Farmers, activists and residents gathered this morning in Burmarrad to take a stand against a proposed roundabout and supermarket project that threatens the farms and livelihoods of those in the area.
“This isn’t the first time we are talking about roads and junctions that don’t have benefits to the public,” a Moviment Graffitti activist said at the protest. “Not only does it not benefit the public, but it’s taking away land from farms.”
The proposed roundabout would take up 22 tumoli of arable land in the area as well as destroy a 500-year-old reservoir used by farmers to sow their crops, particularly in the summer months.
It is being built in anticipation of the construction of a supermarket by construction magnates, the Bonnici Brothers, on outside development zone land.
In addition to activists, both farmers and residents made an appearance and spoke at the protest, explaining how the proposed project was unjustified as a speed mitigation measure and would destroy their heritage and way of life.
“We’ve never been in this situation before. Why aren’t they showing us respect?,” a resident said.
Moreover, farmers from other localities, including Dingli, Imrieħel and Luqa, who had been victims of similar land grabs, showed up to the protest in an act of solidarity.
“We’re fighting another battle with Infrastructure Malta who want to take land not just to pave a road but to build a flyover. Carnival has been cancelled but the work of Infrastructure Malta hasn’t stopped,” another farmer said.
A petition against the aforementioned plans has received over 5,600 objections so far with Moviment Graffitti claiming that professionals have deemed the proposed roundabout as “senseless”.
Other entities have also voiced their concerns over the project, including the St Paul’s Bay Local Council.
“Moviment Graffitti expects Infrastructure Malta to immediately and definitively withdraw plans for the proposed roundabout, which is clearly aimed at servicing the Bonnici Brothers’ ODZ development. It also expects the PA Board to refuse the obscene application for the ODZ supermarket.”
“Should this rogue Government agency plough ahead with this grave injustice, framers and activists are ready to take direct action to stop this vicious onslaught on farmers and their lands,” a press release said.
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