MaltaToday | 06 April 2008 | Birdlife will not be silenced after arson attacks

NEWS | Sunday, 06 April 2008

Birdlife will not be silenced after arson attacks

David Darmanin

Holding a banner reading “We will not forget. We will not be silent”, Birdlife officials yesterday gathered at the Buskett car park, condemning an incident three of their members fell victim to seven weeks ago, when, while carrying out ringing studies at Buskett, their cars were set ablaze.
“Even after such vindictive acts, no one was apprehended. This seems like a clear indication that in today’s society it is permissible to resort to violence to pass on a message – and we find this very dangerous,” Birdlife president Joseph Mangion said. “We are here today to show that we have not forgotten, that we will stand by our staff and volunteers, and that, above all, we will not be intimated by the acts of the cowardly. We have a commitment to keep protecting birdlife in Malta, and we will stick to that.”
Present for the event was also John Borg, one of the volunteers whose car was vandalised by arsonists seven weeks ago. “When you witness such a violent and personal attack, what are you left with? (X’jibqa’ fik?)”, he said. “Besides the financial aspect, the psychological strain we were left with makes it very difficult for us to forget this. They had to resort to such a vandal act to pass on a message, but they will not stop us from researching and protecting birdlife in Malta.”
Along with other artists, renowned painter and Birdlife campaign endorser Kenneth Zammit Tabona also showed up to yesterday’s event, where he set up an easel to capture moments of the Maltese countryside. Commenting to this newspaper, Zammit Tabona said: “We enjoy the countryside too, preferably without pellets dropping on our heads… or dead birds. Once it happened, I’m not joking. We were happily painting away in the countryside, until suddenly finches starting dropping on our head.” Turning to his fellow artists, he jokingly said: “That’s when I decided to become a militant.”
Zammit Tabona was one of the 13 personalities supporting a Birdlife campaign entitled “Dr Gonzi, Dr Sant – stop spring hunting now”, held in the run up to general elections in order to exert pressure on local politicians to decide on the abolishment of spring hunting prior to the impending ruling of the European Courts of Justice.

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