France building a wall around Romani camping site
The French town of Wattrelos, located on the border with Belgium, is erecting a wall around a campsite that is reportedly used by Romani people. The 2.4 meter high barrier will extend to the border.
The wall was recently added to the existing plans for the campsite. It is supposed to prevent the Romani people from traveling into the small Belgian town of Mouscron on the other side of the border.
The plan for the wall has sparked controversy in Belgium and in France. It was the town hall of Mouscron that demanded the roadblock be erected.
"Those people will not be able to cross into Belgium from there, they will have to make their way around the barrier, which means they will not cross the border so frequently. The aim is not to hide them from view, but to create a safer environment," said Alfred Gadenne, a member of the Mouscron local council.
Deputy Mayor of Wattrelos Henri Gadaut said the construction is just a "palisade". It was added to plans for a reception center to be built in the town with room for approximately 20+ caravans after the plans were approved.
Gadaut said this is definitely not an "anti-Romani wall", as some Belgian newspapers are reporting. He claims the wall has nothing to do with Romani people.
France categorizes persons occupying caravans as "gens du voyage". These are individuals who do not maintain permanent addresses and travel all over the country.
What Gadaut is calling a "palisade" is, according to the project plans, a wall of concrete slabs. Residents on the Belgian side of the border frequently complain about the occupants of the current caravan camp in Wattrelos, whom the Belgian press refer to as Romani.
Gadaut reduced the incidents reported from Belgium down to a single occurrence, which he said involved a window being broken in someone's veranda. "The boys were playing with a slingshot," the French daily Le Figaro quoted him as saying.
According to French law, all municipalities with more than 5 000 inhabitants must build reception centers for citizens who migrate. The center in Wattrelos will have room for 24 caravans next year.
- Czech film "The Way Out", about life in a Romani ghetto, on general release in France to high praise
- France investing EUR 100 million into combating racism
- France: Clear majority has negative perceptions mainly of Muslims and Romani people
- France: Director makes action film with itinerant Roma
- France: Immigrant Romani infant buried near Paris after being refused burial elsewhere
- ERRC: No Place in School for Roma Children in France?
- Belgian mayor drives Romani campers out with loud music
- ERRC: France Continues to Evict Roma on a Massive Scale
- Photographs of the Roma minor whose lynching shocked France
- Violeta Naydenova: For Roma in France, Is Climate of Intolerance Fueling Violence?
- Amnesty International: Forced evictions in France add to climate of fear amid alleged hate crimes
- France: Young Roma man in coma after brutal lynching, President is outraged
- Czech President calls Romani refugees from Ukraine "economic migrants"
- Czech regional governors accuse Romani refugee Ukrainians of "abusing" aid in the Czech Republic
- Romani mothers and children groundlessly prevented from leaving Ukraine three times before finally crossing into Hungary
- Roma and other people of color fleeing war in Ukraine face discrimination and racism, Jaroslav Miko tells ROMEA TV that volunteers are refusing to help Romani families
- The Times: Putin has sent mercenaries to Kyiv led by an admirer of the Nazis to murder Zelenskyy and the Klitschko brothers
- Czech Internet association finally blocks servers spreading disinformation about COVID-19, refugees and Roma - their pro-Kremlin disinformation was a step too far
- Czech Culture Minister to inform Govt today about new Memorial of Silence organization combating antisemitism, extremism and xenophobia
- Czech biologist says COVID-19 Omicron variant has no problem defeating our immunity
- Alternative for Germany, the anti-immigration populists, arguing internally over whether 10 % of the vote is success
- Czech appeals court exceptionally reduces sentence for social media user who approved of Christchurch massacre, notes current law is imbalanced
- Mayor of Czech town apologizes after bureaucrat recommends application to use the town logo be rejected because she believed the applicant to be Romani
- Renáta Plachetková: EU citizens without settled status as of 30 June in the UK will be deported