Black lives matter: Malta joins worldwide anti-racism protest

Hundreds gather in front of parliament to protest against racism and commemorate Lassana Cisse, who was racially murdered last year • Protestors confronted by group of noisy people against migrants

Anti-racism protest is held outside parliament
Anti-racism protest is held outside parliament

Malta joined the worldwide anti-racist movement, Black Lives Matter, on Monday as hundreds turned up to demand justice for murdered migrant Lassana Cisse.

Cisse was killed by two soldiers in a drive-by shooting in Birżebbuġa last year, in what investigating officers have described as a racially motivated murder. Two men are charged with the murder and the compilation of evidence is ongoing.

Protestors carrying placards denouncing racism gathered in front of parliament to demand justice for Cisse and an end to racism.

READ ALSO BLOG: Why ‘All Lives Matter’ is dismissive and a foil for racists and the far-right in Malta

The protest came on the back of government’s tough stand on migration, which left hundreds of rescued people detained on pleasure boats outside territorial waters for more than a month.

Government eventually gave in and allowed the 425 migrants to disembark on Saturday after people driven by despair mounted a mutiny and threatened crew members.

A small group of people protested against migrants
A small group of people protested against migrants
The police kept the two groups of protestors apart
The police kept the two groups of protestors apart

Demonstrators were confronted by a small but noisy group of far-right activists, among them Imperium Europa and Moviment Patriotti activists, protesting against migrants and insisting that Malta belonged to the Maltese. They shouted insults and coarse langauge at the #BlackLivesMatter activists, with the police cordon keeping the two groups apart.

The justice for Lassana protest was organised as part of the global anti-racist movement sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in the US. The incident caused major protests and riots in US cities with protestors blaming institutionalised racism for the murder.

The Black Lives Matter movement has seen protests in major cities around the world.

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