The Malta Independent 7 June 2023, Wednesday
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TMID Editorial: A country of protests

Tuesday, 21 March 2023, 13:19 Last update: about 4 months ago

Last Saturday, we had two more protests in our streets.

Three NGOs - Moviment Graffitti, Friends of the Earth Malta, and Rota - held a lie-in in front of Parliament to highlight the real cost of inefficient public transport, lack of appropriate infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, and an illogical car-centric transport system, which is negatively affecting people's lives and quality of life. 

At the same time this was happening, Animal Liberation Malta activists were calling for a ban on karozzini (horse-drawn carriages) in a protest in Valletta. The activity started from The Mall Floriana all the way to Castille Square in Valletta with the activists chanting "Din Mohqrija - Mhux tradizzjoni" and "You ride - they die".

These followed a political protest in Valletta on Thursday, when the Nationalist Party called for the people support as its motion on the hospitals' rescinded deal was being debated in the House of Representatives.

This is what happened in the second half of last week only. In previous weeks and months, we have had protests in the street about the government's plan on amending the law related to abortion, the development proposed for Comino, and to highlight the plight of migrants who are dying at sea.

There have also been protests following the death of Jean Paul Sofia when a building collapsed in Kordin, after Bernice Cassar was murdered to highlight the effects of domestic violence, and at the end of a trial by jury which saw two men accused of killing Sion Grech walk free.

Over the past 65 months, then, we have had monthly vigils to commemorate the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. These activities are also a form of protest against the government.

All these manifestations are clearly a sign that there is a kind of unrest in the country. The government may think that everything is under control and that, after all, people have a right to protest. But beneath the surface there is a pot which is close to reaching boiling point.

The hospitals' deal judgment has added more fuel to the fire that had been simmering. The government has been trying hard to make it seem that all is business as usual, but it has failed to contain the anger that the people who use their mind have expressed in the past weeks.

In the meantime, the Opposition is using the momentum and piling up the pressure - while focusing on the hospitals' deal, it has not forgotten to point out that Foreign Minister Ian Borg should leave or be made to resign after a court ruling regarding the swimming pool at his villa, that PBS continues to favour the government in all it does, that the government has not yet implemented the recommendations of the public inquiry into the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder and that another public inquiry should be held following the death of Jean Paul Sofia.

The government's defence in all the above has not been convincing.


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