by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
The Chief Constable of the Kent Police, Michael Fuller, the first black chief constable, who has allowed, nay basically ordered, his officers to act unlawfully against peaceful environmental protesters is set to being offered, so it would appear, the job of next head of the Crown Prosecution Service.
This is the very chief constable who is facing questions over climate protest and it is amazing that if someone screws up gloriously in the position of a county's chief cop he gets offered the job of running the country's highest prosecution service. Like always in the civil service. Good G-d!
The Kent Constabulary, nowadays Kent Police, has always been somewhat of a rogue police force in this country, breaking the people left, right and center, and unwarranted searches of Gypsy Sites and Gypsy homes being just one of those manifestations.
So far any Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police who has come to the force having previously been the Chief Constable of the Kent Police has been “tainted” with this attitude.
When the freedom of peaceful protesters get trampled under foot as in Kent at the Kingsnorth Power Station, the G20 protest in 2008 and then now recently at the COP15 in Copenhagen, Denmark, the same attitude was seen by police officers who seem to have taken tuition from cops from over here, then people must ask as to whether that is going to be the new European way of policing, all over the European Union, and Kent and other parts of the UK being a stalking horse and training ground.
It has become obvious that the Kent Police has stepped well out of line with policing the protest against the coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth and also by giving the security personnel of the power company police powers, basically, and the current Chief Constable of the Kent Police should be held accountable for those actions. The officers, after all, are acting on his orders. Instead, it would appear that he is going to be rewarded with the top job of the Crown Prosecution Service. How ironic!
Hindus want European Union (EU) to focus on ending the apartheid suffered by the Romani People during its self-declared “2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion”.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was a good opportunity for EU to show responsibility and prove that it was really serious in its social equality and combating poverty pledges by delivering some concrete results by bringing the Romani into the mainstream.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that before “2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion” turned out to be an empty slogan and just another paper plan; EU should wholeheartedly work to end the centuries of apartheid faced by its Romani People, who reportedly began migration to Europe as early as ninth century AD.
Rajan Zed pointed out that despite various high-flown “Roma Inclusion” projects launched in the past in Europe, the Romani People reportedly regularly faced racism, substandard education, hostility, social exclusion, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, etc.
Zed argued that although almost everybody in Europe agreed that the Romani People faced deeply embedded institutional discrimination and social exclusion, but almost no solid steps had come out to improve their condition despite lot of “sweet talk” and “paper-pushing”. It was simply immoral to let this around 15 million population of Europe continually suffer and face human rights violations. Their alarming condition was a social blight for Europe and the rest of the world.
Although “Combating poverty and social exclusion ranks among the main objectives of the European Union and its Member States”, but the Rom continue to suffer in Europe. Rajan Zed urged European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Spanish Presidency of the EU lead by Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to show effective implementation, firm commitment and strong political will to improve the plight of Europe's Romani-Gypsy. It is moral obligation of Europe to take care of its frequently maltreated Romani People.
After 5 years of working in the European Parliament I came to the conclusion that the situation of Roma in Europe remains unacceptable and can even be described with the Dutch word Apartheid.
Unfortunately a former Member of European Parliament (MEP) does not carry much weight. For this reason, in September 2009, I made a proposal to President Barroso.
As there were several delays in the forming of the new Commission, it was only in December 2009, after having sent another letter, that I received a reply. My proposal had been given to the external intermediary, engaged by the Commission to deal with possible future officials. Which means that there is a chance.
The proposal to the European Commission (EC) is that they hire me as an adviser who is linking the EC to local Roma intellectuals and vice versa. I have stressed the need of a meeting with the Commissioners for Social Affairs, Education and Human Rights. I reminded Mr José Manuel Barroso of his own spontaneous statement in 2006, when he said that the complexity of Roma issues demanded a taskforce within the Commission. Actually this is the beginning of a Roma strategy.
I ended my letter to President Barroso saying that my task would be a temporary one. After all, if I do a proper job, Roma will take over.
Inclusion and participation are crucial. Though the already existing networks should be reinforced and expanded, no one can deny the fact that there is an increasing number of young and educated Roma who deserve chances now. They are the trailblazers for a future Roma unit and a comprehensive approach of all issues by the EC.
In my letter to the EC I also gave some examples of Roma participation, financially supported by my MEP's office between 2004 and 2009, like the Roma Advisory Groups in Macedonia, who advise the national government in which way funds should be spent, after having consulted local communities. No one can work for Roma without them. The keyword is cooperation.
Els de Groen
Member of European Parliament 2004-2009
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Everyone Group and others are launching a desperate SOS: an appeal to the European Union and the United Nations to intervene and save the Romani people in Italy from ethnic persecution.
Milan, January 2010: The Milanese authorities have bulldozed 80 makeshift shelters, home to a community of Romani families, and totally destroyed their blankets, warm winter clothes, stoves for heating and essential medicines. The forced eviction took place in Via Sant'Arialdo - near the Chiaravalle Abbey – in a racist and cruel Milan that the author of this report, (who was born in Milan) fails to recognise as the chief town he has admired for decades for its spirit of solidarity and open-mindedness. About 150 citizens of Romani origin, including children, pregnant women and sick people (many of them with cancer, heart problems, and handicaps) were thrown out onto the street and forced to set off on a tragic march to nowhere.
“It felt as though we had returned to the Hitler years,” commented a woman who lives in the area and who has often helped these families in difficulty. “Fortunately – after noticing the municipal police patrols driving up and down – many of the families left the settlement before the clearance began in order to avoid being charged for squatting and suffering the humiliation of the ethnic profiling that other families have been subjected to. However, their homes, makeshift shelters made from wood, plastic and cardboard, no longer exist”.
Ninety-five Romanian Roma were charged with illegally occupying a plot of land and are undergoing mass expulsion as the authorities have ordered them to leave the city: a reminder of the way the Gyosy were forced to leave centuries ago and during the pre-Holocaust years.
The January 21st pogrom (what else do we call the destruction in mid-winter of 80 makeshift homes, shelter to hundreds of human beings living in extreme poverty and bad health?) and mass expulsion (what else do we call the unlawful forced eviction of innocent families from the city they have lived in for years without the offer of any social aid or alternative lodgings?) is the umpteenth violation of human rights that has taken place in Italy. 150 vulnerable people in poor health are now wandering around in search of a new shelter in an attempt to prevent themselves dying of hunger, cold, infections and racial violence.
The police operation was carried out on the order of the local authorities, and was initiated by the deputy mayor, Riccardo De Corato, a politician who is responsible for numerous other measures of persecution against the Romani people and unfortunate immigrants.
The operation called for the deployment of 102 police officers from the local police force.
De Corato has expressed his satisfaction at this deliberately-induced humanitarian crisis, and has announced yet another camp clearance in Milan, in Via Vaiano Valle - the site of more makeshift huts where other marginalized, discriminated against and desperate families live. But the list is long: over the last two years more than 7,000 people from the Romani ethnic group have been forcibly evicted from their settlements in Milan without the offer of alternative housing.
Unfortunately, both the administration of the Mayor, Letizia Moratti, and the centre-left opposition are driven by intolerant and anti-Gypsy sentiments. As a result the tragic police operations are taking place with the blessing of all the political parties, government associations and local authority consultants. At the same time, the activists who are attempting with non-violent means to stop the brutal evictions are being intimated and threatened by the same institutions.
After learning of the terrible sanitary and social consequences of the police operation, EveryOne Group (which has lost all contact with the Roma left homeless during the Sant'Arialdo eviction) is today presenting a complete report on this tragic episode to the European Commission, the European Council, the European Court of Human Rights, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the International Criminal Court of the Hague. These operations are pushing Europe back to the days of the racial laws and ethnic persecution. EveryOne Group is appealing for urgent intervention, something more effective than a resolution or a letter of warning which have no legal bearing, and which the Italian institutions in the past have already shown to ignore and even mock. EveryOne Group, together with the committee against intolerance, “Sa Phrala”; the association for human culture, “Watching the Sky”; and the 586 anti-racist organizations that make up the “United” network are sending out a dramatic and desperate SOS to the international authorities, asking them to help the persecuted Roma people, who are being wiped out and expelled in mass from Milan and Italy.
We have to act immediately, because over the last two years the Roma community has fallen from 180,000 units to only 40,000 human beings.
This number includes the Italian Roma and those who fled from the former Yugoslavia, who are being profiled, rounded up into authentic ghettoes with round-the-clock surveillance and specially-created ethnic laws. We are talking about human beings who are being hunted out; subjected to brutality and racial violence; excluded from employment and integration programs and left in appalling sanitary and social conditions.
This appeal has been sent to the European Commission, the European Council, the European Court of Human Rights, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the International Criminal Court of the Hague. It has also been circulated to Romanii Human Rights organizations and others.
The outcome and response will show, and I am not holding my breath to any response, at least not of one of action against the Italian authorities, how much value is placed on the lives and conditions of the Romani-Gypsy in Italy, and elsewhere in the European Union, by the European Union bodies and international bodies such as the United Nations.
From all what has gone before it is a foregone conclusion that, aside from maybe, if we are lucky, a statement by the Council of Europe and others, none of which will be binding to the Italian authorities, nothing is going to happen.
Gypsies are not on the agenda proper and never will be. I fact, the way it appears to me we are on the removal agenda, the “needing to be gotten rid off” agenda.
Europe of the early twenty-first century looks more like Europe of seventy years ago than even. The specter of Black Legions is haunting the countries of the European Union once again, with Italy presently in the lead, and others following just a little behind.
When the Gypsy Union and the IRG warned years ago that the writing was on the wall as to what the European Union was going to be up to as far as the Romani-Gypsy is concerned everyone laughed and claimed that the EU was the best thing ever for the Romani. I think we are being shown who was right now, unfortunately.
One would have hoped that this was a thing of the distant past and never ever to rear its ugly head again but by the mid- to late 1990s it was becoming clear what was happening, at least clear to those that could see it. Now, only the blind will deny that the EU is aiming to ethnically cleanse the Gypsy from its books.
Antiziganism in Italy. An appeal to the United Nations High Commissioner and the European Commission for urgent intervention.
The conditions of apartheid and the persecution the of Roma people in Italy has become intolerable. In the meantime the City of Rome is planning a series of “Roma-ghettoes”.
by EveryOne Group
Rome, January, 2010. In spite of official intervention from the European Commission, the European Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the major humanitarian organizations, the phenomenon of antiziganism in Italy has degenerated into a serious persecution and a denial of the Roma and Sinti people's fundamental human rights. There are many serious reasons for this:
the Italian Government, made up for the most part of ministers who for many years have been known for their intolerant ideologies (some of whom belong to the Northern League Party), have obtained approval from Parliament of many discriminatory and anti-constitutional laws which are contrary to the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Human Rights - such as Law 94/2009 that introduces “the crime of illegal entry”;
Over the last few years Italian politics, which is supposedly “democratic”, has distanced itself from anti-racist ideals and solidarity and is now being guided on a national and local level by politicians (bar a few exceptions) inspired by intolerant ideologies based on a false concept of security, and anti-immigrant sentiments.
on government orders, the local institutions have begun authentic “ethnic cleansing” operations against the Roma people and “illegal” immigrants, all done with the collaboration of the police force. As well as encouraging local people to act as informers, they are constantly persecuting unwelcome ethnic groups and bulldozing makeshift squatter settlements. These camp clearances have been undertaken with a huge deployment of police officers and vehicles. Bulldozers are being used to destroy their shelters and meagre possessions. These actions are followed by the issuing of formal expulsion decrees or intimidatory behaviour that “persuades” them to leave. These actions are justified as being “area reclamation” operations for reasons of safety and combating urban decay;
as a consequence of these actions, the homeless communities find themselves out on the street without alternative lodgings and humanitarian aid, or the chance of finding shelter (sometimes the authorities offer solutions that mean the families are separated: women and children are offered temporary shelter, while fathers, husbands and older brothers are forced to set off with nowhere to go and no offer of any social or medical assistance).
the principal organs of information in Italy have become political tools, and over the last few years have put forward theories that contribute to creating sentiments of prejudice, suspicion, racial hatred (particularly towards the Roma people and “illegal immigrants”). They do it by spreading discriminatory lies, selecting and blowing crimes committed by Roma citizens and foreigners out of proportion, while at the same time omitting or playing down news of the numerous episodes of racism or violence towards immigrants;
many Roma citizens have died as a result of the racial policies underway; the lack of protection from the freezing winter temperatures and wet weather; sickness and dramatic conditions of health and hygiene. Many have been injured or have lost their lives in acts of violence and raids carried out by neo-Nazi and neo-Fascist groups. The Roma people's average life-span has now fallen to below 40 as a result of the persecution they are being subjected to, but these are tragedies the authorities and media are careful to conceal;
except for rare exceptions, neither the national nor local Italian institutions have undertaken any kind of efficient integration programme, or any programmes promoting tolerance, (if only in word) and have even, whenever possible, discouraged private initiatives of this kind;
often backed by intolerant movements such as Forza Nuova, Azione Giovani, La Destra and the Lega Nord party, the authorities have promoted or encouraged violent measures against the Roma people and “clandestini”. They use an intimidatory strategy with human rights activists, which becomes even more worrying and threatening when we are talking about representatives from the Roma, Sinti and immigrant communities;
after years of racist and xenophobic propaganda founded on anti-integration and anti-immigrant sentiments, the majority of Italian adults and young people are convinced that the Roma people are hardened criminals, rapists, child kidnappers, asocials, enemies of civilization. A similar attitude is developing towards black Italian citizens and foreigners. At the same time the TV channels, newspapers and politicians are playing their own part in the spread of racism and xenophobia.
In a climate of fierce hostility and intimidation, EveryOne Group is denouncing the plans for further projects of apartheid and persecution, projects that are already underway in Milan and Northern Italy, and about to be initiated in Rome. This is done through regional and local laws or through the Prefect's Office, and are laws which fly in the face of all the EU directives and International Law. It has got to the point that intolerant and racist movements are now dictating the law inside the institutions.
In spite of the protests and recommendations from human rights organizations, and in spite of the serious preoccupation expressed by the European Union and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Rome authorities have decided to bring back ghettoes, modelled on those the Nazis set up in Poland on the threshold of the Holocaust.
Before carrying out this programme (which is reserved for the Roma people who cannot be expelled from the country) the Roman authorities have undertaken a horrifying series of camp clearances without the offer of social assistance to the homeless families (especially those from Romania) who had taken refuge in the major cities for reasons of poverty. Abandoned buildings, groups of makeshift shelters and tents in which hundreds of children and women (some pregnant), the terminally ill and the elderly live, have been cleared and bulldozed. Clearances have taken place both in summer and in winter. This has had terrible humanitarian consequences, and it has all taken place among the general indifference of the public. Most of the homeless Roma have been forced to flee Italy and take refuge in Romania, Spain, France and Greece. It has resulted in a mass expulsion, and apart from mild criticism, the European Union has done nothing to put a stop to these actions. The Roma who were unable to leave the country now live hidden away like mice, the victims of racism, institutional intolerance and hardship.
As for the “historical” Roma, who came to Italy over a decade ago to flee the humanitarian tragedies and persecution underway in the former Yugoslavia, the institutions have planned – the way they did in Nazi Germany – the displacement of these communities into authentic ghettoes. In order to justify this programme, the authorities and media have undertaken in recent years an antiziganist campaign which has depicted the Roma families in camps such as the Casilino 900 camp as a gang of criminals, incapable of integration and committed to dangerous and polluting activities - like the recycling of copper from cables with the consequent production of toxic smoke.
However, these desperate activities carried out for survival, activities that take place wherever the Roma people are forced to live on the margins of society, could easily have been avoided if there had been even a basic professional integration programme for the heads of the families and the creation of businesses and crafts activities inside the community. These activities would have allowed the families to leave the camp and find lodgings in proper housing, just like everyone else. A project of this kind proved successful in Hungary decades ago with efficient government programmes. Over the last four years, the Comune di Roma has invested over 45 million Euros in ethnic cleansing operations and reclamation of the areas the camps were built on: public funding spent without any criterion on the wave of racial hatred. With a third of that sum EveryOne Group or another association with the relevant experience could have provided a permanent solution to these people's need for integration. Today we would have had a perfect integration of the Roma community in the capital, with a return in terms of civility and international image. But instead Rome has chosen to get tough and yield to that loathing that comes from the stomach and clouds the noble mind that distinguishes men of human rights and evolved societies. As a result, in 2010, if civil society is unable to stop this wave of antiziganist madness, the city will imprison about three thousand people from the Roma ethnic group (including more than 1000 children) inside six or seven ghetto-camps located near existing official or squatter settlements. The project will require an investment of over 20 million Euros - more funds that could have solved the tragedy of the segregation of the Roma community in Rome in a civilized fashion. Before being interned in the new settlements, the families will pass through “transit camps” (as the authorities themselves call them) including, more than likely, the famous prison for immigrants at Ponte Galeria in Rome, the Centre of Identification and Expulsion, already the theatre of terrible violence and abuse towards the most vulnerable members of society. Naturally, to prevent epidemics and harsh criticism from the international community, the camps will be fitted out with running water and electricity; medical assistance and the chance to cultivate Roma traditions and customs. These are the characteristics of the new settlements in Rome according to information already supplied by the authorities:
camps reserved exclusively for people from the Roma ethnic group, a fenced-in enclosure to be watched over around the clock by police officers and security guards;
Roma citizens in possession of resident permits will be allowed access, as well as EU citizens in possession of ID cards and all those who are able to prove they have been present on Italian soil for at least ten years. The others will be left homeless, without any humanitarian aid and forced to leave the country;
the whole area will be equipped with surveillance cameras and police will patrol the area outside the camp.
“control committees” will be appointed, consisting of administrators of condominium blocks and Italian citizens residing in the area around the camps;
each internee (including minors) will be issued with a special permit with photograph and personal details, to be shown at the entrance to the camp. This operation has already begun, with the collaboration of “humanitarian” government or pro-government organizations;
an obligation to observe (besides the laws of the Italian Republic and local authorities) a special law called a “sociality pact” or “internal disciplinary pact” - a law specially created for the Roma community which is to be decided on by the local authorities and the “control committee” as the Prefect Giuseppe Pecoraro, (Special Commissioner for the Roma People) calls it: “A residents' rule where each administrator can decide on the hours and duties to be observed”;
anyone disobeying these rules will be punished. Though these punishments have yet to be defined, it will probably entail expulsion from the camp without any alternative lodgings or assistance;
in spite of these conditions that offend the dignity and fundamental human rights of these human beings, the Roma families will be made to pay for electricity, gas and water. Only the neediest families will be granted three months to pay their bills, the others will immediately be expelled from the camp (called an expulsion with “just cause”). It is impossible not to associate this rule with the one that forced the Jews during the Holocaust to pay their own fare to the concentration camps in the cattle-trains.
The Roma will only be allowed to live in the ghetto-camp for a period of two years: “because the assistance offered cannot become permanent” explains the Rome prefect of police. If implemented (and unfortunately the project is already underway) this “final solution” will mean the end to any hope of serious integration for the Roma, because the families - children included - will live under constant police surveillance, the parents branded as “asocials”. Their chances of finding dignified employment will be next to nothing, while the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads to pay their bills will force them to resort to any form of compromise to scrape together the money necessary to avoid being kicked out of the camp and left homeless with their women, children and sick relatives. The children will be subject to serious discrimination from their peers at school and will be excluded from integrating through participation in after-school youth activities.
The families will live in conditions of total apartheid, having to obey rules that are different from the democratic rules other citizens are obliged to adhere to, and who answer to a justice that is no longer “equal for everybody”.
The ghetto-camp will turn the social reality of the Roma people upside-down, people who for decades have been the victims of segregation, racism, injustice and violence and who would be entitled to housing and compensation from the Italian state if there were any equality. Instead, institutions that are no longer democratic, no longer civil, have transformed the Roman people into “criminals” in violation of the laws laid down in the Italian Constitution and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
With this document, EveryOne Group and the anti-racist network are asking the European Commission, the European Council and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to issue a formal and urgent protest to the Italian Government against this latest project of persecution against the Roma people in Italy. At the same time EveryOne Group is urging the International Criminal Court of the Hague (which has already taken up and registered a complaint against the Italian institutions for “crimes against humanity” for the measures taken against the Roma camps in the capital) to speed up the process and permit hundreds of persecuted human beings to finally obtain justice and compensation (at least materially) for the great loss of life and hardship they have suffered for many years.
On Friday, January 29, 2010 a “Roma Tomorrow” event takes place at the University of Texas, run by Prof Ian Hancock (who does happen to be Romani), with the rest, aside from the musicians, all being Gadje Gypsyologists, who make a good living on the back of the poor Gypsy.
Bringing academics all the way from Europe to the UT for such an event defies all logic and is all just, yet again, in aid of self-perpetuation of those Gypsy “experts”; the Gypsy Industry, as the late Tom Odley used to call them, and rightly so.
While it is indeed important that the Romani, the Gypsy, be represented at the Holocaust Memorial and that the Romani martyrs of the Holocaust are not forgotten, gatherings of academics bring us nothing; nothing whatsoever.
Neither does it benefit us if some people start screaming blue murder at every slight insult. We should by now be used to it and also to the fact that such things are happening.
While it is racism and discrimination for media and police to, for instance, again and again make a point of the possible ethnicity of a perpetrator by saying “Gypsy origin”, “Roma origin”, or, as in Germany, “a Sinti and Roma” (duh?), and should not happen it does and all screaming and jumping up and down won't do a thing.
There is only one way of combating this and that is that our People learn to be proud of what they are and show that they are Gypsy and work in professions, etc., and that our People get away from some of their ways of “making a living”, for instance.
Denying that certain things are done by members of our Race and claiming even that it is all a figment of the imagination of the media help no one. They, in fact, will make matters worse.
But, instead of trying to work for real change the Gypsyologists and others of their ilk only try to score political points and there are a number of people that could be mentioned but I will refrain from doing so.
However, as long as we claim that there is no trafficking of children for sordid things, no organized crime, no this or that, happening when all the evidence shows that this is so then we only appear as even worse liars to the outside world.
Our “leaders” and academics – and could the Gadje ones please go home and find another hobby – should concentrate on turning the tide for our People and emancipating them in a real way. All those studies on language and such do not help one little bit.
I rest my case...
The Wilmette Police Department stated it has no evidence that a rash of December burglaries are the work of gypsies, despite claims in an e-mail circulated to residents.
The police suspect that the same group of criminals may have committed four residential burglaries in December on the west side of Wilmette, but there is no evidence that the burglars are from Eastern Europe, nor that they are gypsies, as the e-mail reports, said Wilmette Police Chief Brian King.
King is aware of the e-mail because it was forwarded to the police department earlier in January and several residents called asking about the rumor.