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Czech Republic: Roma Pride 2013 marches through Prague

Prague, 6.10.2013 20:48, (ROMEA)
In 2013 approximately 300 people participated in the Roma Pride march in Prague. (PHOTO: Vít Hassan)
In 2013 approximately 300 people participated in the Roma Pride march in Prague. (PHOTO: Vít Hassan)

Approximately 300 people participated in the Roma Pride 2013 march today in Prague. The parade set out from the Old Town Square at around 13:00 for Prague Castle.

The aim of the march is to celebrate Romani culture and identity and to draw attention to the problems that Romani people face in the Czech Republic. Those participating first gathered at the church of St. Mikuláš on the Old Town Square.

After several speeches about the problems of life in the ghetto, the march headed down Kaprova Street and across Jan Palach Square and the Mánes Bridge, heading for the stairway up to Hradčanské Square. Various banners were carried by the marchers, reading "Roma Sam" (We are Roma), "Opre Roma" (Roma Rise), "Social Integration Policy Has Failed" (Politika sociální integrace selhala), "Stop the Pogroms" (Stop pogromům) and "Hate is No Solution" (Nenávist není řešení). 

People chanted anti-racist slogans such as "Black, white, together we fight" ("Černý, bílí spojme síly"), "Stop Racism" ("Stop rasismu"), "This is Our Home" ("My jsme tady doma"), "We Are Czechs Too" ("My jsme taky Češi"), "Mr President, Say No to Racism" ("Pane prezidenta řekněte ne rasismu"), etc. The march took place without incident save for some isolated anti-Romani comments made to the marchers by some onlookers.

Romani people from all over the country gathered in the capital from Brno, Krupka, Liberec, Ostrava, Ústí na Labem and other places. The main motto of the march was determination and the endeavor to get Romani people to "lift up their heads" and have more self-assurance and self-confidence.

That theme connected the speeches given by Míra Brož and Ivanka Mariposa Čonková of the Konexe association, as well as the words of others who spoke. Everyone pointed out that officials are not doing everything in their power to combat the racist marches ongoing in the country, and even harsher words were spoken about institutional racism leading state employees to "privilege Whites" over Roma. 

After the march, a hip hop workshop was held at the K4 club, led by the group De La Negra from Krupka. After that, a discussion on the topic of "Romani activism" began in the U Salvátora church, led by Ivanka Mariposa Čonková of Prague, herself an activist, and attended by some of the best-known pro-Romani and Romani activists in the country, such as Míra Brož of Ústí nad Labem, Daniela Cincibusová and Emílie Horáčková of Mimoň, Imrich Horvát of Ostrava, František Kostlán of Prague, Jožka Miker of Krupka, and others.

Politicians from two Romani political parties also attended the discussion:  Čeněk Růžička and Štefan Tišer of the Equal Opportunities Party (Strana rovných příležitostí - SRP), whose members are running on the Green Party (Strana zelených - SZ) ticket, were there, as was Miroslav Tancoš on behalf of the Romani Democratic Party (Romská demokratická strana - RDS), which is running independently. Supper at the church was given by the well-known evangelical clergyman Mikuláš Vymětal, who led a service at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Wall afterward.   

Roma Pride 2013 is being coordinated Europe-wide by the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM). The main coordinator in the Czech Republic is the KONEXE civic association, which represents the Czech Republic in the network. 

"The situation of Romani people in the Czech Republic is deteriorating from year to year, and the current form of the so-called social integration policy has failed. This situation must be addressed as soon as possible. This will not happen until Romani people stand up for their rights, which are being systematically violated," Jozef Miker of Konexe said.

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SOURCE: Novinky.cz
ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
Views: 1468x

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Demonstrace, Pochod, Romská hrdost, Roma Pride, Shromažďování, Strana zelených, zprávy, Aktivismus, bohoslužba, EGAM, Jozef Miker, Kostel Martin ve Zdi, lidská práva, manifestace, Miroslav Brož, Občanská společnost, průvod, Romové, Romská demokratická strana , Romská reprezentace, sociální politika vlády, Strana rovných příležitostí, Ústí nad Labem, Czech republic, Čeněk Růžička, Events, Ghetto, Konexe, o. s., news, Roma, world, Evropa



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