UK: Anti-fascist march through London includes Romani representatives
In the upcoming elections to the European Parliament, a big role will evidently be played by how the candidates position themselves on the question of the threat from the ultra-right. Speaking during a meeting on the occasion of an anti-fascist march in London on 22 March, Ladislav Baláž, chair of the British-Romani association Europe Roma International, said everyone must be prepared to fight resurgent fascism in society.
Baláž also said that Romani people intend to gain a voice in the field of politics that will correspondingly reflect the position of this newly-forming nation of 10 million people now living in all of the states of Europe. "We call on the government of Great Britain not to turn Romani immigrants into scapegoats. We are part of creating a better society," Baláž concluded, according to information from the Roma Community Care initiative.
Grattan Puxon of the "8 April Movement" [International Romani Day - Editors] also spoke from the podium at the event. He reminded those gathered that Romani people have already gone through the dark past of Nazi genocide, which cost them 500 000 lives, and it is horrifying that neo-fascists are again hunting Romani people down today.
Weyman Bennett of the United against Fascism initiative, which organizes events marking the International Day against Racism, welcomed the 200 000 Romani people who are newly-arrived in Britain and said he was pleased to see so many Romani flags on Trafalgar Square. A Romani delegation then left the event to deliver several letters to Prime Minister David Cameron.
One letter called for creating a comprehensive national strategy taking into account the existence of Pavee (the Irish Traveller ethnic minority) and Romani communities, which altogether number half a million people. The other question raised by the delegation concerned the completely inadequate representation of Romani people on the Prime Minister's Holocaust Commission.
Since the delegation was ultimately not received at 10 Downing Street, Romani representatives have decided to try to deliver their letters on the occasion of International Romani Day, which will be celebrated on 7 April starting at 12 noon in the Cathedral of St. John. After the meeting a religious service will be held there to commemorate the genocide committed by the Nazis during WWII, followed by an anti-fascist march through London.
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