Romania: Yet another vulnerable Roma community evicted in the capital
On 15 September 2014, over 100 Roma women, men, and children were evicted from their homes on Vulturilor Street in Bucharest. Demolition of the buildings began that same day.
The families were left in the street and all of their possessions were picked up by the municipality to be “stored for safekeeping”. The evictions were scheduled on the day that every student starts school in Romania, depriving the children of the joy of the first day of school.
All of the school-age children who were evicted do attend school and have not missed a day since the eviction took place. Romania's post-socialist situation and the repercussions of its history that resonate to this day continue to harm people whom the state has pushed into vulnerable positions.
In 2002, the buildings at Vulturilor 50 were restituted to those who owned them before they were nationalized. Many such restitution processes are still underway, especially in Bucharest.
Normally such eviction actions can be challenged in court, and in many cases there is a chance to come to a reasonable agreement for all parties involved. However, due to their low socio-economic status and impoverished, oppressed backgrounds, the Roma families on Vulturilor were unable to contest the court's decision.
This meant they were all evicted; some had lived there for 40 years. Now it is nearly the end of September, and a hard rain is falling on Bucharest as we are publishing this.
The authorities seem to have abandoned these people, and if it were not for the solidarity of a few nongovernmental organizations and activists, there would be not be a daily hot meal or shelter against the rain or cold for the almost 70 people still living on the sidewalk just outside their old home. The community has been organizing a resistance camp since the eviction.
They are determined to protest and to claim their rights until they are met. Moreover, several persons and communities in similar situations in Bucharest have made specific gestures of solidarity with them, showing that this is the struggle of many people throughout the city, not just of some.
The struggle for housing rights in Romania has gained a new momentum with this eviction, and will not stand down. For more information on the situation in Vulturilor, and to find out how you can help, please see: http://fcdl.ro/100-people-bucharests-3rd-district-thrown-homes-evictions-vulnerable-continue-romania-capital-city/ and http://fcdl.ro/contact/ and http://carusel.org/en/home.
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