Activists from Occupy Justice said no barriers would stop their quest for truth, justice and freedom as they laid flowers and candles at the entrance of the Justice and Culture Ministry this afternoon.
This move came about after the the government yet again cleared the memorial for assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and put up another banner in its place.
Standing in front of the ministry, Occupy Justice said they laid out the candles and “in memoriam” notes there because it was the place where “freedom of speech has come to die”.
It was the duty of the Justice Minister to uphold freedom of speech in the country and yet he gave an order for “a systematic cleansing of people’s voices”.
“We shall not rest until justice is served because this is our nation, this is our home, and we are the people. We expect better, we deserve better, we demand better”.
The last time the banner calling for justice, as well as the candles and flowers laid at the walls barricading the monument, were cleared in the dead of the night was last night.
The monument was blocked off with wooden boards last week, with Justice and Culture Minister Owen Bonnici saying “restoration is to start immediately”. The Shift reported on Sunday that no work had as yet started on what was supposed to be an urgent restoration.
Through the Justice Ministry, the government swept clean, time and time again, the peaceful tokens “by which we protest against the corruption and impunity in this country: flowers, candles and banners,” Occupy Justice said.
The boarding up of the makeshift memorial at the foot of the Great Siege monument was a daily reminder that there is no rule of law in Malta and was nothing but an attempt to blatantly supress freedom of speech, they said.
It is unacceptable that the Justice and Culture Minister uses government workers to censor and intimidate Maltese citizens who have the right to engage in peaceful protest – PN
The sudden need for the ‘restoration’ of the monument was about censorship and not aesthetics or health and safety.
Meanwhile, the Opposition said in a statement that the government’s actions in repeatedly removing the memorial was a reflection of “the Labour government’s contempt for freedom of expression”.
“It is unacceptable that the Justice and Culture Minister uses government workers to censor and intimidate Maltese citizens who have the right to engage in peaceful protest to call for justice for assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia,” the PN said.
The Opposition added that in a truly democratic country the government should be using all available means to safeguard every citizen’s right to protest peacefully rather than using “pathetic excuses” to deny that right.
Earlier today, Human Rights NGO Aditus said the government’s actions were “shameful and reprehensible“.