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Brussels: AI stages eviction of Romani settlement on International Romani Day

Brussels, Belgium, 9.4.2013 16:55, (ROMEA)
The human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) organized a
The human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) organized a "happening" depicting the forced eviction of a Romani settlement on 8 April 2013 in Brussels in order to draw attention to the situation of Romani people in Europe. The action commemorated International Romani Day and took place in the public area in front of the European Parliament, where demonstrators erected a small Romani village. (PHOTO: YouTube.com)

A “happening” portraying the forced eviction of a Romani settlement was staged yesterday in Brussels by the human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) in order to draw attention to the situation of Romani people in Europe. Yesterday the European Commission also emphasized that improving the situation of Romani people is one of the greatest challenges Europe faces.

AI convened the “happening” to commemorate International Romani Day in the public space in front of the European Parliament, where organizers erected a small Romani village. During the “happening”, which was viewed by many journalists and passers-by, actors playing police forces violently evicted the Romani inhabitants of the village.

"I am playing a Romani woman in this village," said Romani activist Amare Pose from the Czech Republic. "This is to show what's really going on, that we, as Romani people, are being displaced from the towns to the outskirts, and that this is happening to thousands of people in the Czech Republic and all of Europe.”

Pose studied acting, authorial creativity and pedagogy at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU) in Prague. In recent years she has focused on Romani activism. "My engagement is a response to what happened in Šluknov," she said.

Two other Romani women from Ostrava in the Czech Republic played roles in the “settlement”, Elena Gorolová, who works for the civic association Life Together (Vzájemné soužití), and Iveta Horváthová. "I experienced something similar myself, even though it wasn’t in this style," said Horváthová, who had to move out of an apartment on Přednádraží street in Ostrava. "I lost my housing because the Building Works Authority closed our building and we had to move out.”

Horváthová, a mother of nine, now has an apartment which Life Together helped her find. “Through them I got an apartment from the town, which had rejected all my requests before. I’m doing better, but the others aren’t. My son is still living on Přednádraží street, and my friends are living in residential hotels where the conditions are beyond unacceptable. I came here to fight so they can get better housing conditions and better educations for their children,” she said.

Yesterday the European Commission declared that improving the situation of the Romani peple is one of the greatest challenges we face in Europe. The Commission also stated that according to the World Bank, the full integration of Romani people would bring about half a billion euros annually to the economies of several countries by increasing labor productivity, reducing welfare expenditures, and increasing tax revenue. The Commission emphasized that Romani integration must not be considered a cost, but a social investment.

The Commission also announced that it will be publishing a report this summer on the fulfillment of the Member States’ National Strategies for Roma Integration and that it would “evaluate to what degree the Member States have followed the Commission’s recommendations”. According to AI, about six million Romani people live in the European Union and “experience constant discrimination in all aspects of life, including in education, health care, housing and seeking work”.

For a video clip from Belgian news coverage (in Flemish) of the “happening”, please see http://www.romea.cz/cz/zpravodajstvi/zahranicni/mezinarodni-den-romu-2013-ai-usporadala-v-bruselu-happening-o-vyklizeni-romske-osady

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
Views: 966x

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Aktuality, Brusel, CEE, Demonstrace, Diskriminace, Evropa, Exkluze, Kampaň, Lidská práva, Medializace, Násilí, Osada, Osobnosti, Ostrava, Přednádraží, Sociální vyloučení, Soužití, Stěhování, Šluknovsko, Ubytování, Video, Vystěhování, zprávy, Aktivismus, Anticiganismus, Občanská společnost, Romové, Romské ženy, Amnesty International, Czech republic, EU, European Commission, Events, Housing, International Roma Day, news, Roma, world



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