Updated to include follow-up statement by Occupy Justice on the removal of banners.
Sixteen banners were set up by Occupy Justice on prominent roads across the island to mark a year since the street protests that eventually led to disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s resignation, as well as his chief of staff Keith Schembri and Minister Konrad Mizzi.
Referring to these resignations, as well as the forced resignation of former Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and the retirement of disgraced former Attorney General Peter Grech, the group said: “And yet, one year on we are still waiting for answers while we are shocked at the revelations emerging from the public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.”
Marking 37 months since the assassination of the journalist, the banners target a number of politicians, including Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis with the words “Zammit Lewis – Whatsaaap?” referring to his chats with the man who stands accused of commissioning Caruana Galizia’s murder, as well as “Edward Scicluna the Spineless Professor” and “The Real Traitors of Malta”.
They call out disgraced politicians who have resigned and sitting ministers who have yet to assume any political responsibility “for turning a blind eye to blatant corrupt practices while pretending to have no knowledge of such”.
The banners also highlight the Prime Minister’s aversion to wearing a face mask, disregarding the most basic of COVID-19 regulations. “This reflects the complete absence of responsibility and arrogant sense of impunity that permeates the government, which his ministers have very much admitted to in the inquiry,” Occupy Justice said.
They referred to the ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ mentioned by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, and criticised the testimonies of various MPs who “have very short-term memories and seem to have no idea what is happening around them”.
“Although in the current situation we cannot take to the streets as we did a year ago, we reiterate our demands that anybody involved directly or indirectly in creating the climate that led to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination be brought to justice, and for the whole truth to emerge,” Occupy Justice, the movement behind the protests a year ago, insisted.
In a statement this evening, Occupy Justice said the group is receiving reports that the banners placed last night “to protest the corruption, cowardice and impunity that led to the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia 37 months ago” are being removed.
“Given that only yesterday, Prime Minister Robert Abela confirmed that ‘this is a new government from the one back in January’, we assume that our fundamental right to protest is being rigorously respected as part of this regime’s raft of ‘progressive reforms’, and that they are therefore being stolen by authoritarian thieves.”
Occupy Justice appealed to the police to take the necessary action to ensure that they are recovered and returned immediately.