UK ANTI-GYPSY RACISM
REACHES DANGER LEVEL
By Grattan Puxon
The same rabid anti-Gypsy racism which
gave rise to the Nazi genocide is now being
deliberately whipped up ahead of the British general
election, speakers at this year\’s Roma Nation Day
rally will warn the UK Government.
Romani Rose, of the Central Council of
German Sinti, who lost l7 members of his family
during the Holocaust, will be among those
addressing the >Commemoration of Roma
Victims< taking place (12 noon) at St James\'s
Church, 197 Piccadilly, London, on Saturday,
Paying their respects to the 500,000 Roma
who died at the hands of the Nazis will be members
of the foreign diplomatic corps and representatives
of the Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish
After the signing of a Book of Condolence,
candles will be lit to those who died both in
the Holocaust and as a result of present-day racism.
Among those to be remembered is Johnny Delaney,
the l5-year-old Traveller beaten to death two years ago
The church ceremony will be followed (approx 1.30pm
from outside St Jams\’s Church) by a march across
central London against the ethnic-cleansing of 30,000 Gypsies from their own land and in protest over threatened evictions at Dale Farm, Essex; Smithy Fen, Cambridegshire, and elsewhere. Supported by members of the Gypsy Council, TERF, the NTAG, UKAGW, ITM and other groups, the rally will be headed by the Romani Rad ensemble and a decorated horse-drawn vehicle.
Marchers intend to deliver a demand
to Savile Row police station that the SUN newspaper
be investigated for incitement to racial hatred over
its recent article headed \”Stamp on the Camps\”.
Similar complaints against other newspapers, among
them the Evening Standard, the Mail and Daily Express
will also be lodged
GYPSY FOR PARLIAMENT
At a public meeting following the march, Richard Sheridan is to announce his participation in the general election as a candidate for Billericay. He will be standing against the present Tory MP John Baron, well-known for his anti-Gypsy stance on the issue of the future of unauthorised caravan parks.
\”As the first Traveller to stand for Parliament,\”
says Mr Sheridan, \”I intend to make our voice heard not
only at Crays Hill but around the whole country.\”
His adoption by Dale Farm residents follows
an intense voter registration scheme which ended on
11 March. Meanwhile, a plan for the creation of a housing association has been submitted to Basildon District Council as an alternative to the threatened l3 May eviction.
The proposed Dale Farm Housing Association,
drawing on Housing Corporation and local authority funding, would aim to build several family-sized mobile-home parks for people presently occupying unauthorised plots at Crays Hill.
\”The first step is to obtain status as a
registered social landlord,\” explained Patrick Egan,
chair of the Traveller Community Project, which is
meeting shortly to form the association.
At the same time, up to l5 fresh planning
applications have been prepared for submission to
Basildon council ahead of the May deadline. Also
in the pipeline are eight human rights cases arising
out of evictions by Hertsmere District Council and
Chelmsford Borough Council. It is hoped that these
cases will help deter Basildon council from resorting to similar methods – the employment of Constant & Co security men, riot police and bulldozers – to raze the homes of the many hundreds of residents at Dale Farm.
JOIN THE MARCH AGAINST RACISM
Come to the >Commemoration of Roma Victims