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Updated | Pembroke residents hijack Said press conference to protest Chiswick school development

The PN leadership contendor faced angry protestors this morning, at one point having to physically restrain an animated resident protesting agains the Chiswick House School development

Denise Grech
12 August 2017, 11:29am
Last updated on 13 August 2017, 11:55am
Pembroke residents up in arms over Chiswick House School development demand answers from Chris Said
Pembroke residents up in arms over Chiswick House School development demand answers from Chris Said
Nationalist MP Chris Said was heckled by protestors this morning insisting that Pembroke land remain undeveloped.

The PN leadership contender was flanked by members of various local councils as activists surrounded them, insisting that the Pembroke land, which is now being proposed for the Chiswick House School, should have been protected under PN rule.

Chiswick High School has announced it is moving from Kappara road to a previously unoccupied area. The decision has had locals up in arms, and a march protesting the development took place last week.

During a particularly heated discussion, a local council member said: “The Labour Party has gotten €10 million from this land!” but a protestor promptly replied: “I’m more Nationalist than you are! I was a Nationalist before you were even born!”

Chris Said called the press conference to discuss proposals for local councils
Chris Said called the press conference to discuss proposals for local councils
A dumbfounded Said held the protestor back, trying to keep the peace.

Addressing the media, Said referred to Australia Hall, a run-down Pembroke site that he said “is falling apart day by day”.

A resident interrupted him again. “Australia Hall has been falling apart for a long time. Why didn’t the PN do anything about it when it was still in government?”

Protestors were demanding an explanation as to why their pleas to make the land an ODZ zone had not been heard. The Chiswick school development could have been avoided a long time ago, they said.

Updated with Minister Evarist Bartolo comments

Minister of Education Evarist Bartolo has said that Said deliberately lied in his answers to the Pembroke protestors.

During the protest, Said said "Minister Bartolo is saying that Pembroke should be developed while Minister Herrera has said that the site should remain as is. Our government needs to make up its mind and take a stand".

Allegations that the Government is not giving due importance to the environment are untrue, Bartolo said. The state's manifest is clear on its position to safeguard the Pembroke site.

"If Dr. Said wants to find political divergence, he doesn't have to look far," the Minister argued.