The Malta Independent 14 November 2018, Wednesday

Updated: Occupy Justice billboards were illegal – Planning Authority

Sunday, 18 February 2018, 12:36 Last update: about 10 months ago

The Planning Authority said that all billboards removed during a direct action on Friday evening were served with a notice for removal months ago, giving enough time for owners of these illegal structures to remove them. Others were served with a notice on Friday and will be removed should the owners of the illegal structures not remove them in adequate time. 

The Authority’s action which is still ongoing is being done in collaboration with Enemalta. In fact a number of billboards were found to be stealing electricity to light up the billboards. 

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The statement issued by Occupy Justice today that the billboards that carried their messages were legal and licensed is entirely false.

The Planning Authority reiterates that there were more illegal billboards removed on the night which had also been served with a notice before the messages placed by Occupy Justice. 

The Planning Authority said it will continue taking action on illegal structures to uphold the existing laws which regulate Billboards & Advertisements.

In a counter statement, #OccupyJustice "insist that they have not broken any laws by renting billboard space off a private company. All contracts were signed, all invoices and taxes were paid, and they were guaranteed that all billboards had the necessary permits.”

#OccupyJustice’s statement has been misquoted and misinterpreted and we await the Planning Authority’s correction, the group said.

Earlier 

A day after billboards put up by #occupyjustice were pulled down by the authorities, Occupy Justice activists rallied in front of Castille with banners of the same messages and laid them at the Prime Minister's doorstep. 

"Prime Minister if you think you are going to silence us by pulling down our billboards, or by making a show of force to put the fear into every business person not to support our cause of fighting for the eroded justice in this country - you are mistaken," said an #occupyjustice spokeswoman.

Invoking the words of Sir Winston Churchill, the activists addressed the Prime Minister telling him: "You can try to block us at every corner but we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets ... we shall never surrender."

In their statement they told the Prime Minister to reflect on the messages, adding that they will keep on repeating "A JOURNALIST MURDERED. NO JUSTICE."; "A COUNTRY ROBBED. NO JUSTICE."; "NO RESIGNATIONS. NO JUSTICE." for as long as they must. 

"Your trying to shut us up, your stamp of approval for the culture of impunity makes us stronger and more determined to fight for what is left of democracy in our country. But we won't be intimidated," they said. 

#occupyjustice asked why after four months, Malta was still in in the dark as to who commissioned Daphne Caruana Galizia's assassination just as she was uncovering corruption atrocities. 

They asked the Prime Minister what was his vested interest in keeping Minister Konrad Mizzi and his Chief of Staff, Keith Schembri - both implicated in serious acts of corruption - by his side. "Why haven't you fired them? What are you waiting for?" they demanded.

"On the February 16, we put up these messages on billboards. Those billboards were removed, with a disregard to our right to protest, our right to question the government's disregard for the rule of law and our right for freedom of expression, only serves to cement our resolve to persevere in our cause." 

#OccupyJustice insist that they have not broken any laws by renting billboard space off a private company. All contracts were signed, all invoices and taxes were paid, and they were guaranteed that all billboards had the necessary permits. And yet, they question the PA's timing when Malta is riddled with illegal billboards - billboards that have been used by political parties on countless occasions.

#occupyjustice is a group of activists led by women determined to not fight for what is right, for justice and for an end to the culture of impunity. 

"We are #Occupyjustice. We form part of NO political party. We are activists who demand the highest levels of good governance from all those in authority."

Their motto is: "This is our nation, this is our home, and we are the people. We expect better, we deserve better, we demand better.

 

BILLBOARDS REMOVED ON FRIDAY WERE ALL ILLEGAL, says PA  

 

The Planning Authority said in a statement it confirms that all billboards removed during a direct action on Friday evening were served with a notice for removal months ago, giving enough time for owners of these illegal structures to remove them. Others were served with a notice on Friday and will be removed should the owners of the illegal structures not remove them in adequate time. 

The Authority’s action which is still ongoing is being done in collaboration with Enemalta. In fact a number of billboards were found to be stealing electricity to light up the billboards. 

The statement issued by Occupy Justice today that the billboards that carried their messages were legal and licensed is entirely false.

The Planning Authority reiterates that there were more illegal billboards removed on the night which had also been served with a notice before the messages placed by Occupy Justice. 

 

The Planning Authority will continue taking action on illegal structures to uphold the existing laws which regulate Billboards & Advertisements. 


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