[WATCH] Climate change activists hold protest against central link road works

The environmental group threatened continuous protest action if the works on Central Link project do not cease until the court gives its 'go-ahead'

Protestors strung messages of protest on the trees along Mdina Road
Protestors strung messages of protest on the trees along Mdina Road
Climate change activists hold protest against central link road works

Environmental group Extinction Rebellion strung messages of protest on the trees along Mdina Road just across from the agricultural land that will be making way for road widening as part of the Central Link project.

Speaking to MaltaToday, members Ruby Zammit and Timothy Grech—who had made headlines for their Save the Trees movement—said that Extinction Rebellion aims to continue its protest and intensify its action if the Central Link works do not cease.

“Infrastructure Malta and the Transport Ministry have decided to disregard the law. A court appeal to the Central Link project is ongoing, yet the ministry has consciously chosen to ignore their legal requirements and carry on works. In doing so they have created more traffic, and taken by surprise farmers whose land is being excavated,” Grech said, adding that despite many people’s anger and antipathy towards the project, works have started nonetheless. 

Zammit and Grech were accompanied by Steven Bajada and Christian Pace, also members of the global environmental movement, as they hanged messages of protest during the rush hour.

Placards reading ‘Soil not tarmac’, ‘The People did not Agree to This’, and ‘Give us our Land Back’, among others were left on display for commuters to see.

The protest was set to take place on agricultural land close to excavators but Zammit told MaltaToday that this was impossible since most of the agricultural land had already been excavated along Mdina road.

“The excavation process started last Wednesday and is happening pretty quickly. They are removing all the soil and it’s happening at a fast pace,” she said.

The protestors said that with 45 new cars per day on the road, pollution and traffic will continue to increase by the time the project is complete.

“Central Link is a betrayal of the environment, of vehicle users in Malta, and of future generations. It will destroy trees, create traffic, deprive farmers of their land and cause inconvenience in the short term, with no benefit in the medium or long term. It does not deliver,” they said.

They insisted that the better alternative would have been an underground tunnel since this did not involve tree felling and the taking of fertile agricultural land.

“We call on the authorities and stakeholders to work with us towards the implementation of a highly effective, free and electric public transportation which delivers both environmental protection and economic development. It is clearer now more than ever that Central Link is a dead end. Let's get things done the right way.”

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