French police were yesterday breaking up gipsy camps and deporting illegal immigrants found in them. Dozens of officers in riot gear descended on a settlement near Lille shortly after dawn to oversee the evacuation of some 200 Roma living in mobile homes.
One hundred people were evicted from a site in Lyon, with similar round-ups happening in other major cities including Marseille. Caravans and huts were destroyed in the Belleville area of central Paris on Wednesday, making another 100 people homeless.
‘Many of those evicted will be flown home to Romania,’ said an interior ministry source, who insisted the deportations were aimed at ridding France of ‘illegal’ communities.
Greece has also begun a crackdown on immigrants, with Athens claiming the country faced an ‘invasion’.
The policy being pursued by France’s socialist government was formulated by former conservative president Nicolas Sarkozy, who was frequently accused of pandering to the far right. His government linked Roma camps with crime, suggesting that many of the thieves and muggers operating in big cities were homeless Romanians.
Many expected the more liberal socialists to show a more relaxed attitude toward immigrants, especially those from European Union member states. But Manuel Valls, the new interior minister, said the camps were a ‘challenge’ to ‘people living together’.
He insisted the police would uphold all court orders aimed at dismantling them.
Neighbours of the camps often complained about noise and anti-social behaviour, as well as serious crimes, said Mr Valls.
Humanitarian organisations have also linked the camps to ill health, including serious diseases such as tuberculosis.
Mr Valls said everything would be done to ensure that vulnerable people, and particularly ‘children and pregnant women’, were rehoused as quickly as possible.
Mr Sarkozy started a purge on Romas in the summer of 2010, pointing to the fact that up to 15,000 were living in camps across France. Mr Sarkozy even proposed that police travel to Romania to fight trafficking and other crimes committed there by Roma.
In turn, Roma groups accused Mr Sarkozy of ‘ethnic cleansing’, pointing to the fact that gipsies had been targeted by the Nazis during the Second World War.
They said that the purge was all part of a generally racist strategy adopted by Mr Sarkozy against all foreign groups, including some six million Muslims living in France.Romania has been a full member of the European Union since 2007, and its citizens can enter France without a visa. But they must get residency permits if they want to settle long term and work. Britain, like France, has transitional controls on Romanians seeking to settle in the UK.
Until next year only those Romanian migrants who have a job or can support themselves are allowed to stay in Britain.
[Daily Mail Online - Video available at the end of article]
wow… never seen this one before…
A local Romanian mayor has just forcibly evicted over 38 Roma families from their accommodation — and is now forcing them to live in a toxic, decommissioned chemicals factory. Small children are already in hospital after chemical exposure, and the situation is so horrifying a respected Romanian newspaper is comparing this to Auschwitz. But the Romanian Prime Minister can stop this shocking treatment.
This factory ‘accommodation’ is still filled toxic remnants of the factory, shut down in 2005 and known locally as “The Death Plant”. Outrageously, Mayor Cătălin Cherecheș has joked that Roma are falling ill from the “cleanliness” of the factory. He’s hoping to win votes by appearing ‘tough’ on Roma ahead of an election on Sunday, but we can turn these horrible acts against him. The local Mayor is a member of the Prime Minister’s Social-Liberal Union, and if we pressure the PM Victor Ponta to speak out against this abuse, we can force the Mayor to close this death factory and re-house the victims.
As a Romanian, I’m deeply shocked by the way these people have been treated. But the new Romanian PM is looking to establish his credibility in Romania and Europe — so let’s make sure he does the right thing. Sign my petition to call on the PM to demand the Mayor apologize and re-accommodate these innocent Roma!
There are currently only 392 signatures… I posted to Facebook, and now here and twitter. I hope we can get this thing blown out of the water.
Please help! SIGN HERE
“Today, if you live in Hungary and you are Roma, Jewish or a member of the LGBT community, you have a problem.”
A 1937 letter from Berlin I read a couple of years ago said: “The streets are clean, people have jobs. The café’s, restaurants and terraces are filled every day. The women are lovelier than ever. Yet, there is this strange undercurrent. All this marching and uniforms, it makes me uneasy. One hears things about beatings and about people being taken away, disappearing. Jews and others. We try not to talk about it, not to think about it. Yet it feels like a beast is awakening, ready to destroy.”
These lines came to mind while I was sitting on a terrace drinking coffee on a square just off Vaci Utca, the famous Budapest shopping street. Last week I was in Budapest as part of a group at the European Youth Centre that trained young people to counter online hate.
In Budapest the streets are clean and beautiful, everybody laughs and smiles, while the Hungarian Guard, a paramilitary outfit modelled on the SS, marches in the street and people are beaten up. Today, if you live in Hungary and you are Roma, Jewish or a member of the LGBT community, you have a problem.
During recent years, waves of anti-Roma violence, antisemitic attacks, bumper-stickers with the text ‘Jew free car,’ homophobic attacks on the annual Gay pride parade, antisemitic defacement of synagogues and Jewish graves, all became ‘normal.’
In 2010, during a recent speech by the mayor of Budapest, right-wingers shouted slogans such as ‘send Jews to the concentration camps‘ and ‘Jewish pigs!’
“Vilified for claiming Holocaust restitution”
In Hungary, antisemitism and hate against gypsies were always present, but they were swept under the carpet by communist governments. The new constitution however, does not protect the rights of Gays and Lesbians. Roma live in fear and the Jewish community tries to endure the new pogrom-like atmosphere. Before World War II, there were half a million Jews living in Hungary. Now there are only 100,000 and they are under growing attack and vilified for claiming Holocaust restitution.
Márton Gyöngyösi, Hungarian parliament member for Jobbik (Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom),a Hungarian radical nationalist political party, has said: “It has become a fantastic business to jiggle around with the numbers of dead Jews.” Last month, another Jobbik MP, Zsolt Baráth, held a speech in parliament reviving an anti-Jewish blood libel from 1882.
During a briefing I attended by Hungarian NGOs and other experts, it became clear that the current situation is dire. Peter Molnar, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Media and Communication Studies at Central European University in Budapest, and a former Member of Parliament remarked, “Right now, if I have to make a hierarchy of the minorities under attack in Hungary, I would say first the Roma, then the Jews and then the LGBT community.”
In 2010, during the last Hungarian election, Jobbik became the 3rd party of the country, winning 17% of the vote. The coalition government that was formed after the election, does not have Jobbik in it – but the largest party, the nationalist conservative Fidesz relies on Jobbik support and openly tries to please and appease it. Jobbik itself denies being fascist or racist, but its leader, Gabor Vorna, says that Jobbik is not democrat.
In a smart back-stage, front-stage strategy Vorna has created the Hungarian Guard, who march the streets in Nazi uniforms and have been said to be responsible for most of the hate crime and attacks against Roma, Jews and LGBTs. On top of that, unaffiliated skinheads and neo-Nazis create even more trouble. During 2008 and 2009, a number of Molotov cocktail and gun attacks against the Roma community resulted in the death of six Roma. The killers were neo-Nazis.
“Jobbik loves extreme Islamists and especially Iran”
So, does Jobbik like anybody? Well, ‘normal’ Hungarians of course, who are, in a familiar sounding mythology, the descendants of a great and pure Central-Asian ‘Turkic’ race, which also includes the Persians. It may therefore come as no surprise that Jobbik loves extreme Islamists and especially Iran, feeling very comfortable with shared antisemitism and Holocaust denial.
This is not 1937, but it seems there are too many similarities including a bad economic situation, high unemployment, the Euro-crisis, inflation of the Forint, the national currency as well as anti-democratic strong leaders about to take over.
As the saying goes, ‘history repeats itself the second time as a farce.’ Well, for a start, there is very little farcical about repeating pogroms.
Hungary is not Germany in 1937 and Hungary is not the only European country suffering under an increase of populism, neo-Nazism and extremism. But, Hungary could well be a new flashpoint.
While I was having my coffee, I read on my Blackberry that the Budapest monument for Raoul Wallenberg had been desecrated. Hanging from the statue were pig legs covered in blood.
All of a sudden, the coffee didn’t taste so good.
In 2010, former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai, in an unwitting allusion to the 1937 letter from Berlin said, the “monster is at the door, threatening to crush Hungarian democracy.”
I don’t like coincidences like that at all.
SOURCE: JewishInfoNews (written by Ronald Eissens)
The Greek neo-Nazis who won almost 7 % of the vote in early parliamentary elections last weekend and who are now represented by 20 MPs have been boisterously celebrating their unheard-of success. The chair of their Golden Dawn organization, Nikos Michaloliakos, has said of their victory: “Veni, vidi, vici [I came, I saw, I conquered].”
“I want to thank the hundreds of thousands of Greeks who voted for us,” 55-year-old Michaloliakos said. He made no secret of his satisfaction over the fact that his party, which scored points with its anti-European, anti-immigrant rhetoric in a country beaten down by a deep economic and social crisis, far exceeded the results of the many other groups who criticized its extremism.
“The hour of fear for the traitors of the homeland has arrived,” Michaloliakos thundered at the party’s press conference. The online news server of the daily To Vima reported that he had several journalists ejected from the conference because they did not stand up when he entered the room. Agence-France Presse reported him as ominously saying, “This is just the beginning” to the foreign correspondents whom his movement has charged with spreading lies about his ideology.
However, Golden Dawn had already demonstrated prior to the elections that its critics were correct. “We want to expel all illegal immigrants. We want to get their stench out of here,” party representative Frangiskos Porichis told dozens of adherents during a rally at Athen’s port of Piraeus. He then promised that deportations would start immediately after the elections, should his party win, to be followed by the deportation even of those immigrants who have legalized their residency.
A selection of the European countries with right-wing extremists in parliament:
In 2005, the extreme-right nationalist party Attack, which agitates against Jewish, Romani and Turkish people, declaims against Bulgaria’s membership in the EU and NATO, and rages against international institutions “sucking Bulgaria dry”, surprised everyone by scoring seats in parliament. The party’s main slogan is “Bulgaria for the Bulgarians”. The party earned electoral success in the most recent parliamentary elections in 2009 as well. It also drew attention last year when its adherents attacked Bulgarian Turkish Muslims during prayer in the capital, Sofia.
The Finnish party Real Finns is becoming more and more popular. The party first got into parliament in 1999 when it won a single seat. Last year it won 39. The party is classified as a nationalist, populist formation. It lobbies against the EU and the euro, declaims against the instruction of the Swedish language in the schools, and calls for stricter immigration policies and harsher punishments for serious felonies. Unlike similar parties, it does not have a neo-Nazi past to contend with.
In the most recent parliamentary elections, the Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik) party got into parliament for the first time. The party is classified as an ultra-right movement. It declaims against immigrants and Romani people and has also made anti-Semitic declarations. It also wants to introduce a ban on “the promotion of sexual deviancy”, which commentators say is aimed at homosexuals. The existence of the extremist National Guard in Hungary is linked to Jobbik. This court-banned paramilitary group has won favor for its fight against “gypsy crime”, among other things.
In the lower house, the Party for Freedom (PVV) is now represented and is leading a massive campaign against the “Islamization of the country”, calling for restricting immigration and “defense of Judeo-Christian traditions”. The founder of the party, Geert Wilders, left the liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) in 2004, in part because he disagreed with its support for the entry of Turkey into the EU. He then founded the PVV. Wilders recently caused a sensation and prompted criticism by calling on all Dutch people to report to the authorities any “iniquities” committed by people from Central and Eastern Europe. In the past he has also been charged with instigating hatred against Muslims after he publicly compared the Koran to Mein Kampf, the book by the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, and labeled Islam a fascist ideology held by terrorists. In his short film “Fitna” (Disruption) he overlaid footage from terrorist attacks with the recitation of verses from the Koran. Due to the collapse of negotiations on budget cuts within the minority cabinet, which included the PVV, the government of the Netherlands fell in April.
In the Russian parliamentary elections, the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia regularly scores points. The party is popular among extremists and people who believe Russia has lost its position as a world superpower. It lobbies against minorities and all non-Russian elements in society. It was established in 1989. One year later, Vladimir Zhirinovsky took the party helm and has been its chair ever since. His indiscriminate attacks on his opponents, his nationalist statements, and his rioting have added their notorious colors to the Russian political scene.
In Sunday’s parliamentary elections, the radical nationalist ultra-right party Golden Dawn made it into parliament for the first time. The party’s significant theme is its loathing of immigrants. The party attracted voters with a program that includes the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants and the installation of landmines along the Greek border with neighboring states through which immigrants most often access Greece. Some members of the party are suspected of having committed violence against immigrants. The roots of the party extend as far back as 1980, but it was not officially registered until 1993.
In the elections of 2010, the Swedish Democrats got into parliament for the first time. This party, which calls itself nationalist, is demanding a halt to immigration and has labeled Islam as the greatest threat to Sweden since the end of WWII. The party succeeded in getting attention with a campaign advertisement in which a group of Muslim women wearing burkas and pushing baby carriages cuts into a welfare line in front of a Swedish pensioner with white skin. The party also lobbies against homosexuals and is famous for its euroskepticism. Analysts have labeled the party ultra-right. Human rights defenders and left-wing formations have labeled it a neo-Nazi party. The party is now doing its best to rid itself of the image of an extremist party.
In Germany, extremists are not represented at the national level. The neo-Nazi, populist NPD (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands - National Democratic Party) is, however, represented in the state assemblies in Mecklenburg-Lower Pomerania and Saxony. In the Czech Republic, the Workers’ Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) closely collaborates with the German NPD. For the time being, the DSSS has won only one political office in the Czech Republic, a town council seat in Krupka.
Who wants to move to… somewhere in Africa perhaps? …South America? …Mars? Mars sounds good. Let’s go to Mars.
Dželem Dželem - Roma National Song.
So apparently it’s International Roma Day?
Also talented singers/musicians are talented.
I recently read something written by an amazing Rom (who I can’t name, or share what they wrote.. for reasons)… but it made me think a great deal about what I talk about here and how I talk about it.
I have fallen into the trap… the trap of letting my feelings define my experience. I feel shut out by American Roma, so I insist that they can’t understand a British Roma… or a European Roma. However, that insistence negates American Roma experience and continues to undermine their position here.
YES, there are differences between British/Euro Roma and American Roma—sometimes quite large differences, however,we are all Roma.
I realized that American Roma have experienced similar discrimination and oppression to Brit/EU Roma, only it has been perpetrated in a different, often less obvious way. There are a little over 1 million Roma in the United States (for reference, there are about 2 million Native Americans)… and they have been systematically oppressed for generations.
I suppose, what I am trying to say is that I am tired of the “I am Amerikan Rom so I am more Roma / I am EU Rom so I am more Roma”…
there is no better or ‘more’ anything… I find the attitude of Amerikan Romanichal particularly difficult to swallow—but, I am learning that these attitudes were born out of similar struggles that I (and fellow Brit/EU Roma) faced. We just came out of it differently.
It doesn’t matter.
We are all Roma.
And I wish that we could all understand this and realize that no one is “more” or “less” of anything…
Reblogging for a friend.
is one of my favourite Lotfitka phrases.
It means a “dark and thick forest”
My grandmother would tell stories of the čemnò ľignjò veš and the vošesko bilačho (evil spirits) who lived there. These were the bormolikò veš (haunted forest). The worst creatures who resided there were the vešeskiirò, or the goblins.
But, luckily for us, there was always a vošalo (forest guardian) who was looking out for the poor innocent children as they went to pick berries…
If a vešeskiirò came to attack them, the children would scream “O beng dur amendar!” (God, save us from the Devil), every time!! and the vošalo would call the karankoči (water spirit) who would come and finish off the vešeskiirò with her awesome water bending skillz (LOL!).
You know though, I’m still a bit scared of čemnò ľignjò veš and the vošesko bilačho!!!
in their ~gift shop, they also sell “gypsy rose” necklaces, bracelets, shit like that. oh that’s okay, US Holocaust Museum, feel free to trivialize the severe, ongoing, systematic oppression of Walking People because you want to sell a few necklaces.
A HOLOCAUST MUSEUM SELLS THIS SHIT.
WHAT. WHAT. WHAT. WHAT.
I really, really wish I was joking.
This graceful rose pendant was inspired by a hair comb that is on display in the Permanent Exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The woman who owned the comb was a German Sinteza (a woman of the Sinti group of Gypsies) and a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
WHAT THE FUCK?
How is this a real thing that real people who work for a real museum really did? I mean, how did this happen? How did this get the green light?
Oh, hey, thats fantastic. Do you think they passed this by anyone before finding a discount order place to make up a supply, because I would love to hear back about them asking any representative of the tribes, or scholar, or historian, or fuck-all anyone with sense in their heads thought of this.
What, no political dissenter owned a pretty enough comb? No fanciful butterfly pattern found on a hand mirror that had belonged to someone who had scizophrenia? Because I;m not seeing any ‘Negro Daisy’, or ‘Jew Lily’, or ‘Homo Petunia’, and its just dying to be made into a theme set. I could respect a limited edition ‘Horrifically Murdered Member of An Appropriated Culture Flower” set.
Best touch? No fucking mention of this womans name, or if they tried to contact any goddamned relatives, or ANYTHING besides ‘its a legit gyppo rose design!’. Christ…
Reblogging again for perfect commentary.