Photo left: Occupy Justice, Photo right: Il-Kenniesa
Activists have turned the Great Siege Monument in Valletta into a makeshift memorial to assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia once more, only a few hours after the site was cleared ahead of last evening’s Victory Day ceremony.
Candles were lit up around the monument, flowers were planted in the soil below it and a picture of Caruana Galizia was hung up above the makeshift memorial. The wreaths which were placed by dignitaries last evening in honour of Maltese casualties of war were left untouched,
Meanwhile, activist group Il-Kenniesa hung up notes around Valletta to remind people that the person who commissioned Caruana Galizia’s assassination last October remains at large.
“We don’t listen to authority when authority is wrong,” the group said. “Daphne Caruana Galizia’s memorial remains opposite the law courts, until we see justice. Each passing day is one day closer to justice. Help us rebuild it and we will do so each day if we have to. Onwards to justice. #JusticeForDaphne.”
The makeshift memorial was originally erected by San Anton children shortly after Caruana Galizia’s murder but has since become a symbolic battleground between people who want the public to be constantly reminded about the murder and people who argue that a national monument should not be turned into a shrine for a character as divisive as Caruana Galizia.
The memorial has been removed several times before but the government has so far refused to pronounce itself in favour or against it. Back in March, the police even interrogated two people, including a Castille employee, in connection with ‘theft’ of flowers and candles from the site.
Dignitaries gather at the Great Siege Memorial to pay homage to Maltese casualties of war
In recent days, a number of PL officials have urged the authorities to remove the monument of references to Caruana Galizia once and for all.
“Those who want to remember Caruana Galizia can do so in an adequate place and not on a national monument which is a symbol of national unity,” PL MEP candidate Cyrus Engerer said. “In a country where divisiveness reigns supreme and which has spent years trying to agree on a single national day, such symbols of national unity should be left to serve their purpose.”
Fellow MEP candidate Alex Saliba urged the authorities to return the Great Siege monument to “the people”.
“This country cannot go on accepting the way a small clique of people acts with impunity and does what it pleases, even on national monuments,” he said.