Reflections on Racism

#KeepingUpWithTheInterns

Hey all! Hope everyone is safe! I am currently writing this blog post at 12am…I know I should be sleeping but there is something on my mind that I feel like sharing with you.

On 25 May 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. It all happened on a Monday night. An employee at a Minneapolis grocery store called police after Floyd allegedly tried to pass a forged cheque. CCTV footage shows that Floyd was compliant to the orders given by the policemen. A police officer handcuffed him and pinned him to the ground, kneeling on his neck. Video recorded by a bystander shows a white police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 7 minutes. Despite witnesses telling the officer that his life was in danger, this continued. Floyd repeatedly says, “I can’t breathe,” and then, “I’m about to die.” But as the officer removed his knee it was too late, as George Floyd was already dead. As the footage of this act was posted on social media, protests started at the spot where Floyd died.

But why am I talking about a man that was killed in the USA?

Well, racially motivated violence is a problem all over the world, even here in Malta.

In May 2009, Suleiman Abubaker died after a bouncer at a famous club in Paceville, pushed him to the ground. Suleiman Abubaker suffered a fractured skull and lung contusions. He fell into a coma and died 11 days later. The killing of Suleiman is still unpunished. The bouncer was only fined 500 Euros for a missing licence, but nothing for the death of a human being.

Continue Reading

Open Letter to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen: The European Commission must prioritise addressing police violence and structural racism in the EU

CC to: Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, Commissioner Helena Dalli

Dear Ms. von der Leyen,

As organisations working for an equal and inclusive Europe, we would like to raise our serious concerns regarding the lack of real reaction of EU leaders regarding police brutality against people of colour in Europe as well as institutional and structural racism, following the killing of George Floyd in the United States and ensuing solidarity protests in Europe and across the world. We were appalled by the statement by EU Commissioner Schinas which delegitimises the public outcry against police brutality and institutional racism in Europe.

On 3 June 2020, Commissioner Schinas was quoted in the Financial Times as saying that events such as the killing of African-American man George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the wave of demonstrations against it, were “not likely . . . to happen in Europe at this scale”. “I do not think that we have issues now in Europe that blatantly pertain to police brutality or issues of race transcending into our systems. But we do have an issue in Europe, which is the issue of inequalities and income distribution — making the best for everyone of what we have.”

Continue Reading

Shameful treatment of arrested migrants is a manifestation of institutionalised racism

NGO Statement – aditus foundation, Integra Foundation, Jesuit Refugee Service (Malta)

We strongly condemn the manner in which the Malta Police Force escorted a group of arrested migrants, including a number of minors, to Court this morning.

Publicly available images and videos show the arrested migrants brought to Court via one of Malta’s busiest pedestrian streets. All men were tied together in pairs with cable ties,  seemed to be wearing the same clothes they had on when arrested yesterday and it was reported that some were without shoes. A large number of accompanying Police officers were wearing white sanitary gloves.

We believe this treatment to be inhumane and prejudicial to the presumption of innocence principle. International and European standards include the State obligation to ensure that suspects are not presented in Court or in public in a manner that infers guilt. This treatment also amounts to institutionalised racism since this way of parading accused persons seems to be reserved to non-Maltese nationals.

Continue Reading

Future Generations Guardian must be dismissed following his racist comments

JOINT NGO reaction to comments made by the Guardian of Future Generations

The undersigned non-governmental organisations strongly condemn the racist comments by Mr. Maurice Mizzi, nominated as Guardian of Future Generations by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

According to Government’s mission statement, Mr. Mizzi’s role is to “endeavour to facilitate closer collaboration between all stakeholders in the pursuit of the right balance between socio-economic development and environmental stewardship in the Maltese Islands.

Finding a balance between socio-economic development and environmental stewardship is achievable by fostering inclusion, and certainly not by condemning difference, or singling out any particular religious belief. Mr. Mizzi seems to forget the responsibility that comes with his role and the essential point that the most important factor to achieve development and guarantee future generations is peace.

We, the undersigned, firmly believe that peace relies wholly on acceptance and inclusion; this means that people are entitled to have their own religious beliefs, or no religious beliefs at all. Singling out one religious belief as impeding development is untrue. It foments hate, something we can ill afford to increase in our small country because it only leads to violence, death and destruction, as very recent incidents in Malta have shown. 

We remind Mr. Mizzi that migrants are generally fleeing from war, socio-political persecution and economic hardship, often induced by interests beyond their countries’ borders. Mr. Mizzi’s declaration contradicts the Prime Minister’s statement about the need for more workers, irrespective of religion, origin or colour.

Finally we remind Mr. Mizzi that it is his role to ensure that no person’s work is exploited in the name of socio-economic development, and protecting our environment from over-exploitation is part of his job. 

The undersigned do not tolerate any form of racist discourse. There can be no space for this kind of ideology or language in our country.

In the light of such racist declarations, we demand his immediate resignation or removal by the Prime Minister as his position is no longer tenable.


This statement is endorsed by:

  1. aditus foundation
  2. African Media Association
  3. Allied Rainbow Communities
  4. Catholic Voices
  5. Cross Culture International Foundation
  6. Department of Gender Studies (University of Malta)
  7. Drachma LGBTI
  8. Drachma Parents Group
  9. Eritrean Refugees community Association in Malta
  10. Fondazzjoni Sebħ
  11. Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants
  12. Integra Foundation
  13. International Association for Refugees
  14. JRS Malta
  15. KOPIN
  16. Malta Emigrants Commission
  17. Malta Humanist Association
  18. Migrant Women Association Malta
  19. Moviment Graffitti
  20. National Foster Care Association Malta
  21. People for Change Foundation
  22. Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta
  23. Repubblika
  24. Richmond Foundation
  25. Solidarity with Migrants Group
  26. SOS Malta
  27. Spark15
  28. Sudanese Migrants Association
  29. The Critical Institute
  30. Troupe18:45
  31. Dr. Elena Tanti Burlo
  32. Dr. Colin Calleja
  33. Ms. Louise Chircop
  34. Professor Peter Mayo
  35. Professor Duncan Paul Mercieca
  36. Dr. Josephine Milton
  37. Professor Paul Pace
  38. Ms. Jacqueline Zammit