This is a statement by Repubblika issued earlier today:

The Labour Party and the Nationalist party are using their TVs and their media to suffocate free speech and crush the right to protest.

Repubblika is deeply concerned by the disproportionate and unfair retaliation of the Labour Party and the Nationalist Party that have used and are using their media to carry lies and twist facts in order to discredit and intimidate civil society activists.

What happened this week to Occupy Justice activists is nothing short of an outrage on free expression and the right to protest.

For as long as they expected Occupy Justice’s call for truth and justice to fade away after a short while or that it would not have any impact on them, political parties sought to ignore them or ridicule them. Now they are defaming them with inventions and fake news or by twisting and manipulating facts to misrepresent the intent and work of activists.

It is indeed an enormous defect of our democracy that political parties use their TV stations and their media to lie and twist facts about each other. However while they target each other there is at least a perverse mutual balance. But when political parties join forces to victimise and intimidate groups of citizens that think independently of both of them, any hint of democracy is crushed.

Repubblika insists that the power of the State has the duty and responsibility to protect free association, the right of citizens — alone or in groups — to speak up without State interference, the right to free speech, the right of different groups to cooperate, the right of free assembly and public protest and the right for activists to seek and secure resources from those that wish to support them even if anonymously.

In our view the TV stations and the media of political parties are tools of the State and their use to crush these rights is a breach of basic rights in a democracy.

We are concerned by the political parties’ determination to cooperate in a coordinated campaign of lies or twisting of facts to silence those they perceive to be stepping on their toes and to intimidate those who want to support them.

It’s our hope and our determined intention to see that civil society has a voice in our community even if political parties wish to stifle it.

Meanwhile, Occupy Justice too commented in a Facebook post on the coverage they’ve been getting: