A group of women started gathering outside Castille in Valletta yesterday, Thursday 26th October at 6.30pm, following the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia on Monday 16th October and a number of vigils held throughout the past week. The message being conveyed by these women was “We are an ever increasing, non partisan group of women, from all walks of life. We stand for strengthening the three organs of the state — the parliament, the government, and the law courts. We want safety, protection, honesty, transparency, and integrity. We want our faith restored in our country, in our future, and in our children’s future, and we want it to start now”. Female solidarity for a sister who was killed because of her words is what brought them together.
Among the people present was Claudette Buttigieg, a member of parliament and Deputy speaker, who spoke as a woman and a citizen of Malta and not as a politician. She claimed that she was very happy to see the number of people who showed up and expressed that this was a great idea for women to come together and honour what Caruana Galizia stood for.
During the public statement, which was communicated in both Maltese and then English, Andrea Dibben and Maria Pisani expressed the group’s concern for their and their children’s future, as they no longer recognise the country they live in. They added that the journalist’s assassination has merely brought to light the concerning state of the country, which they claim is all due to the government’s failure, hence a change is necessary.This is not the only reason they have taken this stance. They are calling out to the people of Malta to recognise that the country has been a victim of a normalisation of abuse of power and it is time to make it stop. They stated that the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police need to be replaced by non-divisive persons approved by a two-thirds majority in parliament in order to restore faith in the proper functioning of the country’s institution and democracy. The parliament, the government, and that law courts must be made independent and must uphold the rule of law. They went on to state that only constitutional reforms can bring about this change so that none of the three aforementioned entities feels like they are operating in fear or favour. They said “This is our nation, this is our home, and we are the people. We expect better, we deserve better, and we demand better.”
The Caruana Galizia family sent food for the crowd to show their support and gratitude, along with Bay Leaves from their late mother’s garden with a message explaining that Bay Leaves are a symbol of strength and courage.
The protesters will be outside Castille until Sunday afternoon, with people taking different shifts throughout the day and night to ensure a solid presence all weekend.