Italy's Night of the Broken Glass

First they come for the Gypsies... What and who is going to be next? Does Europe 2008 equal Europe 1938? All the signs are beginning to speak for it.

In the last weeks of May 2008 we could see on TV once again the burning garbage in Naples, but we were not actually shown were the images of the burning Gypsy camps.

But this was not the only burning fire, there was much more going on in Italy but unfortunately we haven’t heard or seen much about it in Europe, nor have we seem or heard much of an outcry by the so-called democratic countries.

Several big Gypsy encampments have been destroyed deliberately and set alight so that Gypsies for sure could not and would not return return.

Nightly raids with Molotov cocktails and baseball bats have done the job. Fearing for their lives and rightly so, the Gypsies have gone.

The media, much of it owned by Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's new Prime Criminal – opps, sorry, Prime Minister – has been very helpful creating an anti-Romani atmosphere already for months. Last summer the rape of an Italian women by a Romanian was front-page news for two months and months and the fact that the criminal, supposedly, was an ethnic Roma, a Gypsy, really increased the anti-Gypsy fervor and fever in Italy. In many other European Union countries things as regards anti-Gypsy-ism are not much better either.

Who controls the European media? Who determines what is news and what is not? Nobody wants to touch the topic of media manipulation, not written press or TV.
At the same moment, there were much more sensational images of burning camps, crying children and desperate people but those images we have not been shown in Europe .

We saw exactly the same as to the European media when there was the suggestion, and it was not a suggestion only for the constructions were and probably still are under way, of what could only be described as Concentration Camps for Gypsies, the so-called “Solidarity Villages”. Only three media outlets worldwide ran the story even though it was officially on the wire by either AP or Reuters and those were a small paper in South Africa, O NEVO DROM by Tatchipen, and Romano Vodi from the Czech Republic. The rest of the media world stayed silent. Why? Because, especially in the European Union countries all editors, so this writer has been told by some sources, of media outlets spike the story and it was not allowed to be run.

So, who runs the media and what is going on? What is going on is simple: government controlled and government sponsored anti-Gypsy-ism, that is what is going on. What we are seeing is the concerted effort by the European Union, despite their great words, to ethnically cleanse Europe of its “Gypsy problem”.

This is the democratic Europe of the New Millennium, of 2008. Then give me the old Europe of before the Millennium rather. At least no one tried to pretend and we Gypsy knew where we stood. Now everyone is pc and calls us Sinti and Roma – in one breath, like that person is a Sinti and Roma... what a load of bull – but in reality nothing has changed, definitely not in the heart of Italians, Germans, Austrians, Swiss (I know they are – not as yet – in the EU) and French. Not to forget the Czech, the Slovaks, the Romanians and Bulgarians and if I have forgotten any I apologize. I'd hate to have anyone feel excluded.

The homeless Roma gypsies haven been deported the next day under police “protection” and a great majority of them have now been thrown out of the country and declared “persona non-grata”.

Not that there is much to expect from the “police protection”. The opposite rather. No protection but more problems.

On the 20th of May paramilitary police raids have been carried out on every gypsy camp in Sardinia. Intimidations and raids of this kind are daily occurrences now and it is obvious who is Italy's national (and may be even the European Union's) enemy., namely the Gypsy.

For the moment at least…

Where is His Holiness Pope Benedict? In other cases he is very vociferous and I am sure his predecessor, the late Pope John-Paul II, the beloved Cardinal Karel Woitila, would have spoken out and had the Church act in spite of possible accusation of interference in Italian internal politics. I must say that the current Pope just does not cut it but then, maybe there is more to his inferred past in Nazi Germany than meets the eye and something is being covered up rather. It looks that this Pope, while having said, to pretend to follow in the footsteps of the venerated John-Paul II, that Gypsies should be looked after by the Church, does not really mean this. Personally I must say that I never expected much from a German Pope with a history in the Nazi movement. We must also remember that we saw exactly the same reaction and later collaboration by the Church with the authorities of Hitler's Germany when they sent Gypsies and Jews to the labor camps and extermination camps. Only a few real men in the Church, like Mathias Kolbe and such, were prepared to stand up. The rest just kept quiet and collaborated.

I also must say that I do not expect anything in this case from the United Nations, even though many people have asked why the UN is not saying and doping anything, and I definitely do not expect anything from that hypocritical body called the European Union. As this is happening in one of their member states nothing is being done and nothing will be done, bar a little rhetoric here and there.

Unfortunately some Piedmontese Sinti too have been heard saying that they believe that Sinti are safe and that this is only going to affect the Romanian Roma. After all, they say, the Sinti have been in Italy for ages. Therefore those self-same Sinti also see no need to protest against the treatment of the Roma, fellow Romanies, (in fear, I presume, that they might draw attention thus upon themselves) and also no need to prepare to protect themselves.

Romani People awake! Neither the European Union, nor the United Nations will ever help us, the Gypsy. Only one can do that, we ourselves alone. Dosta! While the Roma, I am afraid to say, often have absolutely no regard for the Sinti and while, as many Sinti, I am sure, will be able to attest to, refer to us as “Gadje”, we, of the Sinti groups should nevertheless take heed and also show solidarity to those persecuted Roma, as they are, so at least I see it, fellow Romanies. While I, like many Sinti, do not wish to be called Roma, I still regards the Roma as part of the Romani People, of which I also regard the Sinti to be.

© M Smith (Veshengro), June 2008