15 months ago our lives changed. 15 months ago we recoiled in shock as we learned about the brutal assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. 15 months ago we watched in horror as the people who are supposed to lead us, failed to react appropriately. We knew then that we couldn’t be silent.
One of us suggested that we stage a protest outside Castille. That friend passed on the idea to another, and in few hours the idea went viral, and so we all went to Castille – unsure, uncertain. Would people actually turn up? Yes you did. In droves.
As an ad hoc group of people, we decided to adopt the slogan #occupyjustice. This is not a legal name, it is not the name of a company, an organisation or an ngo. #occupyjustice is a slogan we stand behind.
There is no leader among us, no public relations person, no president or chairperson. None of us is involved in partisan politics. There is no one individual who runs the show – in fact there is no “show” being run. One day one of us puts out a tweet or a Facebook post, the next day someone else does. We have no rules and regulations, no membership, no statute. We just have one common goal – to keep on calling for justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia and for good governance.
Why am I reminding you about this? Well, we are being portrayed as enemies and traitors by people who evidently do not agree that good governance is a good thing, or maybe they believe that Daphne does not deserve justice. These these people are out on a classic witch hunt, accusing us of the most ridiculous false things to silence us. Let us say it again: we are nothing more than a bunch of woman who are angry at the way this island is being governed. And this witch-hunt is going to continue. Which is why we need perspective.
There is logic to our ‘We are Legion’ approach, quite apart from the fact that OJ per se is simply a slogan. We know that anyone who raises her head above the parapet is targeted viciously and the onslaught is hard to take. We have witnessed the coordinated attacks on individuals. So we keep a rotating front line, as it were, and people can step away and step back in whenever they feel they need a break. We know what they did to Daphne, they isolated her and battered her from all angles. We won’t risk that happening to any of us or you, and we won’t leave people out in front alone.
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room, the spurious and ridiculous claims – call them lies – of massive amounts of funding. We are being attacked and vilified because we fork out money from our pockets to use solely and transparently in this fight for justice.
This is horrific. this is proof that our right to protest is truly being suffocated. To attempt to use the law against us because we are buying flowers and candles on your behalf is preposterous and dangerous.
According to the Maltese Law courts now, having secret companies in Panama set up to receive 5,000 euro a day from is fine and dandy if you are a Minister or the Prime Minister’s Chief of staff – but if you are a normal tax-paying citizen, then you can’t buy a candle or pay for a banner.
If what we are doing here is illegal, then we have a massive problem in this country.
This doesn’t surprise us. We’ve seen it happen before. When they can’t challenge our message – they try to take us down in any other way they can.
Well, they can get stuffed, it’s not going to happen because they will have to take each and every one of us, each and every one of you, in fact, because we’re all in this together – we are Legion.
We thank you, the fearless few, for helping us and for standing with us, and we thank those who help us but cannot be here because they would be assaulted and chased by super one cameras and threatened. They cannot be here because they fear the fake reports that inevitably follow. We thank them for giving us the help and support to protest on their behalf.
This bunch of angry women would like to remind the Government, the Opposition, and the Judiciary that this is our home, this is our nation and we are the people. We expect better, we deserve better and we demand better.