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Italy: 1 000 attend march to mourn Romani children who died in arson attack

19.5.2017 12:46
Approximately 1 000 people attended a march in Rome, Italy on Saturday, 13 May 2017 to protest the brutal arson attack near the Primavera shopping center during which three Romani sisters, two of whom were minors, died on Wednesday, 10 May 2017.
Approximately 1 000 people attended a march in Rome, Italy on Saturday, 13 May 2017 to protest the brutal arson attack near the Primavera shopping center during which three Romani sisters, two of whom were minors, died on Wednesday, 10 May 2017.

Roughly 1 000 people in Rome, Italy attended a march to protest the brutal arson attack at the Primavera shopping center during which three Romani sisters died, two of them minors, last week. People have now planted three olive trees in their memory.

"We don't want to live like this - we don't want to die for being Romani," one of the banners carried in the march read, during which those assembled commemorated the lives of Angelika, Elisabeth and Francesca. Representatives of the community centers who organized the march, housing support organizations, Romani representatives and many local residents joined the event.

"It is impossible not to respond, not to share our solidarity with this family," said Simonetta Ramacciani of the Centocelle Municipal Department, who works in the Department of Social Affairs. "We must aid vulnerable families who have no chance of accessing better housing. We do not want to bolster racism and xenophobia in our society, we do not want to contribute to it, we must solve the question of impoverished families' housing," Khalid Chaouki, a politician from the Democratic Party, told news server Corriere della Sera.

Since 2015 Italy has received EUR 7 billion from the European Funds intended for homeless people's inclusion. "Where is that money when I still see that homeless people are living in caravans, or on the squares and the streets? Is that supposed to be a consequence of their inclusion?" asked Marcello Zuinisi, a representative of the Romani organization Nazione Rom.

The arson attack took place last Wednesday just before 3:30 AM in the parking lot at the shopping center. The sisters were sleeping in the upper compartment of the caravan and did not manage to flee the flames.

Their parents and other siblings managed to escape the vehicle. Near the shopping center there is now a memorial plaque with hundreds of flowers, letters and messages written to the deceased girls.


th, dm, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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