Moviment Graffitti activists will not budge from the site of proposed Dingli roadworks, which they say would be “illegal and abusive”, until they are halted for good.
“We’re going to be there as long as we need to. These works must stop – they are illegal and are being carried out in an abusive manner,” Wayne Flask from Moviment Graffitti told Lovin Malta this morning.
He warned that over the last three days of their confrontation with Infrastructure Malta workers, there have been at least three incidents were activists risked their lives.
“Twice a piece of heavy machinery almost hit two of our members on the Dingli plot. Another time, a chainsaw was brandished very close to an activist’s foot. We’ve seen this violence and arrogance shown to residents and concerned citizens time and time again,” the activist said.
Moviment Graffitti has been protesting a project that looks to connect two alleyways to a main road in Dingli.
The group said Infrastructure Malta failed to show the necessary permits to carry out the works, accusing the agency of preparing to build on an Out-of-Development Zone, destroying old carob trees, arable land and a nearby medieval church in the process.
“This morning, Infrastructure Malta staff came to carry out unspecific waterworks to build the road. It left us baffled because as far as we know there’s no need to pass such services in this road,” Flask explained.
“It’s another indication that they are laying down services because it will be built up after the project is complete. This is why they won’t show us their so-called permits.”
Speaking to Lovin Malta, Transport Minister Ian Borg rubbished the activists’ claims of illegality, even accusing the group of a personal attack on him in his home town of Dingli.
Moviment Graffitti doubled down in their response, saying it had no interest in publicity.
“When the Transport Minister accused us of ‘clickbait’, he is taking the micky out of the farmers who spoke to us and his constituents in Dingli. Why is he hiding the plans if he hasn’t got anything to hide?”
On the issue of permits, Borg also said none were needed because the project was part of a schemed plan that was approved under laws passed in 2006.
“First of all, when we first protested against the project in September, the minister said it boiled down to ‘defected’ laws passed under the Nationalist Party in 2006. Instead of reforming the laws, he exploited them to open more roads like this and places like Mġarr, Żabbar and Xemxija.”
On the Dingli project, Flask said the plans make the road wider than the designs dictate, spilling into an out-of-development zone, and therefore requires permits.
“The law states this clearly, and up until yesterday at least – they didn’t even have permission from Land Authority.”
“It’s clear that they want to place every piece of concrete they can but on greenery,” he finished.
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