The Malta Independent 26 September 2017, Tuesday

Watch: March against hate speech held in Valletta; ‘Words matter,’ US Ambassador says

Friday, 8 July 2016, 18:30 Last update: about 2 years ago

A sizeable crowd made up mostly of youths gathered at City Gate this evening to march against hate speech.

A number of NGOs, namely Agenzija Zghazagh, SOS Malta, Integra Foundation, Kopin, African Media Association Malta, Migrant Women Association Malta and Spark 15, joined forces under the ‘Connect from the heart campaign’, initiated through the No Hate Movement by Council of Europe. This initiative seeks to stop online hate speech, in particular hate speech targeting refugees, asylum seekers, IDP’s and migrants, and the respect of their human rights.

 

Isabelle Mallia from Agenzija Zghazagh explained: “The idea is to combat hate speech both online and offline. Every year there are special days which are dedicated to specific minorities or causes. 20 June was World Refugee Day so the idea is 'no hate speech against refugees.' But the bigger idea is that No Hate Speech covers all minorities, gender, races – it has to be seen in the wider context.”

A number of MPs and US Ambassador to Malta G.Kathleen Hill were also in attendance. The ambassador said: “It is very important that we take a stand against what it becoming an all-too prevalent occurrence of hate speech, not only here in Europe but also in the United States. It is important to remember that we need to respect all people. It is particularly important that we take care of those who are most vulnerable in society, like refugees and immigrants, who seem to be bearing the brunt of the hate speech right now. So it’s important to let people know that words matter - hateful words matter and positive words matter.”

 

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