Crimes Against Democracy

Crimes Against Democracy

In view of the recent violent attacks on members of Birdlife and CABS activists, Alternattiva Demokratika Zghazagh – the Green Youth would like to bring to attention the seriousness of intimidating people one disagrees with.

Spokesperson for ADZ Dirk Urpani stated ‘four years ago we witnessed arson attacks on people who dared open their mouth on the issue of racism. Now something on the same lines is happening against people who dare oppose illegal hunting by filming it. This is a crime more serious than illegal hunting itself as it sends a message to society that some people can get what they want by the use of physical violence”

“It is even more worrying that the FKNK seems to be watering down these abuses claiming ‘provocation’. It is also making unfounded claims that the activists were trespassing. However, even if against all odds, this is really the case, the violence is unjustified. In that case, the aggressors had the option of calling the police.” Concluded Mr Urpani.

Delitti kontra d-Demokrazija

Alternattiva Demokratika Żgħażagħ tixtieq tiġbed l-attenzjoni dwar l-użu ta’ vjolenza u intimidazzjoni fuq persuni li wieħed mhux neċċessarjament jaqbel magħhom kif ġara fl-aħħar sensila ta’ attakki vjolenti fuq membri tal-Birdlife u l-attivisiti tal-CABS.

Kelliem għal ADZ Dirk Urpani qal, “Erba’ snin ilu rajna attakki fuq persuni li kellhom il-kuraġġ jitkellmu dwar il-kwistjoni ta’ razziżmu. Issa qegħdin naraw attakki fuq persuni li jopponu apertament il-kaċċa llegali u jifilmjawha. Dan ir-reat hu iktar serju minn dak tal-kaċċa llegali innifisha għax jgħati x’jifhem li hemm persuni li jistghu jieħdu dak li jridu billi jużaw il-vjolenza fiżika.”

“Aktar inkwetatni hu l-fatt li l-FKNK qegħdin jipprovaw inaqqsu l-gravita ta’ dawn l-atti billi jsostnu li kienu risposta għal ‘provokazzjoni’ li kaċċaturi ġarrbu meta l-attivisti daħlu fi propjeta privata. Anqas li kieku dak li qegħdin jgħidu l-FKNK hu minnu, dan xorta ma jiġustifikax l-użu tal-vjolenza. F’dak il-każ setgħu ċemplu l-puluzija”, temm jghid is-Sur Urpani

Robert Callus

ADZ The Green Youth – PRO

Blast from the Past #2

Following the latest news from Gaza, about Maltese activist Bianca Zammit, we thought it was appropriate to commemorate her activism with ADZ. She wrote this article way back in 2003.

From the whole team we wish her a speedy recovery.

Human trafficking

Posted 11 Mar 2003 by Bianca Zammit.

Human trafficking, a term used to define a situation where people including children are tricked, forced or threatened in order to be transported to other parts of that country or another country all together where they are coerced to work in factories or enter the sex trade. Those destined for factories become imprisoned with no compensation for their labour and become victims of an irrational schedule that allows very little time to rest. Human trafficking uses the same methods that were used in the slave trade. It is difficult to know for certain the amount of people that are trafficked each year but the United States government estimates that at least 700,000 women and children. In Bangladesh traffickers trick parents by promising a bright future for their children with job opportunities and marriage but in reality they are taken to India and Pakistan and forced into prostitution. Those women that manage to escape are detained by government officials to “protect” them. They are usually put in cells with criminals and these leads to further personal aggravation. Those women that reach their families are greeted with disappointment and shame due to their prostitution and the importance of family honor in these countries leads them to become social outcasts with any possibility of recovery from the trauma experienced extremely difficult. In 2000 the government passed a law that made trafficking illegal with harsh penalties but this law remains to be implemented effectively. Up to now police either ignored accusations regarding trafficking or are themselves part of this business.

In Russia, promising advertisements about stable job and career opportunities abroad are used as traps so that once the women that apply reach their destination they are immediately forced into prostitution. The experience of being in a foreign country where people do not understand one’s language is a very alienating condition and many times these women succumb to the orders they are given. This nightmare is increased by the further rape, abuse and torture these women are subjected to by the traffickers. If men are trafficked these are forced into agricultural or construction work with no pay. Some horrendous circumstances state that the trafficked victims must repay their traffickers the whole cost of transportation. If a victim manages to escape and return home there are no services that can aid the victim and have to face the turmoil on their own. In Russia there is no law against trafficking and cases are rarely taken into consideration. Similar above experiences are shared also in Japan where activists calculated that Yen 4 Trillion ($400 million) a year is made out of trafficking. In Japan there are no laws against trafficking and traffickers are penalized in accordance with the prostitution or immigration laws. In 1999, 127 sex slaves were freed by police officials, the traffickers being charged with trafficking. However, such incidents remain the exception rather than the rule. It is important that all governments introduce into the laws a clear definition of trafficking and a prohibition in any form of exploitation. The measures must be consistent with the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons. Police officials must be trained on how to recognize trafficking and how to treat it, including how to help the victims.

Jailing reformed addicts

Tuesday, 20th April 2010

Jailing reformed addicts

Robert Callus, Alternattiva Demokratika Żgħażagħ, Mosta

On a regular basis we read of cases where drug addicts get prison sentences for crimes committed four or more years before being found guilty. Some of these have in the meantime rehabilitated themselves and are able to prove it.

Though many times the sentence is of less than a year imprisonment, this is still unjust and the only thing it achieves is to disrupt the life the rehabilitated addict has managed to rebuild.

Prison in this situation invades the person’s life and the new relationships he has managed to build, which many times also includes his job.

Apart from that, it is now in the open that drugs manage to enter prison, and how! In fact we have been approached by people who are more afraid of the drugs they find inside than prison itself. This goes completely against what they learn in rehab programmes, that in order to remain clean they should avoid people and places that are related to drug abuse.

Alternattiva Demokratika Żgħażagħ suggests that depending on individual circumstances, these people are either pardoned (with certain conditions if necessary) for the crimes they had committed as a result of their addiction or are given a substitute punishment such as community work.

Such measures are not only fair to drug addicts and their families, but are also beneficial for the rest of society, which is more interested in having people who can give a positive contribution than making sure that everyone pays the pound of flesh.

Alternattiva Demokratika – Attard Press Conference 10th April 2010

PR10/04/2010 Ikompli l-isfregju tal-pajjiz grazzi ghall-politika ta’ Lawrence Gonzi

Alternattiva Demokratika qed taghmel din il-konferenza stampa ghax inbeda l-process tal-ippjnar mill-ispekulaturi biex din iz-zona fit-tarf ta’ H’Attard tinbena (ara applikazzjoni PC/00066/09). Fl-2006, f’daqqa wahda, din iz-zona f’H’Attard, flimkien ma hafna zoni ohra madwar il-pajjiz kollu, iddahlet fiz-zona ta’ zvilupp mill-kabinett ta’ Lawrence Gonzi, bl-approvazzjoni tal-parlament.

Ralph Cassar, li huwa Kunsillier fuq il-Kunsill Lokali ta’ H’Attard qal:’Qeghdin hawn biex nuru li l-effett tal-politika hazina tal-gvern daqt tibda jinhass. Din il-medda kbira ta’ art zdiedet maz-zona ta’ zvilupp fl-2006. Mill-partiti kollha Alternattiva Demokratika biss sahqet li f’pajjiz mifqugh b’bini vojt ma kienx jaghmel sens li jizdiedu z-zoni ta’ zvilupp. Ftahna kawza l-qorti, ghamilna diversi attivitajiet biex inqajjmu kuxjenza dwar il-politika hazina tal-gvern izda l-Parlament iddecieda mod iehor. Hafna nies jahsbu li l-MEPA tiddeciedi dawn l-affarijiet minn jeddha, izda l-MEPA hija agenzija tal-Gvern u huwa l-Gvern direttament, immexxi minn Lawrence Gonzi li ta aktar art ghall-bini. Qed ikollna ukoll membri parlamentari, fosthom David Agius, anke f’dan il-kaz partikolari, li wara li vvutaw favur l-estensjoni taz-zoni ta’ zvilupp issa qed jaghmluha tad-difensuri tar-residenti – b’id wahda jaghmlu haga u bl-ohra jaghmlu ohra. Din m’hi xejn hlief
ipokrezija u opportunizmu politiku. Sakemm in-nies ma jindunawx li bil-vot taghhom qed iwasslu ghal din il-poltika li tiffavorixxi spekulazzjoni u tkompli taghlaq il-ftit spazji miftuha li fadal fit-truf tal-irhula u l-ibliet sa nibqghu naraw dan l-isfregju. Il-kliem ta’ Lawrence Gonzi u l-politika tieghu huma kontradittorji. Ghal darb’ohra nitlob ghar-revizjoni tal-pjan lokali biex jiehu in konsiderazzjoni l-bzonnijiet vera tal-komunita, fosthom aktar spazji miftuha.’

Carmel Cacopardo kelliemi ta’ AD ghall-Izvilupp Sostenibbli u l-Gvern Lokali qal li l-izvilupp esagerat li ghaddej go H’Attard ghandu jitqies fil-kuntest tan-numru ta’ residenzi vojta mxerrda mal-gzira. In-numruta’ residenzi vojta kien stabilit bhala ta’ 54,000 waqt ic-censiment tal-2005 u dan in-numru baqa’ jizdied minn dakinnhar sal-lum. Iz-zieda fiz-zoni identifikati ghall-izvilupp kienet determinata esklussivament fuq kriterji politici. Din hi r-raguni reali ghala qatt ma gie accettat li dan it-tibdil ikun soggett ghal assessjar strategiku ambjentali (SEA). Kien hemm zmien bizzejjed biex isir dan l-SEA ghax bejn l-2000 u l-2006 il-Pjani Lokali baqghu fil-forma ta’ abbozz. SEA kien jidentifika l-impatti taz-zoni kollha allokati ghall-izvilupp. In partikolari kien jikkonsidra l-impatt kumulattiv tal-izvilupp kollu ghaddej fuq il-gzira. ‘B’daqstant bini vojt ghal min qed jinbena dan il-bini kollu ?’, tenna Cacopardo.

Michael Briguglio, ic-Chairperson ta’ AD qal: ‘Sfortunatament, kemm il-Partit Nazzjonalista kif ukoll il-Partit Laburista huma karatterizzati minn ideologija li tpoggi l-izvilupp bla razan qabel il-kwalita’ tal-hajja tan-nies u qabel il-protezzjoni ta’ l-ambjent. Din m’hijiex sorpriza meta wiehed jikkonsidra l-fatt li z-zewg partiti l-ohra jiddependu mill-iffinanzjar ta’ kumpaniji kbar, u t-tnejn li huma m’humiex lesti jintroducu ligijet trasparenti dwar l-iffinanzjar tal-partiti. L-ambjent hi kwistjoni politika u n-nies ghandhom is-sahha jgibu l-bidla permess tal-vot taghhom. Fil-parlament, AD taghti prijorita lill-izvilupp sostenibbli, il-kwalita’ tal-hajja u l-protezzjoni ambjentali, u mhux l-interessi ta’ min jispekula fuq l-art’.

Safrattant il-Kunsillier ta’ AD f’H’Attard Ralph Cassar filwaqt li qal li baghat sottomissjonijiet kontra l-izvilupp propost baghat ukoll sottomissjoni lill-MEPA li titlob li kemm-il darba l-izvilupp isehh ikun hemm spazji miftuha ghall pubbliku bhal pjazza u zona ta’ rikreazzjoni ghat-tfal u r-residenti tal-vicin. Fi kliemu:’Mill-mitluf ta’ l-inqas nippruvaw niehdu li nistghu ghall-komunita’, ikkonkluda Cassar.


PR10/04/2010 Lawrence Gonzi policies favour speculators

Alternattiva Demokratika held a press conference together with residents in Attard to highlight the effects of the 2006 rationalisation scheme, approved by Lawrence Gonzi’s cabinet and parliament. Then planning process for development of land in Attard has in fact started (see application PC/00066/09). This is just one area in Malta and Gozo given over to speculators by Lawrence Gonzi.

Ralph Cassar, who is an AD councillor in Attard said:’We are here to highlight the effects of government’s bad policies. This large tract of land has been given for development thanks to the 2006 ‘rationalisation’ scheme. It was government and parliament which has decided this – favouring speculators over residents. From all other parties Alternattiva Demokratika was and is the only one which has consistently that the rationalization scheme does not make any sense in a country full of empty property. We started a court case and held various meetings with residents to raise awareness – but Lawrence Gonzi and his MPs in parliament decided otherwise. MEPA only follows government policy – the blame for this state of affairs lies squarely with the Prime Minister and his government. Some residents are being approached by government MPs (including by Government whip David Agius)– the same ones who voted in favour of extending the development zones – promising to help them.
This is pure opportunism and hypocrisy for when these MPs could do something they went along and voted in favour of government’s bad policies. On the one hand these MPs say one thing, then when it really matters they approved Lawrence Gonzi’s government’s policies. Once again AD asks for a revision of the local plans to make them more community friendly. One very important aspect would be to increase public open spaces.’

Carmel Cacopardo, AD Spokesman on Sustainable Development and Local Government said that overdevelopment at Attard has to be seen within the context of an ever increasing number of vacant dwellings spread all over the island. The number of such dwellings was identified at 54,000 during the 2005 Census and it has been on the increase ever since. The increase of the zones earmarked for development has been decided exclusively on political criteria. This is the real reason for the refusal to submit these changes to a Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA). There was more than sufficient time to carry out an SEA during the period between 2000 and 2006 when the Local Plans remained in draft form. An SEA would have assessed all the impacts of areas allocated to development. In particular it would have considered the cumulative impacts of the large scale development going on all over the island.’With so many vacant dwellings who are the new dwellings being built for ?’, asked Cacopardo.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said: ‘Unfortunately both the Nationalist and Labour Parties are characterised by an ideology which puts endless development at the expense of people’s quality of life and environmental protection. This is hardly surprising considering the fact that both parties depend on financing from big business are not ready to introduce transparent legislation on the financing of political parties. The environment is a political issue and people have the power to change things through their vote. With AD in parliament, sustainable development, quality of life and environmental protection will be given priority, and not the interests of development speculators’.


Roadblocks and Civil Liberties

Press Release 5/04/10

Roadblocks and Civil Liberties

Alternattiva Demokratika Zghazagh spokesperson Dirk Urpani said that while there may be circumstances in which road blocks may be necessary these circumstances and the procedures used should be well defined.

Dirk Urpani said: ‘The use of road blocks should be the exception rather than the rule. Law enforcement resources should be put to better use. The reasons on what constitutes ‘reasonable suspicion’ should be clearly defined. Stopping people who are driving dangerously or are using a vehicle unfit for the road – such as lack of proper lights is one thing; just pulling up people because of their looks is another. Organized crime will not be stopped through road blocks where most of the time young people are targeted because of the way they dress or look.’

To make sure that road blocks are only used when really necessary and in exceptional circumstances ADZ proposes that a report is filed for every person stopped. Filming the procedure to safeguard individuals stopped and to make sure that the procedures are followed should also be considered.

Serious checks and balances will guarantee the general public that their rights are respected, and will help restore back the faith in our law enforcement agencies, which in recent times has been tarnished.

Roadblocks u l-Liberta Civili

Il-keliem ewlieni ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika Zghazagh, Dirk Urpani, qal li waqt li jezistu cirkustansi fejn road blocks huma neccesarji, dawn ic-cirkustansi u proceduri ghandhom ikunu definiti iktar ahjar.

Dirk Urpani qal: ‘L-uzu ta’ road blocks ghandhom ikunu eccezzjonijiet, u mhux rutina. Ir-rizorsi tal-infurzar tal-ligi ghandhom jigu uzati b’mod aktar ahjar. Il-klawzula li juzaw l-ufficjali tal-infurzar tal-ligi ta’ ‘suspet ragonevoli’ ghanda tigi defenita iktar cara. Mod jigu mmwaqfa nies li qedghin isuqu perikoluz, jew isuqu karrozza li mihiex posta fuq it-toroq minhabba affarjiet bhan-nuqas ta’ dawl li taghti l-karrozza; u mod jigu mmwaqfa nies minhabba kif jilbsu. Il-kriminalita organizata mhux ser titwaqqaf bil-hila tar-road blocks, meta hafna mid-drabi jigu mmwaqfa zghazagh minhabba t-tip ta’ hwejjeg li jilbsu u kif jaghzlu li jidru.’

Biex ir-road blocks jintuzaw biss meta jkun neccessarju u f’cirkustansi eccezjonali, ADZ qed tiproponi li ghal kull persuna mmwaqfa jinkiteb rapport mil-ufficjal. Ghanda wkoll tigi konsiderata li l-procedura shiha tigi ddokumentata fuq film biex l-individwi li jigu mmwaqfa jigu salvagwardati u biex jigi impost li l-procedura t-tajba tigi mharsa.

Mizuri bhal dawn jiggarantixxu lil pubbliku li d-drittijiet taghhom jigu mharsa, kif ukoll jghinu lil forzi tal-ordni jergghu jiksbu l-fiducja mal-publiku li dan l-ahhar naqset gmiela.

Robert Callus


Contact no 79307622

Blast From the Past

Jurgen Balzan July 8th, 2002

Malta, the EU and AD

Malta is one of the candidate countries vying for EU membership and therefore is going trough a very important phase in its long history. At the same time the European Union too is passing trough a very important phase. These changes in the EU will be discussed in the convention on the future of the EU. Malta will participate in this convention as one of the candidate countries and I sincerely hope that Malta will be a EU member in the near future.

One major reason why Malta should join the European Union is that small countries within the Union are much stronger than many non-EU countries when confronted by multinational corporations and the World Trade Organisation.

EU countries cannot be bullied by multinational corporations or the WTO, because they form part of a block, that, with all its defects, is the most progressive, democratic and socially just block in the world.

Other reasons why Malta should join the EU include Environmental and Social standards. In comparison to EU countries Malta is lacking in both sectors. EU membership will not only mean financial support and expertise for Malta but it will also mean that the Maltese government will finally put the environment on its agenda and make it one of the top priorities.

The European Union will also bring along consumer rights, human and civil rights and many other things that right now do not really play an important role in our countries political agenda. Another thing that I really hope Malta will adopt is an improved electoral system.

One thing makes Malta different from all European countries including the smaller states such as Gibraltar and San Marino. Malta is the only country with 2 political parties in parliament in Europe. All other European countries have at least 3 political parties in parliament.

This is where Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) The Green Party comes into the frame. AD The Green Party has never been stronger. In the past year AD has grown and consolidated itself. One of the major changes was the foundation of Alternattiva Demokratika Studenti(ADS) which is the youth section of the Green Party. ADS has been working hard to bring along this much needed breathe of fresh air in this country. One of the little victories the party has made is the doubling of it’s support in the country according to the latest polls. The Green Party has the support of 10% of youths aged 18 – 24. This is very significant in a country that has always known a bi-party system. These survey results are very encouraging to us and the Green Party youths will be working very hard to help AD  make history by being elected in parliament as early as next election which should come along next year.

Alternattiva Demokratika Studenti being such  young and fresh Greens are willing and eager to participate on national and international fronts.

The coming months are vital for all of us. The EU will be accepting up to 15 new member countries and will also undergo other changes that will be very significant. The same applies for Malta and Alternattiva Demokratika. Changes will occur in Malta due to the eventful EU membership and Alternattiva Demokratika will hopefully be the protagonist of the radical change that Malta is in such a need of.

ADZ representative serving in the newly elected KNZ executive team for 2010/2011

During last Saturday’s (20th March) Annual General Assembly of the
National Youth Council (KNZ) elections were carried out for the new
KNZ executive committee. A total of sixteen nominees contested these
elections, all coming from various member organizations. Finally
eleven youths were elected to be in the executive committee. Like
years before, including 2009/2010, a member of ADZ was elected. Mr
Dirk Urpani, who is only seventeen years old was elected fifth in his
first running for the executive. He now holds the role of Deputy
Secretary within this new KNZ executive.

Whilst thanking last year’s KNZ executive team for the work they did,
ADZ congratulates the newly elected KNZ team. ADZ PRO Robert Callus
commented that ADZ were looking forward to the activities and projects
KNZ will be carrying out this year. ADZ looks forward to seeing KNZ
working closer with all youth organizations and whilst ignoring
partisan politics looking to represent all youths even if not being
represented by youth organizations.


Rapprezentant tal-ADZ fit-team tal-ezekuttiv gdid tal-KNZ ghal 2010/2011

Waqt l-Assemblea Generali Annwali tal-Kunsill Nazzjonal tal-Zghazagh
(KNŻ) saru l-elezzjonijiet ghal kumitat ezekuttv gdid fil-KNŻ.
B’kollox sittax il-kandidati ikkontestaw dawn l-elezzjonijiet, kollha
gejjin minn ghaqdiet differenti. Hdax il-żaghżugh/a gew eletti
fil-kumitat eżekuttiv. Bhas-snin ta’ qabel, inkluz 2009/2010, membru
tal-ADŻ gie elett. Dirk Urpani li ghad ghandu biss sbatax il-sena gie
elett il-hames persuna f’din l-ewwel darba li kkontesta
ghall-eżekuttiv. Dirk ghandu l-irwol ta’ deputat segretarju
fl-eżekuttiv il-gdid tal-KNŻ.

Waqt li tirringrazzja t-team tal-eżekuttiv tas-sena l-ohra ghax-xoghol
li ghamlu, ADZ tikkongratula lit-team gdid tal KNZ. Il-PRO tal-ADŻ
Robert Callus ikkummenta li ADZ thares il-quddiem lejn attivitajiet u
progetti li l-KNŻ ser tkun qed twettaq din is-sena. ADZ theggeg lil
KNZ biex tahdem aktar qrib mal-ghaqdiet taż-żghażagh u tinjora politka
partiggjana waqt li tfittex li tirrappreżenta ż-żghażagh kollha,
inkluz dawk li mhumiex rapprezentati f’ghaqdiet taż-żaghżagh.

Robert Callus
Alternattiva Demokratika Zaghzagh