Democracy is not dead. Freedom of speech is not dead. If you honestly think so, just look around you. Thousands of men and women have united in grief and shock, to condemn this barbaric assassination - let’s call it what it is, this was not merely a murder, or a killing, it was an assassination. Thousands of men and women have come together to say “this is not right, this is not who we are.”
Democracy, freedom of speech, they may be fickle concepts, but they are NOT dead. If nothing else, yesterday’s events prove they are very much alive. They are ideas, ideas can never be killed. Consistently embattled and often silenced, but never dead.
Each and every one of us are living proof of this. Thousands flooded the Sliema promenade in determination, with a dual purpose: to commemorate the achievements and tremendous voice of a woman taken from her family too soon, and to denounce the abominable way in which she was taken.
You may be tempted to metaphorically strip yourself of any connection to Malta and its people. To this, I say again, look around you. Look at the people you’re detaching yourself from. Apart from a small group of extremists - again, let’s call them what they are - no one celebrates this attack on our democracy and basic freedoms. You are surrounded by people of similar convictions and beliefs.
The country is now at a crossroads. Yesterday’s events may fade into the footnotes of a history book, only to be commemorated once a year by an ever-shrinking vigil, or they will inspire and reinvigorate the people, you and me and all those surrounding us to never be silent in the face of adversity, to exercise the rights that Daphne Caruana Galizia and many before her died in service of.
For God’s sake, I hope it’s the latter.