Friends of Zack Meli, the 24-year-old man who died following an argument in Paceville yesterday morning, have insisted their late friend would have strongly opposed a protest that is being planned by the nativist ‘Patriots’ Movement’ in the wake of his death.
Police yesterday arrested 19-year-old Bulgarian national Denis Davkov in connection with Meli’s death, with media reports suggesting he was being suspected of fatally punching Meli. Media leaks this afternoon said an autopsy on Meli showed no signs of violence, but the police then issued an official statement confirming the autopsy was “inconclusive” and that they are still trying to establish the cause of his death. Davkov has meanwhile been released on police bail pending further investigations.
In the midst of all of this, the ‘Patriots’ Movement’ announced its intention to honour Meli by organising a protest in Valletta this Saturday against “violence by foreigners against Maltese people”.
However, six of Zack Meli’s friends have since contacted Lovin Malta separately to warn the Patriots’ that their late friend would have highly disapproved of its planned action.
“I’ve known Zack since 2009. We became friends at Junior College,” Nicola Vella said. “He hated these idiots and all they represent. Using his death to fuel their hate disgusts me. It’s wrong and Zack wouldn’t have wanted this.”
“I knew Zack personally and I’m really sure that this is not the way he’d want to be remembered,” Claire Giordimaina said. “It’s a shame that his name is being used to further such an extremist group’s agenda.”
“Dear Moviment Patrijotti Maltin. Shame on you. Shame on you all, How dare you use the loss of the life of a sweet, honest, loving and accepting youth to further your own messed up agenda?” ‘Cindii Relity’ posted. “His life was the opposite of everything and anything you people stand for and to use this tragedy as you are is an abomination and utterly disgusting. As a close and personal friend of Zack Meli, as well as behalf of anyone who has ever loved him, please take down your posts with regards to him. Who ever has been touched by this death is going through enough as it is. As people in mourning, we should really not have to be dealing with your bullshit. Shame on all of you. Have some respect.”
“Violence is endemic of our society, not a country of origin,” Patrick Wallbank said. “I knew Zack and he hated the ‘patriots’ and their racist agenda. If they must protest something, protest how violence has seeped into every aspect of our lives. Protest violence and demand that we teach our children to be gentler, kinder and more empathetic, like Zack was. Violence will just beget more violence.”
“In this new age of technology, news and rumours spread fast and the perspective in which it is given could influence people’s thoughts and reactions greatly,” George Vella Bardon said. “Recently a friend of mine died and he was a kind and understanding person, and definitely not one to discriminate or persecute others based on their nationality.
“I find it immensely distasteful and disrespectful for people to use his passing as an excuse to push racist propaganda. This is made all the more questionable considering the fact that the person who dealt the killing blow was so young and in Malta for so long. It’s sad to see so much fear-mongering and even more so to see it affect people so deeply.”
“We’re all shook by what happened to him as is his family and we just want him to be remembered as he was: a kind and loving soul,” a sixth friend, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “But his image is being abused now by the Moviment Patrijotti Maltin, he was in no way affiliated to their racist agenda.”