People took candles to a vigil for the 295 trees along Santa Luċija’s jogging track that are facing the chop, as the public continues to make its voice heard over the continued destruction of woodland for the sake of infrastructure.
The momentum generated at the Central Link protest appears to have counted for nought, with between 40 to 60 people attending the vigil.
It remains to be seen what 95% of the over one thousand who protested a little over a week ago were up to this evening.
MP Jason Azzopardi, who issued a rallying cry earlier today, attended as did Yana Mintoff, the daughter of former Prime Minister Dom Mintoff.
Throughout the vigil, the group sang environmental songs and closed the vigil with a song from ‘Gladiator’, which Santa Lucija group spokesperson Catherine Polidano said is symbolic:
“The gladiator had a chance to cut off his opponents head, but at the last minute, he decided not to swing the axe because he knew he’d be more victorious that way. The authorities aren’t gladiators, but they have the power to keep swinging the axe or to change their plan as the gladiator did.”
Some 295 trees in Santa Luċija will be removed and a further 254 transplanted to surrounding areas as part of a project to construct underground tunnels connecting Addolorata Hill with Tal-Barrani Road
To compensate for this loss, Infrastructure Malta has pledged to plant 597 new indigenous trees along the project route and redesign the jogging track.
Tonight’s vigil was organised earlier today by a group of activists under the banners of ‘Save Santa Luċija Open Spaces Network’ and ‘Extinction Rebellion Malta’.