Anti-Gypsyism in Nottinghamshire

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)


Dear Editor,

You will be pleased to know that we are recruiting to rid our area of gypsies once and for all. Our members will be armed with catapults (fifteen and counting), to pepper their beloved caravans. We are sick to the back teeth of filth they leave and the thieving they do from our properties. Police seem reluctant to move them on. This we will do. Our aim is not to injure - only to cause havoc. New members welcome.

Yours Sec.

The above is a letter received by the Editor of the Worksop Guardian and even though – or maybe because – the writer of the letter chose to stay anonymous this letter smacks of incitement not just to racial hatred but in fact of incitement to violence against property and persons based on Race.

It must be noted that the writer, who remained so nicely anonymous, stated that “our members will be armed with catapults (fifteen and counting), to pepper their beloved caravans” and the claim that their aim is not to cause injury but only havoc is a load of something not to be named, and it is hard to think that they actually believe their own words.

While we have so far only seen actions like that in countries of the former Soviet Bloc that are now part of the European Union this ugly specter of Nazism now seems to be arriving in the Yorshire Dales even and certainly is rather a worrying thing.

Only recently did we have issues of Anti-Gypsyism in Belfast, in Ulster (aka Northern Ireland) against families of the Romani Roma Gypsy community and while that could have, to some degree, have been attributed to the sectarianism that used to be prevalent in Ulster, to find this in small market towns in the Yorkshire Dales is rather a different kettle of fish altogether and should open the eyes of all those people that do not wish to see this kind of violence in Britain.

I have said many a times that I will be the first to admit that some of our community and especially many of those falsely called Gypsies though who are really not but live a life on the road, do leave rubbish and other things not to be mentioned not all of our community are the same and we, like the non-Gypsy community have good and bad people.

Europe, including the UK now, if would seem, is beginning more and more to look like Europe of 1939 than of 2009 with the way that Anti-Gypsyism is on the rise. Nazi-Fascism is rearing its ugly head once again an no one seems prepared to stand up against it.

Then again, we, the Gypsy, are used to this for we are not Jews or Blacks and hence no one cares. All the authorities do, in Britain and abroad, is to talk a lot and issue this and that statement against such racial violence; statements they often do not seem to believe in themselves. This could not and would not happen were it Jews or others thus threatened. Alas, it is just, as many see it, Dirty Gyppos, and hence the silence.

Now is the time for all to stand against this ugly specter of Nazism once again so that never again will things that haunted Europe in the 1930s and 1940s do so again.

We, the Romani-Gypsy, too, must stand up together and fight this menace, though not necessarily with their own weapons but on a different level and the best level is to educate the Gadje that we are decent peoples, despite what they think and believe. It takes two to tango, as they say, and maybe it is time we, as a People, as a Community, were prepared to address the concerns of the Gadje. What say you?

Ourselves Alone!

© 2009