Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
Louiselle Vassallo said that throughout the last two years the words ‘serenity and prudence’ have been used time and time again. She pointed out, that over the past weeks, as the country plunged into turmoil, the words were used with a greater frequency, asking whether people do not have a right to be angry.
“It is through civil society needs to take heed to the pseudo-gods warming up their seats in parliament in order to take action,” Vassallo said.
Speaking about recent revelations, Vassallo said that the truth which finally started coming out –has exposed a web of criminality that has overtaken Malta. This in turn revealed the true meaning of ‘serenity and prudence’, Vassallo pointed out, adding that these words in such context mean omertà, silence and hiding of facts, silence and do not get involved. She asked what politicians are expecting; whether they are expecting citizens to stay home and decorate for Christmas, as she sarcastically remarked whether one of them would gift the people demanding the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, a Christmas present by ousting him.
Vassallo said that over the past few years, elected politicians had every opportunity to show responsibility – instead they chose personal interests over their loyalty to the oath sworn to the republic, reminding them that they gave a vote of confidence to now-backbencher Konrad Mizzi.
“The MPs who defend those who cannot be defended should be ashamed of themselves,” Vassallo stressed. She also took a dig at the selfies posted by government MPs, asking them whether they thought that people were fools. “We don’t need group photos with your fake smiles; we need you to start fulfilling your duties,” Vassallo said.
With the relative progress over the past weeks into the murder investigations, the truth started emerging, while the list of those possibly implicated started growing, Vassallo observed.
Describing the election of a new Labour leader as a charade (‘karnivalata’) she observed that he will be elected by the same people who up to a few weeks ago gave a unanimous vote of confidence to outgoing Muscat who was thanking Keith Schembri for his work. Schembri was subsequently arrested, released and took in for questioning again.
Vassallo highlighted that the new leader, albeit not elected, also enjoys the support of Konrad Mizzi. She asked why none of the government MPs have spoken out clearly on the current political turmoil, adding that: “no, they have no intention to live these times in serenity and prudence”.
“LGBT people are not slogans for easy votes – Christian Pace
Activist Christian Pace told the crowd that, as a transsexual, he voted Labour in 2013. Back then, the promise of civil rights for LGBT resonated strongly. Reacting to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s video message in which he announced that he will step down after a new Partit Laburista leader is elected, Pace expressed his anger, denouncing Muscat for “trying to cover up his wrongdoings by banging his chest about LGBT rights”.
Pace highlighted that the LGBT community is not a catchphrase which can be instrumentalised for votes. “And that is why I feel disgusted when every time that Castille [referring to OPM] is shrouded in dark clouds of scandals, the first trick in the book is to pull the civil rights card,” Pace stated. He lambasted Muscat for his use of ‘granting civil rights’ saying that when the rights were introduced Muscat was essentially doing his duty as a public servant and not doing them ‘a favour’.
The activist highlighted that like every Maltese citizen, one expects the government to guarantee peace of mind, clean economy, a sound environment, security and freedom of expression.
“Once you committed this macabre act against one of us, you committed against all of us,” Pace stated, highlighting that the act was not only against Daphne Caruana Galizia but against everyone else. Pace went back to basics in his speech saying that “politicians are there to serve the electorate that trusted them with their vote”. Adding they are not gods. “A politician like you has to be clean – free from every suspicion,” Pace said.
With every passing minute, more suspicions arise – Callus
People have gathered in Valletta for another national protest demanding justice.
With every minute that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat spends in office, one suspects that there is indeed a plan to not allow the full truth out, Andre Callus from Moviment Graffitti said.
The leftist grassroot organisation has been around for 25 years and Callus has been a member for the past 15 years.
Addressing the people gathered in Valletta for national protest, Callus noted that the country has been overtaken by a clique of businessmen and politicians that have not only stolen from citizens, but have further been implicated in a murder. While acknowledging that the extent of Muscat’s involvement in the murder is not yet known – there are wide-known facts which are not allegations, Callus stressed.
“Muscat cannot act as though he is clean,” he stated, adding that the Prime Minister should shoulder political responsibility and resign with immediate effect.
Callus warned that by him continuing to occupy the office, the country will not find closure, adding that failing to resign immediately means that the country will have to live doubting whether the truth was hidden from the public domain. Callus said that resignations are not enough, as the current problems are deep rooted – referring to the ‘incestuous’ relationship between politics and big businesses.
Speaking about the economy, Callus said that those who have the financial means go on unrestrained by following the logic of profit comes first and by overriding the interests of the many. He called for social justice and policies which work in favour of workers. “We want independent institutions,” Callus said.
“I’m saddened that Partit Laburista went contrary to its founding principles”
Stating that he is a socialist and a leftist, Callus said that it saddens him to see Partit Laburista in government going contrary to its founding principles. Appealing to the Labourites, Callus said “don’t let them use you” urging them that true socialists have nothing to with “killers in a jacket and tie”.
Callus also appealed to the Nationalists, urging everyone to rise above partisan politics. “This blind partisanship led us to this situation, political leaders that fool us and keep power to themselves, by having us fight one against the other.”
People demand justice
Various groups have been gathering outside of Parliament, Castille and Police Headquarters demanding justice. Last week, thousands marched along Republic Street insisting on resignations.
Over the past weeks, several protests demanding the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat were held. Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, Keith Schembri have stepped down. Muscat announced his departure will happen after a new Partit Laburista leader is elected. Meanwhile, loanshark, taxi driver and alleged middleman Melvin Theuma has started testifying in court where he implicated Schembri in the journalist’s murder.
17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech, who is now in preventive custody, has also implicated Schembri. His request for a presidential pardon was turned down while Theuma was given a pardon, a decision taken by Muscat himself.
The protest is being organised by rule of law NGO Repubblika and pressure group Occupy Justice, and has been endorsed by Moviment Graffitti, Students’ University Council, aditus, Friends of the Earth, UĦM – Voice of the Workers, and Isles of the Left. The protest has also been endorsed by five media houses, Times of Malta, Malta Independent, MaltaToday, Lovin Malta and the Shift News.
Footage: Monique Agius