Photos: ‘A war has been declared on our freedom’

Credit: Monique Agius

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

“A war has been declared on our freedom,” activist Alessandra Dee Crespo told the anti-corruption activists gathered at the Great Siege Square in Valletta on Friday.

Occupy Justice and Repubblika organised a protest vigil to mark the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The activists reminded those present that the Council of Europe’s deadline for an independent and public inquiry into the assassination of the journalist expires in just over a month.

READ: What’s stopping the government from setting up a public inquiry?

The vigil marks 22 months since Caruana Galizia was assassinated.

READ: PACE Rapporteur welcomes Maltese govt’s launch of Daphne public inquiry

Credit: Monique Agius

Addressing the crowd, Dee Crespo referred to the convoy of Santa Marija, saying that the convoy made it to Malta despite it having been heavily bombed, adding that the Maltese had courageously continued to fight without giving up. Dee Crespo continued that, “one bomb served to declare war upon all of us, and our freedom”. She explained that the assassination of the investigative journalist served as a message that the country was now overtaken by “them” and that the new axis had arrived. The new axis, she explained, consist of the politicians, big business, “certain types of journalism”, the government and the opposition.

Dee Crespo stated that with the car bomb which killed Caruana Galizia, the masterminds aimed to silence everyone else. Speaking about the monument, Dee Crespo said that the three figures represent faith, fortitude and civilisation. She added that the same figures remind us of Caruana Galizia’s qualities, as someone who fought for what is right… many a time, alone.

“Those who fight for what is right are now not considered heroes, but traitors,” Dee Crespo stated.

Credit: Monique Agius

She added that history shows us that those who make a difference are those who do not go with the flow, those who are considered “eccentric”, “exceptional” and those who today we look up to.

“Caruana Galizia is ’Invicta’, she was not bought off, unlike other journalists, she was not silenced with an iced bun,” Dee Crespo told those gathered.

The activist took a dig at Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on his “almost” appointment as the President of the European Council. Turning to the Opposition Leader, Dee Crespo mockingly asked whether owner of Dubai-based 17 Black and shareholder in the power station, Yorgen Fenech would consider naming “a small conference room” after him.

Credit: Monique Agius

“The seed of resistance”

Dee Crespo concluded her address referring to those gathered as the “seeds of resistance”, saying that attempts to render them irrelevant have been futile.

Invictus

Activist Paula Fleri Soler read out Invictus by English poet William Ernest Henley. Clearly referring to unconfirmed reports that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had recently got “Invictus” tattooed on his bicep, Fleri Soler said that over the years the word has been appropriated by many politicians. Before reading the poem, Fleri Soler explained that is “about people like Daphne – who fought so valiantly for the truth”.

Credit: Monique Agius

Rather than the usual address, Megan Mallia opted for a descriptive prose about her aunt and investigative journalist Caruana Galizia. She ended by saying that “people often either forget or refuse to acknowledge that she [referring to Caruana Galizia] was a human being before all else” and reminded those present that Caruana Galizia was an aesthete.

Credit: Monique Agius

Activists Winston Psaila and Ann De Marco also addressed the crowd.

Credit: Monique Agius
Credit: Monique Agius

Read more:

Daphne Caruana Galizia memorial removed once again

Watch: ‘Daphne’s assassination is an attack on democracy’

“We can transform the world, fight injustice” – Whistleblower tells anti-corruption activists

Daphne turned into a voice flying into the hearts of millions – Daphne’s niece

Watch: ‘Caruana Galizia was a patriot; held power to account’

Maltese photographer wins international prize for Daphne vigil photo

Watch: “This is the square where our fight for freedom starts”

Updated: Watch: ‘We will abide with CoE. Public inquiry into Caruana Galizia murder to be launched within 3 months’ – Minister Abela

‘Government should launch public inquiry into Caruana Galizia murder now’ – Repubblika