ERIO suggests August 2 as a day of reflection for the European public, opinion makers and mass media about the dangers of anti-Gypsyism and racism in general. On the night of August 2, 1944, 2898 Romani men, women, and children were gassed at Auschwitz as Soviet troops closed in.
60 years later, headlines such as "Stamp on the camps," "War against the Gypsies," and "Gypsy madness" are seen frequently in British tabloids. Major politicians use open hate speech against Roma. Racism which would not be accepted against other ethnic groups often passes without comment when directed against Roma.
It is unacceptable to isolate, exclude and blame Roma for the obvious failure of policies made to forcibly assimilate them; it is unacceptable to publish racist materials in mass media and shameful to justify it from an economic point of view.
It is time to stop racism, including the often invisible or accepted anti-Gypsyism. It is time to give us, the Roma, a fair chance to be what we are supposed to be: equal citizens of Europe.
It is amazing that ever since this day was put forward - or indeed a memorial week - as a idea by the leadership of the INTERNATIONAL ROMANI GUILD on one of the website associated with the IRG every groups is claiming it as its original idea. No one would mind if they would put this idea forward but credit where credit is due would be a nice thought but then, in the Gypsy Industry this does not seem to be a possibility.