Government sweepers have not touched a makeshift memorial in Valletta dedicated to murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia since activists spent the night guarding it last Thursday.
The memorial, which is directly in front of the law courts in Malta’s capital, has become a central battleground between activists calling for justice in the murder investigation, and a segment of government forces.
On a near-daily basis for the last two years, activists keeping the memory of Daphne Caruana Galizia alive in Valletta by placing candles, pictures, placards and printed quotes in front of the memorial would wake up to find everything thrown away and cleared out by members of the Cleansing Department.
However, it became so egregious that activists were forced to pull an all-nighter and literally keep the flames alive – and since then, the memorial has not been cleared away.
With the memorial remaining up for days, a vigil demanding truth and justice is set to be held there tonight.
Tonight’s vigil comes on the 16th of the month, the date Caruana Galizia was brutally murdered. Vigils have been held on this date every month for the last 26 months since her assassination, held in the same place, and been attended by local activists as well as foreign press and key people.
Ahead of tonight’s vigil, activist group Repubblika, who have been active in organising recent protests and keeping the pressure up over the last two years, sent an open letter to President George Vella.
They called for his urgent intervention to stem the flow of intimidation and aggression they were receiving both online as well as in the streets as a result of their criticism of the government.
When asked about the memorial in a recent interview, Prime Minister hopeful Chris Fearne said he would seek to “heal wounds and not perpetuate them”.
Fearne said he was also open to erecting a permanent monument to Caruana Galizia if a segment of society felt this was needed.