Censorship protest planned
by di-ve.com – editorial@di-ve.com
Local News — 29 January 2010 — 11:10CEST

A protest opposing Malta’s censorship laws will be organised at City Gate on February 24, with organisers seeking as many people as possible to make their voices heard.

The organising group, Front Kontra ċ-Ċensura, was set up in the wake of a 21-year-old editor of a student newspaper facing Court charges over an article.

The October edition of Realtà featured a short story – “Li Tkisser Sewwi” by Alex Vella Gera – whose explicit content led the university to remove it from campus and to report its editor, Mark Camilleri, to the police.

The Front includes the Realtà Collective, the newspaper’s producers, and a number of other groups, including the youth wings of Alternattiva Demokratika and the Labour Party as well as Unifaun Theatre Productions, whose production of the play Stitching was banned in early 2009.

The group’s Facebook page has attracted over 3,000 members in just a few weeks, and it hopes that it will similarly attract large numbers its upcoming protest.

It organised a modest protest on the university campus on December 4, but now plans to organise a “National Protest Against Censorship” to attract a larger crowd.

Starting at City Gate at 1700h on February 24, the group aims to move down Republic Street to the Palace, where it will present proposals to remove artistic censorship to MPs as they enter the building.

Mr Camilleri told http://www.di-ve.com that the group is taking its time to organise the protest to promote it properly, to attract the largest crowd possible.

There is a caveat – “freedom of speech is not freedom to hate”, the organisers say, asking racists not to attend. However, people of any political persuasion are welcome to join, as long as they agree with the group’s beliefs on censorship.

In the meantime, Mr Camilleri is awaiting his arraignment in Court. He faces a possible jail term for distributing obscene or pornographic material and for injuring public morals or decency.

Two lawyers are representing him pro bono.

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