Romania: 900 protest recent violence against Roma in Italy and Ukraine, more demonstrations in other European countries to follow
As many as 900 people assembled on Saturday, 28 July 2018 in Bucharest, Romani in front of the Italian and Ukrainian embassies to express their disagreement with many violent anti-Romani crimes and to protest antigypsyism in Europe. The assemblies were the first in a series of protests that are being realized in nine European countries.
In the Czech Republic, Romani people and others will assemble on Tuesday, 31 July 2018 in Prague to protest the same issue. "An informal group of Romani activists held a protest against the racist attacks in Ukraine. We also protested in front of the Italian Embassy against the plan of Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, a member of an ultra-right party, to conduct a census of Romani people in Italy and to apply some racist policies against them," Florin Nastule, a co-organizer of the Bucharest event, told news server Romea.cz.
Demonstrators marched from the Italian Embassy to the Office of the Government of Romania and then to the Ukrainian Embassy. They carried Romani flags and anti-racist banners.
Ciprian Necula, another co-organizer of the Bucharest protest, read a manifesto expressing activists' disagreement with violence against Romani people in Italy, Romania and Ukraine. "To control one ethnic group can lead to racist political measures supporting violence against that minority as happened in Italy in the year 1938 under the leadership of Mussolini," Necula said.
Today in Bucharest, in front of Italian and Ukrainian embassies, #Roma demonstrated solidarity with sisters and brothers from these countries where they face forced evictions, state-sponsored brutality and racially motivated violence and killings. pic.twitter.com/iDGeOhzLD9— Zeljko Jovanovic (@jovanovicz) 28. července 2018
The demonstrators also called on the European Commission to beef up its monitoring of anti-Romani racism in the EU Member States and to begin infringement proceedings against all EU Member States that fail to prosecute hate crimes. "In front of the Office of the Government of Romania we protested against institutional racism and demanded the Romanian Government adopt concrete, transparent measures against the discriminatory and racist practices of public institutions," Nastule told Romea.cz.
Necula added that according to public opinion polls, Roma are the minority in Romania most vulnerable to discrimination and racism. Protesters laid flowers before the Ukrainian Embassy and held a minute of silence there to honor the memory of the Roma murdered there recently.
The action in Bucharest was the first in a series of demonstrations that will take place in nine European countries - Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Spain - between now and 6 August. Roma and others want to show that they will no longer tolerate the approach taken by politicians and states toward Romani people, one that is discriminatory, dismissive, and sometimes also racist.
The protests are also meant to commemorate the atrocities committed during the Second World War. Romani people from all over Europe commemorate Romani Holocaust Memorial Day on 2 August.
This year marks the sad 74th anniversary of the destruction of the so-called "Gypsy family camp" at the Auschwitz concentration camp. On 2 and 3 August 1944, 2 898 Romani children, men and women were murdered there in the gas chambers.
- In Prague and other European cities, Romani people and their allies to protest recent violence against Roma in Ukraine
- Italy: Romani infant hospitalized after being shot with pellet gun
- Italy asks Czech Republic to receive asylum-seekers, Czech PM refuses
- Edita Stejskalová: OSCE should send observer missions to Ukraine regarding pogroms against Roma and monitor the police investigation
- Ukraine: Recent pogroms against Roma costing lives around the country
- Ukrainian court remands two juveniles into custody for murderous pogrom against Roma, Canada and USA condemn the racist violence
- Ukraine: One Romani man killed and others injured, including child, during yet another neo-Nazi pogrom
- Feminist Roma theater company celebrates the abolition of Roma slavery in Romania
- Stano Daniel: Will a renovated nursery school have to close in Romania? Support for Romani child development is crucial
- Czech restaurant chain apologizes to Romani musician for refusal of service
- Czech town sees street fight, mayor writes about the "gypsy nuisance" - then ignores other violence involving non-Romani people
- Commentary: Is the Czech PM just a liar, or is he also paranoid?
- Czech candidate shocked when online haters targeted her two-year-old
- Czech Police charge adults who assaulted Romani children with three felonies including racial defamation
- Slovak church bungles inclusion of Romani newcomer into First Communion ceremony, charges of racial discrimination being investigated
- Czech restaurant says reservations, not racism, were why a Romani group was not seated despite empty tables
- Pope Francis apologizes to Romani people, asks forgiveness for discrimination, mistreatment and segregation
- Winner of Czech-Slovak singing competition "The Voice" subjected to racist attacks online
- "Romani Army" by Berlin-based Maxim Gorki Theater Company gets standing ovation at Czech festival
- EP elections bring two Romani men and one Romani woman to Brussels
- Czech court acquits football hooligans accused of assaulting dark-skinned man on Prague tram, prosecutor appeals