Before we say “No Way”

Alternattiva Demokratika Żgħa­żagħ agrees with Sedqa clinical director George Grech’s call for discussing some form of decriminalisation of drug use, meaning considering addicts as patients who need specialised help.

The attitude of the government is extremely irresponsible. Drug addiction is on the increase and so is availability. Yet, while many drug users get busted frequently and end up serving prison sentences, most drug traffickers (whom Dr Grech rightly calls “a different kettle of fish”) rarely make it to the law courts.

Ironically, while the Maltese government takes a puritan approach towards the possibility of decriminalisation, it considers the equally devastating addiction of gambling as an investment.

We cannot keep burying our heads in the sand any longer. The drugs are not coming. They are here and an increase in drug dependence is an inconvenient reality. Rather than avoiding ruffling feathers, it is imperative that the government starts giving more weight to the experts and, above all, starts gathering the point of view of all stakeholders on this urgent issue.

Advertisements

Green agenda and sexual health policy

Andrè Vella, secretary general, ADŻ-Green Youth, Balzan

In response to Charlene Valen­tina Giordimaina’s letter (Holistic Sex Education, November 10), I would like to draw her attention to ADŻ-Green Youth’s holistic policy towards sexual policy, which can be found on our blog at https://maltagreenyouth.wordpress.com/ . Once she goes through it, she will realise that our view of a holistic youth sexual health policy goes beyond the simple use of contraceptives. It encompasses an educational campaign to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and to adopt safer sexual practices.

It is for this reason that we decided to disparage Gozo Bishop Mario Grech’s comments directed at a truly holistic approach to sexual health. For a campaign based solely on the notion of abstinence is not effective. In fact, our view concurs with Philip Carabot’s and others who dismissed Bishop Grech’s comments.

In today’s day and age, we should move away from mediaeval myths about contraception. Although Ms Giordimaina does not seem to think so, holistic teaching incorporates contraception. Does she think that teachers are currently failing or “abusing” students by teaching them also about contraception?

What about eco-Gozo?

Robert Callus, PRO, Alternattiva Demokratika Żgħażagħ, Mosta

If there is one thing that keeps young people away from politics it is hypocrisy: the feeling of being lied to, of being told that things are being done in your own interest when you know it was never like that.

After decades of rampant abuse and overdevelopment in our beautiful island of Gozo, the PN came out with the concept of eco-Gozo only during its electoral campaign after the Greens had been already proposing as such.

Though the eco-Gozo buzzword is still being used, no concrete action is taking place to stop the rape of this island. What is happening with the proposed development at the pristine land at Ta’ Ċenċ?

Why is the Mepa appeals board still dragging its feet on the Ramla l-Ħamra villas? This not to mention the eyesores at Fort Chambray, the concrete block at Dwejra and the destruction of small hamlets such as Santu Pietru in Għarb by replacing the countryside with even more flats. What is happening about the proposal of the new village to be built at Ħondoq? Moreover, what is happening with regard to the fact that one in every three properties are empty in Gozo?

An honest commitment towards a real eco-Gozo would be a win-win situation in terms of preserving our natural environment, promoting health and, above all, attracting tourists.

In places such as the UK, millions of pounds are spent to create synthetic places like our beautiful island.

They crave for something like that and, even if it’s artificial and expensive, they want to have it in their own backyard. Yet, our government is foolishly destroying what we have for free in the interest of the few.

No cruelty in use of guide dogs

Robert Callus, ADŻ- Green Youth, Mosta

After a coalition of organisations, including ours, started a campaign about animal cruelty in circuses, some felt they should excuse the circus and punish the protesters.

Apart from the ridiculous libel suits filed, a few tried to apologise for this cruelty on this newspaper, both on the online version as well as through a letter to the editor.

Their tactic comprised of comparing circus practices with other practices such as dolphinariums and bull-fighting in Spain, both of which we definitely condemn. However, comparing circus animals with pets is unbelievably absurd.

One person went completely overboard by comparing them to dogs guiding the visually impaired (Charles Camilleri, December 17). Justifiably, individuals as well as advocacy organisations for the blind felt offended.

While I can speak on behalf of my organisation, I feel confident that all coalition organisations disagree with Mr Camilleri’s ill and unreasonable comparison. Circus animals live a life of horror and pain while guide dogs live a most fulfilling life.

I believe anyone who owns and cares for a dog clearly understands what I mean.

Apart from this, unlike circus animals, these dogs are helping people live independently and are not in the profit-making business. Although one cannot assume Mr Camilleri’s intentions, his message surely was to justify animal cruelty in circuses rather than to denounce the use of dogs by the visually impaired.

However, just in case he is really worried about guide dogs, we would like to advise him to get his facts straight. We refuse to accept both Mr Camilleri’s implication that the use of guide dogs is a form of animal cruelty and the idea that the circuses’ exploitation of animals could in any way be justified.

Graffitti university eviction says much about tomorrow’s leaders

http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/2009/11/15/l3.html

University student organisations are vital hubs of democracy and creativity – irrespective of their political beliefs. It seems strange that Moviment Graffitti, ranked first on campus in a recent evaluation (a ranking which could entitle the student organization to some precedence in choice of premises), is being stripped of the office it has worked in for 10 years, and a vote on the Student Council’s organ, for failing to show up at a meeting. What does this say about the democratic leaders of tomorrow?

Stefano Moncada, Noel Agius, Albert Bell, Michael Briguglio, JosAnn Cutajar, Michael Grech, Angele Deguara

Solidarity with Moviment Graffitti

Letter to the Editor – MaltaToday @ http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/2009/11/01/l3.html

 

Alternattiva Demokratika Zghazagh (ADZ) wishes to support Moviment Grafitti who might be in the process of losing their office on campus to SDM. Throughout their years on campus, Grafitti have strived to bring their campaigns closer to the student body.

Unfortunately ADZ is not surprised about SDM’s blatant hostility towards Moviment Graffiti. Especially when you consider that various SDM’s proponents, including president Lauro Fava, have openly opposed this organisation by joining the facebook group “Movement against Moviment Graffiti”. As distasteful as this can be, the fact remains that Grafitti earns their office every year with their prominent activism. It seems that the apple does not fall far from the tree. ADZ has faith that the KPS commissioner Andrea Pace will find an appropriate solution for them to keep their office.

Moviment Grafitti’s impressive yearly activity report should suffice to keep their office, or at least it sheds light on the footprint Grafitti’s leaves at university. This desperate attempt to rid Grafitti from their office speaks volumes on the (lack of) integrity of KSU, nevertheless, ADZ stands by Moviment Grafitti.

 

Andre Vella

ADZ General Secretary