HomeEntertainmentArts community protest in Valletta against COVID-19 restrictions

Arts community protest in Valletta against COVID-19 restrictions

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Members of the arts community in Malta have held a protest in outside Parliament in Valletta against COVID-19 restrictions which they say are discriminating against the entertainment industry, after local football fans were recently allowed to celebrate in large groups after winning the league.

The crowd of protestors, estimated to be around 100 strong, gathered after artists pledged to attend the protest, which was spurred by spontaneous football celebrations by Hamrun Spartans fans, who took to the streets en masse after winning the Premiership. 124 fans were later fined by the police for breaching public health rules.

Members of the Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association, as well as singers Ira Losco and Matthew James, comedian Malcolm Galea and actor Joseph Zammit attended the protest. 

Attendees cheered and danced as local band Tribali laid down the beat, carrying banners reading ‘silent no more’ and ‘we need a serious plan.’

Speaking at the protest, MEIA president Howard Keith Debono said that many artists had been left in a situation where they had to find new jobs because the sector was not taken seriously.

Organisers held the gathering despite the police rejecting a previous application for a “controlled, seated and socially distanced, peaceful protest.”

The authorities have only just begun  a planned relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions on mass gatherings. Seated mass events, initially capped at 100 attendees, will be allowed to take place as of Monday, with only the fully vaccinated being allowed to attend.

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