#OccupyJustice meets the Prime Minister

Here’s the statement that the #OccupyJustice read to the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat earlier today when they met him in Castille. This is a translation in English as reported in manueldelia.com.

Image from manueldelia.com

Prime Minister,

We are here because the situation in our country is desperate. You may try to treat the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia as just another murder, but it is not.

It is the responsibility of the State and the authorities to create an environment where journalists can work in safety. Therefore when a journalist is killed it is a clear and unequivocal sign that the system has failed miserably and it really is not helpful to deny that is the country is in in the throes of a serious problem. Responsibility for this must be borne, by those who are the guardians of Law and Order in our country.

Time and again we have waited for the current Attorney General and for one Police Commissioner after another to act but instead they are nowhere to be seen. Especially when it referred actions involving people close to the Government, yourself included. If the Attorney General and the Police Commissioner had an ounce of decency and respect for the roles they occupy, they would have resigned of their own accord. Instead, last week we saw a sudden spurt of action which can only be seen as a contrived attempt to mislead the public and international observers into believing that all is well.

Prime Minister, we expect you to do your duty and live by the oath you swore before us all to ensure that that our Constitution and the rights and principles it upholds are respected. Instead we have watched you exploit your position by appointing your sympathisers to most of the key positions within all the institutions that are meant to provide the checks and balances that are so fundamental to a democracy. On a daily basis, you are using your popularity to control all institutions. This is not democratic but autocratic. It is what is happening in countries such as Hungary and Turkey.

This is what your legacy will be. That you have exerted absolute control with no check nor balances on your Government. You have run roughshod over anyone who is not a direct supporter of your party and your people have targeted anyone who dared criticise. In fact you have turned on the full power of your media machine – which incidentally now also includes the Public Broadcasting Services – onto these people.

The attacks that we, as #occupyjustice, were subjected to over the past couple of weeks by people close to you, people paid from our taxes, was just a tiny taste of what Daphne Caruana Galizia was subjected to for years. Daphne Caruana Galizia was a lone target of your party’s political station and other sympathisers for decades. This was exacerbated when the Opposition Leader jumped into the fray too. Daphne Caruana Galizia was demonised, dehumanised to such an extent that there were people who rejoiced at her being blown to pieces. Everyone who demonised her has blood on their hands today.

This is not about political creed. Every decent human being should be horrified at what has happened. No “ifs” or “buts”. To justify it or provide excuses for it is to be part of the problem. Daphne Caruana Galizia symbolised the fourth pillar of our democracy. With her gone, that fourth pillar is weak and the rest will crumble.

We can no longer boast that Malta is a safe country. That Malta is a good place to bring up our children. And this has happened under your watch. Prime Minister, YOU are ultimately responsible.

If we are to believe you when you say you want to get to the bottom of things and that you want “unity” in our country, you need to take real action and not just say the right words. The demands being made by civil society are actually the minimum that is expected of you. Accepting these demands is the least you can do to restore some of the faith lost.

The Constitution was drafted by gentlemen and their one major failure was to assume that it would be gentlemen implementing it. If you do not address our concerns and run roughshod over these demands, you will go down in history as a Prime Minister who abused of his position because you enjoyed a safe majority.

Our country is a divided nation, the hatred is endemic, and the political class is responsible for spinning that. This has to stop. It is not about having money in our pockets. About getting back to business. Our country is bleeding. Our values destroyed. It has become a toxic place to raise children. It is about time you realise this.

We want to live in a free society. One which is equitable and which respects the fundamental freedoms that our parents before us fought for.

We feel that it is our duty to leave our jobs and our family responsibilities, to step out of our private lives to combat as civil society the amoralisation of the life of the Maltese Community and nation.

Our work doesn’t stop here. We will keep a close watch on the government you lead, waiting for you to honour your responsibilities. And you will keep hearing from us until such time we see the Malta we love so much back on the track of justice.


Image from manueldelia.com