Iż-Żejjed kollu Żejjed was chanted in chorus along the streets of Valletta during a protest organised by Moviment Graffitti against what they described as unbridled development and the greed shown by developers. The protesters called for a change in planning policies, and a reform within the environmental and planning authorities. The protesters also called for cessation of major projects until a serious development plan is implemented. A call was also made for a strategy for alternative transport, changes to building regulations, and safeguarding of biodiversity and the citizens’ health.
Hundreds gathered in Valletta to the cry of ‘Iż-Żejjed kollu Żejjed’. During the protest organised by Moviment Graffitti, the protesters made their voice heard against what they called “massive construction development and destruction of the environment.”
Andrè Callus, a Moviment Graffitti activist, described the event as the beginning of a movement. Callus added tht what was taking place was caused by the greed being shown by a few persons. Callus alleged that a number of developers are tugging at the parties’ strings for the latter to do their bidding. Mr Callus described the protest, for which he said attendance exceeded three thousand protesters, as a fight for the people’s livelihood.
Wayne Flask, also from Moviment Graffitti, declared that the politicians were not carrying out their duties when they placed the interests and incomes of the few before the benefits due to the people, and this in order to maintain good terms with those who were financing them.
Flask added that there existed a need for the birth of a citizens’ and residents’ movement to stand up to these monsters and not to be afraid to state that enough is enough. The speaker made it clear this was not a partisan protest, adding that both parties were at fault for what was taking place.
Ingram Bondin from the Ramblers’ Association said the developers were destroying Malta’s identity. Bondin added that laws had intentionally been drafted with imperfections, to allow developers to still get what they wanted.
BirdLife Malta Chief Executive Mark Sultana ststed that Malta is the most built-up country in the European Union, and for this reason a tree in Malta is more valuable thn a tree in the rest of Europe, and the same goes for valleys.
Sonia Tanti, a Pembroke resident, spoke about the fight against the DB Group project on former ITS land, which she said will change the environment of this locality and have a devastating effect on the residents’ lives.
Anthea Brincat spoke about the consequences suffered by herself and other residents of the Guardamangia building, part of which had collapsed because of adjoining development works.
Jeanette Borg spoke on behalf of farmers and herdsmen who were being hustled by brokers to sell their land for more building projects.
Steve Zammit Lupi, an Independent Local Councillor for Ħaż-Żebbuġ, said it was good for trees to be planted in Ta’ Qali and on Comino, but the people wanted the trees in the areas they inhabited. Zammit Lupi added that Malta needed less political tribes and more active citizens.
More than sixty organisations took part in the protest.