Romanian Roma attacked in Ulster

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

If we, the Romani in Britain, did not know it already the British National Party (BNP) and others of a similar nature do not mean us well.

In Belfast, Northern Ireland (Ulster), the attacks of recent days on Romanian Roma immigrants have shown this with renewed vigor.

And where was the Police, of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (what a mouth full), once known as the Royal Ulster Constabulary, and still as prejudiced as ever?

They took ages to come to the aid of those Romanian Gypsy families. CHIEF CONSTABLE of the PSNI, Sir Hugh Orde, however, has rejected any claims his officers were slow to react to the needs of Romanians suffering racist attacks in south Belfast.

In the same way, as I am sure, every CC is claiming that he or she and his or her officers would not be prejudiced towards the Romani community, whether indigenous, so to speak, or immigrant. The truth is an entirely different one though.

Sir Hugh claims those whose homes were attacked in the loyalist Village area of the city would have been properly protected by the PSNI had they decided to remain in their homes. His officers had done their best in what was a difficult situation, he said. And pigs certainly do fly as well.

While it has to be said that, in the end, the police did put the families, at new temporary housing, under protection this shows, yet again, what it takes before police will respond to calls for help from the Gypsy community to alleged racist attacks.

The attitudes of years gone by are still prevalent and nothing has change in the police services in the various countries of the United Kingdom.

Romanian gypsies beware beware. Loyalist C18 are coming to beat you like a baiting bear

In a rather menacing message the racist group calling itself Combat 18, believed to be affiliated to the BNP, made it rather clear how they view things as far as Romanian Gypsies, and no doubt other Gypsies, are concerned.

The message broadcast by text and email all over Northern Ireland is hate-filled and and full of menace:

“Romanian gypsies beware beware.
Loyalist C18 are coming to beat you like a baiting bear.
Stay out of South Belfast and stay out of sight
And then youse will be alright
Get the boat and don't come back
There is no black in the Union Jack
Loyalist C18 'whatever it takes'.”

This rhyming racist warning has been picked up on mobile phones and computers all across loyalist areas of the north of Ireland and, no doubt, some will want to act on such ideas, and not just the thugs of C18 and such like.

So-called newspapers, such as the Daily Mail, Daily Express and Mirror also do not help in the way they time and again create a false image of the perceived “Gypsy problem”.

The houses from which the Romanian Roma fled are boarded up and evidence as to why they fled is all around, with Swastikas daubed on doors and walls.

Many of the Romani families affected have said that they'd rather go back home to Romania where the problems are less, as regards to racism, than in Britain.

This certainly is not a very good showing for the country that prides itself to be the bastion and mother of democracy and a real multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially when it comes to the Gypsy People, regardless whether “English” Romani or foreign.

Time we, the Rom in the UK (and elsewhere in Europe), considered what to do as to this.

© 2009