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August 11, 2022



LIVE BROADCAST TODAY AT 16:00 in Prague: RomanoNet protests discrimination and racism against Roma in Europe, publishes manifesto Dost! Basta! Enough!

31.7.2018 13:53

Today at 16:00 a march will take place in Prague, Czech Republic to support the Roma of Ukraine. The event is part of a larger series of protests taking place in several European countries.

Romani people and others want to demonstrate that they d not intend to tolerate the discriminatory, dismissive, and sometimes even racist approach taken toward them by politicians and states. Yesterday representatives of RomanoNet delivered a manifesto about the demonstrations to the Ambassador of Italy in Prague.

Protest March: Stop pogroms against Roma in Ukraine, stop discrimination and racism in Europe

WHEN: TODAY 31. 7. 2018, 16:00

WHERE: Prague, Letenská pláň (near the Sparta tram stop)

Preliminary program of the demonstration:

15:30 Assembling at the parking lot on Letenská pláň

16:00 Speeches by Michal Miko, Jolana Šmarhovyčová, Edita Stejskalová

16:10 March begins

16:30 Arrival at the Embassy of Ukraine

16:30 Romani national anthem "Gelem, gelem", performed by Pavlína Matiová, lighting of candles

16:40 Speeches by Michal Miko, František Kostlán, Fedor Gál, Emil Voráč, Martina Horváthová

17:00 Delivery of the manifesto to the Embassy of Ukraine

17:10 Czech national anthem "Kde domov můj", performed by Pavlína Matiová

17:05 Return to the initial assembly point

"In recent weeks several pogroms against Romani people have been committed in Ukraine resulting in fatalities. A kindergarten attended by Romani children was burned down. Such violence can no longer be tolerated and it is necessary to speak out loudly in support of the Roma in Ukraine," said Michal Miko, director of RomanoNet, which brings together several important pro-Romani and Romani organizations and is convening the protest in Prague.

According to Romanonet, the demonstration is also meant to recall the situation in Italy, where the Interior Minister and leader of the right-wing Lega party, Matteo Salvini, is demanding a census of Roma and the deportation of those who cannot document their Italian residency. Intergenerational statelessness among the Roma of Italy is a serious problem.

Yesterday representatives of RomanoNet, led by Miko, delivered the Ambassador of Italy, Mr Aldo Amati, the "Dost, Basta, Enough" manifesto. The ambassador said he would deliver it to the Italian Government during the next few days.

"All of these events are warning us of the dangers of hatred and xenophobia. We are fighting for a better society, for justice and respect for all people irrespectve of their origin or position," Miko said.

RomanoNet's members in the Czech Republic are - Romodrom, o.p.s, Slovo 21, z. s., Romano jasnica, z. s., ROMEA, o. p. s., z. s. Kleja, Jekhetane Společeně o. p. s. , IQ Roma servis a Otevřená společnost.

The series of protests in nine European countries began on 28 July in Bucharest, Romania. The Prague demonstration will be the second, to be followed by other events in Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and the UK.

Some of the events will mark Roma Holocaust Memorial Day on 2 August, which will mark the murder in the gas chambers of Auschwitz of 2 898 Romani children, men and women on 2-3 August 1944.



Dost! Basta! Enough!

We, Roma and non – Roma citizens of the Czech Republic, protest against the violence directed at Roma communities in the Czech Republic, Italy and Ukraine, following the declarations and actions of national government representatives and of far – right paramilitary groups. 
The Roma, who have been citizens of the Czech Republic since its founding, have contributed to the Czech culture, economy, and society. However, the Czech government has not made strong efforts to combat Anti – Roma racism and prejudice.


We are protesting because:


The far – right paramilitary groupings “Sober and Angry Youth” violently murdered two citizens of Roma ethnicity. They destroyed housing in which Roma resided, and burned nurseries and churches frequented by the Roma community. 
May 9th – An extermist group set fire to a Roma camp in the Lviv region.
May 23rd – 12 men armed with bats and firearms attacked a Roma camp in the Ternopil region. After they drove the 7 adults and 33 Roma children out of the camp, the attackers set fire to the camp. 
June 23rd – An ultra-nationalist grouping armed with knives attacked a Roma dwelling in western Ukraine. “UAU” murdered a young Roma man named David Popp, age 24, and injured multiple people, including a child. This is the sixth attack of racist background in Ukraine in the course of two months. “Sober and Angry Youth” are considered to be behind 24 racist attacks. 
July 2nd – A man attacked a Roma woman and slit her throat in public. 



Matteo Salvini, Minister of the Interior and Deputy Prime Minister, a far – right politician, proposed conducting a census of the Roma community without clearly explaining the scope of this action. Conducting a census on a single ethnic group can lead to racist political measures, as it happened in Italy in 1938 under Mussolini.
Following Interior Minister Matteo Salvini's remarks, many Romanian citizens of Roma ethnicity were deported and their dwellings in Rome were destroyed at the initiative of local authorities. The city hall of Rome wants to deport 400 Roma who have lived in the respective improvised camp for years. 
July 19th – Following this racist attack, a Roma girl of Romanian nationality named Cerasela, age 1 year and 3 months, was shot in the back while she was being held in her mother's arms.


For these reasons, WE DEMAND: 

In the Czech Republic:
a. That the Government of the Czech Republic publicly combats any racist or xenophobic act towards its citizens through the power of its ministries.
b. The reform of institutions that work for the inclusion of Roma and to combat anti-Roma racism;
c. Uvolnit finance určené pro správu a revitalizaci pietních míst spojených s romskou genocidou (Lety u Písku a Hodonín u Kunštátu) v co nejkratším termínu.
d. That the Rada pro rozhlasové a televizní vysílání důsledně sledovat a sankcionovat  hate speech and the spreading of stereotypes of Roma on radio and television channels, according to the existing legislation.

In Ukraine:
a. That the national authorities ensure the protection of citizens of Roma ethnicity and combat far – right paramilitary groupings with all of their resources. 
b. Intensifying the presence of law enforcement officers in Roma communities for their protection; 
c. That they (the national authorities) ensure a good co-operation with representatives of the Roma communities of Ukraine. 
d. That they identify and dismiss law enforcement officers that passively assisted the racist anti – Roma attacks. 
e. That they dismiss all police force officers with racist sympathies
f. That they take all necessary measures to identify and hold accountable all people responsible for the racist anti – Roma attacks.


In Italy:
a. The withdrawal of statements aimed at conducting a census of Roma (or of nomadic citizens) and the condemnation of all forms of racism by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte;
b. The identification and condemnation of those who committed acts of violence against Roma communities;
c. The further implementation and budgeting of the national strategy for the inclusion of Roma undertaken by the Italian government in the period of February 2012 – 2020;
d. That the Italian political class takes responsibility and combats all forms of discrimination, xenophobia, islamophobia, and racism.


In Europe:
a. That the European Commission intensify the monitoring of anti – Roma racism in member states, with the aim of identifying shortfalls from the principles of the European Union and combating them through institutional means; 
b. That within the framework of the Fundamental Rights Agency, a directorate be formed under Roma leadership to monitor the situation of Roma communities in all member states; 
c. Permanent monitoring, including that of the discriminatory policies and declarations of national and local authorities, as part of the European Strategic Framework for National Strategies for Roma Inclusion;

d. We, the protesters, demand that all governments of the states of Europe adopt and implement pro-active measures to combat inequality, discrimination, racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Islamism, misogyny, homophobia, and classism.

e. That in case of emergency, the European Commission call on the infringement procedure for EU member states that do not drastically penalize racist hate crimes.
f. That the financing policies be reformed so that they directly support victims of hate crimes, including the direct support of legal proceedings; 


Of the associative Roma movements and Roma population of the Czech Republic:
- Solidarity against racism! Only together will we be able to combat such a scourge, each of our voices being equally important; 
- Respect for the laws of each state and the encouragement of relationships based on equality and respect for each other, regardless of the ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or social status of others. 
- That the role of NGO's is not to fill in for the role of the authorities, on the contrary, it is to monitor and to report abuses, ignorance, and the lack of initiative in certain domains; 
- Roma, regardless of nation, social status, geographic region, religion, adherence to tradition or modernity, rural or urban upbringing, speakers or non – speakers of the Romani language, or economic standing, face the same issues when they encounter racism and discrimination. From this point of view, there is no diversity, but only an ethnic group vulnerable to racism. We have a duty to fight together, through peaceful means, against what has kept us captive in a vicious cycle for centuries.


Zdeněk Ryšavý, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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