Far-right stunt in Hamrun falls flat when two black men engage agitators

‘Patriot’ gets chatting with black men, ends with handshake for ‘deserving asylum seekers’

A video stunt by far-right agitators to film the location and mailbox of human rights NGO Aditus Foundation in Hamrun, fell flat when two black passers-by engaged the two men in a conversation that finished with a handshake.

The two black men chatted up the former police officer Ray Ambrogio, who back in June picketed a Black Lives Matter protest in Valletta. In the process, Ambrogio’s attempt at accusing human rights NGOs of aiding human trafficking, fell flat when he appeared mollified by the two men, ostensibly migrants who arrived in Malta irregularly from Libya.

The livestream, posted on 21 September, starts off with Ambrogio showing off a ‘Stop Human Trafficking’ poster they affixed outside the Aditus office in Hamrun. “If we continue to accept more migrants into the country, they will dominate us in the days to come,” Ambrogio said.

While voicing sweeping statements on migrants over their quest for a better life in Europe, Ambrogio keeps insisting his message “is not racist”. Yet he complains about the street hosting a one-stop-shop for migrant workers; while the guy filming him, Noel Apap, claims that “the Maltese living in Hamrun don’t even have a labour office in Valletta.”

As the rant on migration veers on statements of migrants being “the country’s ruin”, two black men passing by appear intrigued by the two men’s performance outside the Aditus office.

The anti-migrant rhetoric quickly turns soft. “You look like a gentleman,” Ambrogio tells one, as he starts rambling about being open to migrants who deserve asylum and refugees. “If you are a refugee or asylum seeker, and your status is approved, you are welcome. You can work here in Malta and you can have a family. No problem,” he tells him.

Quite a far cry from the parliamentary petition Ambrogio pushes to close ports to asylum seekers and migrants.

The former police officer appears more concerned about issues of security, when he tells the man that “they” should “behave”. “Tell your friends to obey, be good, because of the bad behaviour by other migrants, we patriots are angry of you also [sic],” he tells him.

“It’s not right, that someone like you, a gentleman, we patriots are angry with you [sic],” he adds.

Unable to sustain his anti-migrant tirade, Ambrogio instead attempts to make a difference between well-behaved and badly-behaved migrants, saying the Malta’s government accept “well-behaved” migrants. “The rest deport them!” he says.

But as the two men point out to him, in a stroke of common sense that until now is missing in the exchange, “good and bad people exist in all countries”, to the agreement of Ambrogio and Apap. “Even Maltese are like that,” Apap says.

At the end of the video, while Ambrogio insists with one of the men that he is not racist, Apap jumps in to remind them that Malta is too small to accept migrants. “But we cannot afford more immigrants, Malta is too small,” he says. “Africa is big, and there are rich countries where you can, but you, who have refugee status are welcome,” Ambrogio says almost contradictory.

The video ends off with the men shaking hands. “You made my day today, I always believed Africans are genuine people,” Ambrogio says.

Despite the friendly conversation, the interaction did not go down well with some of those viewing the live video. “You started off well, but I cannot agree with you. When the time comes, they (referring to the men in the video) will band together against us,” one said.

Other comment were inciting violence against the migrants, calling out Ambrogio and Apap for going back on their call for migrants to be deported. “All that talk during protests was for nothing, you ended up kissing that black man’s ass,” a comment read.

Asked for a statement on the video by MaltaToday, Aditus chose not to comment.