barricading of the monument as we are approaching the anniversary of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder looks like a concerted effort by the government to shut the memorial down. What is this government afraid of? A few candles and flowers? Are they scared of people questioning them? The truth is that justice has not yet been served.”
The images of the monument posted by Justice Minister Owen Bonnici referred to the “damage” to the monument, adding that “the pictures speak for themselves”.
Every time the monument was cleared of flowers, candels and messages dedicated to Caruana Galizia, activists have immediately replaced them.
Labour figures, including MPs, have repeatedly called for the removal of the memorial set up and maintained by citizens before the law courts as a reminder that justice has not been served.
Read Lizzie Eldridge’s piece on the repeated clearance of the memorial dedicated to the slain journalist.