It has been a year since Daphne Caruana Galizia said good bye to her son Matthew for the last time, got in her rental car, and drove down the little road from her house to her death.
Yet it was the long road Daphne took all her life. A journey in which the intrepid Maltese journalist was threatened, bullied and – perhaps most importantly of all – dehumanised by people in power who are enemies of freedom of speech.
And if one of the most basic principles of democracy is the freedom to ask questions, to interrogate and to fight the abuse of our freedoms, then journalists are our soldiers on the front line.
As Martin Niemöller put it:
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak ou t— Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Our journalists are there to speak for us – for me and you. And when they come for your journalists, that is when it is time for us to speak out and let them know that “You may kill the messenger, but you will never kill the message”.
The mockery of a dead journalist in Malta is the expression of a greater problem in the EU. As one friend put it to me: “Malta just showed that murdering a journalist can be done, and others have followed”.
Since Caruana Galizia’s assassination, we have seen the murder of Jan Kuciak in Slovakia, and Victoria Marinova in Bulgaria. And of course there is the seemingly endless backdrop of journalists being killed in India and Russia, among others.
It is time for us civilians to step in and support our journalists. The video is linked to a crowdfunding call – donate here. With the kind contribution of guitarist Mick Joyce and vocalist Zoe Langsdale.