A number of residents living in Dingli have filed a judicial protest against an environmental activist group after they halted works in the area.
The three residents – John and Rose Sammut and Carmel Galea – filed the protest accusing Moviment Graffitti of “clandestinely and abusively” causing obstacles to roadworks being done in Daħla tas-Sienja and Triq San Ġwann Bosco.
In their protest, they allege that residents of the streets in question have been calling for the road to be upgraded for years so that emergency services such as fire engines as well as ambulances can access the tight roads. They said that as the current roads stand, emergency service vehicles cannot access their homes.
A petition with around 15 signatures from local residents was also presented supporting the roadwork project.
The residents also alleged that due to the protests, some people living in the street were not allowed to exit their homes and missed appointments.
Over the last three days, activists have physically stopped diggers from carrying out works in a plot of land between these streets.
Videos of the demonstration show tensions rising as activists put their hands on machinery in attempts to halt them and even saw an unnamed man chainsaw a log mere inches away from an activist’s foot.
Residents have called on authorities to end the protest and remove any risks protestors pose to their safety.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, Moviment Graffitti said they had suffered harassment due to their focus on the works and had “ample” evidence to counter any claims made against them.
“We are not surprised at this seeing the tactics Infrastructure Malta have repeatedly employed against us, including the harassment of some individuals external to Moviment Graffitti who joined our action through the use of malicious phone calls, and violent behaviour from different contractors on Monday and Tuesday,” they said.
“We are in possession of ample documentation and video footage to dispel the allegations in the judicial protest, and we will be publishing a full statement to clarify matters in public, since it appears that a state agency is insisting on tarnishing our image using residents as their shield.”
Moviment Graffitti have pledged to continue protesting the “abusive and illegal” work being undertaken at the Dingli site.
Infrastructure Malta posted a message thanking Dingli residents for their support while listing a number of “facts” about the project.
And yesterday, following the protests, the Dingli local council held an urgent meeting where they unanimously said they supported the proposed roadworks.
Transport Minister Ian Borg reacted to the protests in a video that was released ahead of his full interview, which will be published shortly.