A sizeable crowd gathered on Wednesday evening before the Great Siege Monument in Valletta 61 months, five years and a month, since the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia to pay respects, commemorate her life and work and to call for justice.
In what has become a monthly event interrupted only briefly by the Covid-19 pandemic, speakers at Wednesday’s vigil included Repubblika Vice-President Alessandra Dee Crespo, columnist and activist Kevin Cassar and lawyer and Occupy Justice activist Martina Farrugia, among others.
Taking the stage first was Alessandra Dee Crespo, who remarked how five years and month since the journalist’s assassination, the country is still waiting for justice for Caruana Galizia and her stories. Along such lines, she brought up Repubblika’s ongoing trials and tribulations in the Pilatus court case, in which the civil society action group has challenged the police over their failure to arraign former players in the now infamous Pilatus Bank.
The Pilatus bank saga always has a twist, she observed, remarking how the Attorney General and the Police Commissioner have been continually dragging their feet and making excuses for their inaction.
“How they rush when they want to, don’t they?” she asked. “But only to protect the interests of the thieves and not the national interest.”
Kevin Cassar, meanwhile, had harsh word for the current administration, commenting how, to this very day, Prime Minister Robert Abela still demonstrates an aversion to Caruana Galizia in that he “didn’t have the decency to even attend a single memorial”.
Yet, Labour and the party’s supporters remain obsessed with Caruana Galizia.
“Why? Because, for Labour, the truth is the biggest threat. And Daphne was the personification of truth. Daphne was the truth.
“With that truth, Daphne discovered and informed us of the famous roadmap of Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri and Egrant. She exposed their Panamanian companies and shattered the lies about Vitals and Electrogas. She exposed the lie of Pilatus Bank and robbed them of the plans they prepared to steal from and cheat the people. With her truth, she ruined everything for them.”
Martina Farrugia remarked how, “Change happens through the work of ordinary people who are have had enough. We’ve been a nation of gentle sheep for too long. It’s time to get loud.”
“The truth is that Daphne was killed over five years ago now. It’s a long time to still have to be calling for justice. But what’s the alternative? Should we be quiet because we’ve become repetitive?
“I think we need to become louder.”
“With Daphne’s death, not only did we lose one of the main critical voices that kept the government in check but her assassination at the peak of government corruption has set the tone for next five years.
“Our options are twofold, we either live our lives with our heads in the sand while the decay around us continues to fester or we raise our voices and say that we do not want to live like this anymore.
“We need to clamour for the police and the AG to be given adequate resources to do their jobs well. Whistle blowing and dangerous police work is futile if the prosecution is going to drop the ball due to being understaffed or ill equipped.
“Change doesn’t happen from the comfort of your home, it happens in the streets, in court, in front of parliament, sometimes on beaches, online and in print, in theatres, in art where people stand up to be counted and refuse to let Malta’s continued deterioration pass them by unmarked.”