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Our target remains the PA, not the police - activists say

Country needs to stand up to speculators' greed - Graffitti

The protest at the PA last Thursday. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

The protest at the PA last Thursday. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina

Pressure group Graffitti made it clear on Saturday its foremost concern remains the contentious fuel service station policy and the Planning Authority's "offensive behaviour", and not police actions.

The NGO was reacting two days after its activists were controversially dragged out by Rapid Intervention Unit officers during a protest at the PA offices in Floriana. 

Read: Police drag activists out of Planning Authority premises

"Most police officers were simply doing their job. Though it is unfortunate that a few of the officers from the RIU went overboard by grabbing and dragging activists from their neck, and hurling a drum at their face, we urge everyone to focus on the most pressing issue," the group said in a statement.This is pure madness and must be stopped

Nine months after a promised review of the fuel service station policy, this "ridiculous" policy is still in place, unreformed.

The fact that the application for the Żejtun fuel station last Thursday was refused is positive, but of very limited significance.

Four fuel stations have already been approved in the past months, and 11 other applications have to be processed. A total size equal to seven times the Floriana granaries can be taken for fuel stations on agricultural and natural land.

"This is pure madness and must be stopped," Graffitti said.

It added that Thursday's action was an act of peaceful civil disobedience in the face of extreme circumstances. Even the authorities had admitted that the policy was wrong and should change. But this simply didn't happen.

"During the past two days we have been overwhelmed by messages of support and encouragement. We now commit ourselves to do our best to transform this support into a stronger movement that can defend our country from speculators’ greed and PA's servility to big business."

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