Black Friday just got a whole new meaning.
I live in Malta. I am not leaving anytime soon. Good friends tell me I might be more Maltese than them.
I am learning Maltese, go to university, and lived here long enough to observe Malta’s culture and people closely. I know the country’s history, the people, the politics. I understand the roots of bipartisanship, the details of corruption, and the truths that are fought over.
A rare species, I was not brought up being red or blue. I do not support politicians like I support my football team.
Don’t get me wrong. I do not want to protest. I do not find it normal because I am foreign. Protesting is not in my blood.
But I go. I go because the situation is desperate.
It was not just a journalist and human that was killed. It was the freedom of every Maltese citizen. A voice was silenced. Malta’s democracy was violently attacked.
As an outsider, I watch these developments unfold impartially. I see how the country’s divide affects the chaos. I see how my friends fight with their parents to stand for their rights. I see how people do not protest, because they cannot have their faces seen.
As an outsider, I can say: this is not what democracy looks like. We live in a country where journalists are silenced and protestors pushed back.
As an outsider, it worries me that I have to urge my friends to take action. It worries me that I am more concerned about Malta than the Maltese. It worries me that, in a situation more desperate than ever, party politics is still more important than freedom and justice.
This is our time to stand up against all injustice. Against the corruption that has ruled our island. Against the years of silence.
We have a voice. We need to use it now. For Malta, for justice, for our future.
Do not make this foreigner tell you to fight for your future in this country.
Just do it.