Activists have placed photos, candles and messages in honour of Daphne Caruana Galizia at seven national monuments across Malta as a cheeky retaliation to yesterday’s boarding off of the Great Siege Monument in Valletta.
The activists, from pressure group Il-Kenniesa, placed memorials at the Sette Giugno Monument in St George’s Square, the Malta Memorial and Independent Monument in Floriana, the Freedom Monument in Vittoriosa, the Workers’ Memorial in Msida and the Republic Day Monument in Marsa.
Meanwhile, people from anonymous activist group Rezistenza Malta also used the scaffold sheeting surrounding the Great Siege Monument as a canvas, plastering onto it a large photo of Caruana Galizia with the words ‘She investigated them…they killed her’.
Smaller notes on the sheeting include some directed straight at Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, with messages such as ‘Does the guilt eat you alive, Joseph?’
“Removing Daphne’s memorial is a cowardly act and a betrayal of our European democratic values,” Il-Kenniesa said. “For this reason, we have tonight set up not one but seven new memorials for Daphne Caruana Galizia. Each on national monuments honouring democratic principles and values that the government seems adamant to ignore or breach.
“Our demands for justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia and our efforts to remind people of the rights and freedoms that continue to be trampled on during our efforts will continue. This government has started a war against its people. We need to fight it together.”
The Great Siege Monument was yesterday blocked off for restoration works, with Culture Minister Owen Bonnici posting photos of its marble base stained with wax, allegedly from candles that had been placed there in honour of Caruana Galizia.
The restoration intervention came after several critics of Caruana Galizia, including PL MEP candidates Cyrus Engerer and Alex Saliba, urged the authorities to remove the makeshift memorial once and for all.
Il-Kenniesa insisted that the restoration works are just a cover for the government’s frustration with activists demanding justice for the assassinated journalist.
“The timing – just weeks before the one year mark of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination, and after not one but two “clearings” of the memorial – is suspect at best,” the group said.
The Great Siege Monument has been stained with candle wax
“A spontaneous memorial was built by school children who understood the abnormality of a journalist being assassinated in a European country for writing. Those children also understood the importance of keeping Daphne’s memory alive.
“We do too, as do and should all citizens. This is not a matter of petty or partisan politics. A journalist, mother, sister, wife, aunt, friend and Maltese citizen is dead and we want that person’s memory to remain alive. This is the only way to seek justice for her.
“We stress that monuments are not defaced or otherwise damaged by placing photos, flowers and candles in the memory of an assassinated journalist.
“As is apparent from the photos made public, any “damage” is from wax from the candles that were knocked, swept and kicked over. This by persons vandalising, cleansing or otherwise trying to erase this makeshift memorial, whether acting on instructions or incitement by government officials.”