1 April, 2014

No Hate Speech Movement in Malta

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Category: Discrimination, European Action Week, National campaigns, Racism
Gubaz Koberidze
10 am

angie

By Angie Farrugia 

One week ago was the first anniversary of the No Hate Speech Campaign and last month’s Action week was about Racism and discrimination. This campaign has been running on a national and international basis through Agenzija Zghazagh together with the other 46 member states of the Council of Europe, working to create awareness to stop or rather minimise hate speech both online and offline.

‘No Hate through Abseiling’ was an event which we had chosen to create awareness about the ‘No Hate Speech Campaign’. Youth workers together with youth leaders were invited to join this event which took place at Madliena Fort, and sponsored by Kamaja Outdoors. The main concept was to give a brief explanation of what this campaign is all about and together give a sense of belonging to a society in which we are the protagonists to combat hate speech. By now you are probably asking “but what is this campaign all about?”

Have you ever heard about World War (II)? Have you ever heard how many innocent people were killed because of their gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs and many other minorities? I believe we all have in some way or another, and maybe it gives us the impression that it is just history, and that we have nothing to do with it. BUT, wait, have you ever judged someone because he/she practices a different religion than yours? Have you ever said that we have to send ‘the boat people’ back to where they belong? And have you ever wrote something, or laughed at a joke or a cartoon on social media?  These are all examples of ‘Hate Speech’, and we as activists, can stop it, unless we want more atrocities in coming years.

It is our duty to be active citizens, especially in a society where racism in Malta is touching a hot core. Many of us are hearing and getting in touch with various racist comments by Maltese citizens in blogs, online newspapers, facebook and other social media. It is getting easier to explain racism under the heading that we express our ‘freedom of speech’ – Article 19 of (UDHR).  However, Article 20  declares that freedom of speech is NOT when a person HATES another human being.

During, the event we discussed all of the above and even went into further detail, as you can see on the Prezi power point. However, we weren’t boring. We created various logos on our t-shirts and before we abseiled we took photos to commemorate this event and display the handmade t-shirts. The participants besides having fun abseiling, eventually put their photos on their facebook account and thus, creating more visibility of the facebook page of ‘NoHateSpeechMalta‘.

We encourage you to ‘like’ our facebook NoHateSpeechMalta page and to share it with your friends. Don’t forget you can be the target of hate speech without even realising it.


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