‘Enough is enough’: Graffitti makes call for national protest for the environment

Call to arms for residents associations, NGOs, farmers and workers to join 7 September demonstration in Valletta to present list of demands on state of environment

Close to 1,000 demonstrators made an impassioned please to protect the tree-lined Attard and Rabat roads from the Central Link project
Close to 1,000 demonstrators made an impassioned please to protect the tree-lined Attard and Rabat roads from the Central Link project

Moviment Graffitti is making a call for participation in a national protest that will be a space free of partisan politics, on Saturday 7 September in Valletta – eve of Victory Day.

“The aim of this protest is to bring together residents, workers, farmers, students and organisations who are fed up of excessive and haphazard construction so as to make their voices heard in opposition to the madness that is consuming our country,” Graffitti said.

“We believe that together we can change this situation and fight the excessive power of the few who treat Malta as their own patch of land through which they can speculate and make profits.”

The civil society NGO has been at the heart of direct actions taking to task Malta’s planning regulator and the environmental watchdog for failing to take proactive measures to safeguard the environment, and to protest controversial policies allowing the mushrooming of mega fuel stations outside development zones.

The group said it was inviting all NGOs, resident associations, student groups, workers’ associations and farmers from Malta and Gozo to reply to its public call on www.7settembru.org.

“Groups affiliated with political parties will be turned down,” Graffitti said.

The protest will also make a number of demands related, mainly to call for a radical change in planning policies so that they respect the interests of the majority, including future generations, instead of protecting the profits of the few.

The demands also include calling for regulators to be free from commercial and political interests. “We want democratic authorities that can truly decide in the best interests of our country,” Graffitti said.

The group will also call for a moratorium on large-scale projects until a comprehensive and serious plan for development in Malta is introduced. “This plan should ensure that these types of projects respect the community and are sustainable.”

Other demands include the regulation of the construction industry to hold developers responsible for the work carried out in construction sites and ensure this does not endanger or disturb people’s lives; and to reconsider the decision to build and widen roads that will destroy huge amounts of trees and arable land. “Instead, Government should be working on the creation and implementation of a strategy that truly addresses the traffic and pollution issues, and this strategy should include serious investment in alternative means of transport,” Graffitti said.

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