Activists from Moviment Graffitti have returned to Dingli this morning to block the construction of a road they say will destroy farmland, uproot old carob trees and endanger a medieval church.
Activists, farmers and residents forced Infrastructure Malta to stop construction yesterday after a tense confrontation with workers using heavy machinery on site. Some activists physically stopped diggers from continuing their work.
Members of Moviment Graffitti remained on site during the night and blocked the gate with wire and a heavy log to block IM workers as they arrived at 8am this morning.
Qormi’s mayor even made an appearance to support the activists in their protest, in a photo that has gone viral on social media.
Infrastructure Malta announced it would resume works to connect Sqaq il-Museum, Daħla tas-Sienja and Triq San Gwann Bosco in Dingli yesterday after it was forced to stop after the project began in October 2020.
The government agency argues that the work is needed to grant emergency services access to areas that were previously unreachable. However, activists say the road is being built “without a permit in an out of development zone, with the excuse that the local plan provides for the road to be built”.
Moviment Graffitti had filed an appeal against IM’s permit to uproot trees in the area, however, it was turned down by the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal. It argued that appellants did not have a juridical interest to make such a request.
IM added that it was granted permission to uproot the trees as long as it plants 30 new trees as compensation.
Despite the bad weather, the activists are adamant about staying put.
What do you make of their protest?