Steve Zammit Lupi, a 24-year-old independent Ħaż-Żebbuġ councillor, reached out to people who question his genuineness by asking him why he didn’t protest against the last Nationalist government.
“The environment has become a political ball game where politicians speak about it with lots of buzzwords and castles in the sky,” Zammit Lupi said at a protest in Valletta against overdevelopment, organised by Moviment Graffitti.
“They ask me: ‘Where were you back in your days?” (Fejn kontu fi żmienkom?’). Whose days? Excuse me, but I was born in 1995 and I cast my first vote in a general election two years ago.”
“I couldn’t do much about the shocking things that were committed in the past because I was a little boy. I ask the people who raise these questions: ‘Where were you back then and where are you now?’”
Zammit Lupi recounted how several people were sceptical of his chances at success when he decided to contest last May’s local council elections as an independent candidate.
“Those who should be serving the citizens honestly are instead employing deception and tribal politics and I didn’t want to be part of that,” he said. “It was a hard road and not a day passed without someone approaching me to say they admire me but that I won’t get elected because the political parties will work against me.”
“I’m a councillor now and while the last 90 days have proven to be very challenging, I have had the opportunity to work with people of all political colours and with many others without colours. This is the type of local politics I believe in.”
Moviment Graffitti estimated that around 3,000 people attended todays protest, with activist Andre Callus hailing this as a sign that the people are rising up against abuses committed by powerful developers.
Besides Zammit Lupi and Callus, today’s protest was also addressed by Graffitti activist Wayne Flask, Ramblers’ Association president Ingram Bondin, Jeanette Borg from the Malta Youth In Agriculture Foundation, BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana, Pembroke resident Sonia Tanti, Anthea Brincat, whose Pieta apartment collapsed last June as a result of nearby construction works.