Activist group Moviment Graffitti said it “has no intention whatsoever” of suspending the actions in Dingli after calls for a meeting with Minister Ian Borg failed.
Residents and activists have so far successfully halted works on a partially-schemed road in Dingli. The group said in a statement the action was called after “Infrastructure Malta barged into the area without the necessary permits and without having properly discussed expropriation with landowners”.
The activists said they were not satisfied with the reply to their call for dialogue made last Thursday. “So far, we can say that we have not received any formal request to meet and discuss the issue in a decent manner. We will not entertain requests for meeting without residents and farmers present around the table, and not in hostile settings,” said a spokesperson for Moviment Graffitti. “This is a divisive tactic Frederick Azzopardi has tried and tested in countless other projects, most notably Central Link.”
The organisation said it had proposed a neutral venue for talks but no response was received. “This means we will continue our actions in Dingli until the authorities stand down from their bullish posturing.”
“We are not surprised at this, since we believe that Infrastructure Malta doesn’t have the courage to tell Dingli and its residents what its plans are, but instead prefers bullying, arrogance, and the use of heavy machinery to silence residents. But this doesn’t only happen in Dingli. Ask residents and farmers in Imrieħel, Burmarrad, Luqa, Żebbuġ, Gozo, and they will tell you stories of wanton destruction, lies and threats,” Moviment Graffitti said in the statement.
The organisation has requested the publication of official plans for the new road in Dingli, and highlighted the lack of information about how much ODZ land will be lost. Moviment Graffitti has also asked for guarantees against the further uprooting of trees.
“Infrastructure Malta has been abusing its power, trying to run roughshod all over a whole town and its citizens, with nobody any wiser as to why all this is happening. Concerns and questions raised with Infrastructure Malta have been met with silence, arrogance and excuses. This silence is what allows them to build a road on ODZ without permits, and without any justification.”
Moviment Graffitti said Minister Borg’s claim about an alleged resolution of all expropriation issues was “completely unfounded” based on the testimonies of residents.
Activists said the standoff, now in its seventh day, led to incidents of harassment involving Infrastructure Malta’s contractors.