Published on November 30th, 2011 | by Philip Leone Ganado0
Law buscade runs foul of the law
A buscade organised by fifth-year law students to celebrate their graduation as notaries turned foul on Monday after a run-in with the police that led to one student being arraigned in court on charges of resisting police.
According to reports from students who were present, trouble began at the start of the buscade, outside Ryan’s Irish Pub in Spinola Bay, where the students gathered to start their celebrations. Police officers gave fines to the two buses that had been hired for the event, for obstructing the road as the students embarked.
Once the buscade arrived at University, it encountered further difficulties as police insisted that the buscade could not continue unless all alcohol was removed from the buses and the participants agreed to remain seated. The participants reportedly complied with police instructions, and continued on to Valletta and back to the drop-off point in Spinola, followed on their way to the capital by police motorbikes.
At Spinola, police issued another citation to the bus drivers for obstructing the road as students disembarked. At some point in the confusion that followed, a bottle of vodka was broken, and two other students took off their t-shirts, which had gotten wet, all of which prompted a verbal confrontation between police officers and a number of the graduates. Police responded by taking several students into the nearby police station and asking for their particulars.
According to police reports, at this point one student tried to throw a punch at a police officer, prompting his arrest.
A number of students on Facebook later commented about the manner in which the police handled the situation, with one writing that the police behaved unneccesarily arrogantly in confronting them, while another complained about the the police “practically harassing us from the first minute of the buscade”.
Matthew Borg, a member of the committee that organised the event, refused to comment on the incident or the circumstances surrounding it.
Meanwhile, KSU President Stefan Balzan, himself a member of the graduating class, said that as he was not present when the incident took place, he had no comment to make. He told Insiter Online: “I’m not aware of what happened exactly, so I have no idea of how serious or not the issue was”.
KSU have this year introduced a competition where different faculties submit evidence of their buscade celebrations for evaluation, with the buscade judged as being the best winning a victory party for the graduating class, sponsored by KSU, and a feature on TV show “Crazebook” on Net TV.
When asked whether this sort of publicity could push graduates to excesses in order to outdo one another, Mr. Balzan responded: “Not necessarily, the aim of the competition was to add some fun spirit and feeling of ownership towards your faculty. We specifically also said that you get extra points only if you get coverage of a legal nature”