Half of all first-graders in Belogradchik municipality are of Roma origin

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Belogradchik, Bulgaria: Vasil Levski primary school in the northwestern town of Belogradchik expects 50 first-graders for the new school year.

Principal Svetla Tabakova says that the number of first-graders for this new school year equals last year's number, half of who are of the Romani minority.

At a meeting the parents have been presented with the organization of the teaching process.

Apart from the obligatory classes, first-graders have to choose optional courses in Bulgarian, mathematics and sports.

Parents have to choose a foreign language their children will study after finishing first grade.

In the school English is preferred to German.

We have an individual approach to the parents of first-graders, which produces results.

The Roma parents are told that their children will live better if they are educated, Svetla Tabakova said.

While we have to agree that education is the way forward and, yes, also for the children of the Romani minority, and that is the same for not just in Bulgaria but also elsewhere in the world, the question remains as to how this education process is structured.

Also, will they be allowed to remain in the ordinary school system or will they be, as is the common practice in so many countries, and not just in Eastern Europe, be herded into schools “for the educationally subnormal” as they were once called though given different titles today.

Hilfsschule they used to call it in Germany and many a Gypsy child was forced into those schools for no other reasons that for being Gypsy. Chances of a decent job, even if they'd finish that kind of school, were non-existent aside from, maybe, laboring ones.

Was this done on purpose, and is it still done for the very same reason? You bet it is. This was done in order to keep Gypsy children from actually making use of any decent education.

Some succeeded, especially those that many not have been pushed into those “special schools”, against all odds, such as Police Inspector Guenther Weiss of Kehl, but many did not.

© 2009

Romanian Gypsy families determined to leave Ulster

Roma families determined to leave Northern Ireland

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The Roma families that have been forced from their homes as a result of racist attacks in Belfast have their minds set to leave Northern Ireland. This despite the political and public sympathy and support that has been shown to them after the events.

Two teenage boys have appeared in court on Monday, June 22. 2009, charged in connection with the attacks which resulted in 115 Romanians Gypsies seeking refuge in a city centre Belfast church last Tuesday night.

A 15-year-old and a 16-year-old are each being charged with provocative conduct while the 15-year-old is also charged with intimidation.

The outcome of this, probably, will be nothing but a dressing down by a judge and then sending them home.

Notwithstanding the arrests and an anti-racism rally in Belfast on behalf of the 22 families, all of whom are members of the Roma community, they are still anxious to return to Romania.

They say that they have no jobs, no homes, no money and feel they may as well go home. Some, apparently, have said that it is better for them in Romani than in Britain.

There was still a lot of confusion over whether there was any statutory provision that would allow money to be provided to repatriate the families. Last week Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said if money were required it would be found.

However, it is understood there is official concern about what precedents might be created if public money was provided to pay for the flights. Belfast City Council said that it is checking if they can find the money. If not it may be a matter for the churches or the voluntary organisations to get them home.

Temporary accommodation was found for the families by Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie, although that is due to end on Wednesday. The Minister has indicated that they can stay longer if that is necessary.

Church representatives, trade unionists, politicians, members of Amnesty International and the Traveller community were among those who attended the rally in support of the families.

Barbara Muldoon of the Anti-Racism Network said that if any of the families wanted to stay the local community must stand shoulder to shoulder with them. There must also be a concerted effort to stop the racist attacks.

“There are no excuses, and no arguments that can justify what happened,” said Ms Muldoon.

“Immigrants are welcome here, they bring a wealth of culture to Northern Ireland and they bring their ability to contribute to our society. They are not separate from it but part of it,” she added.

While the spokesperson of the Anti-Racism Network may have state that immigrants are welcome in Northern Ireland it always becomes a different matter in the eyes of the great majority when those immigrant happen to be member of the Gypsy Nation.

While this has happened in an area that was always a trouble spot as far as outsiders are concerned one can but wonder how long before things like that will happen all over Britain (and elsewhere in the EU) as far as Gypsy People are concerned, and how long before it will move from the foreign ones to include also the “indigenous” ones.

All one can say that this is a shame as far as the United Kingdom and the rest of the European Union is concerned.

In addition to this it is actually fact that by the time of writing on June 23, 2009, many of the Romanian Gypsies have already gone back to Romani, others are about to follow. Only fourteen of them intend to, probably, remain in Northern Ireland.

If they feel safer in Romania where there itself are lots of problems then it shows how bad it is getting in Britain.

Also, on the night from June 22 to June 23, 2009 the Church that gave refuge to those Romanian Gypsies has been attacked and a number of windows smashed and the dook kicked in.

This also means that the juveniles that have been charged with the attacks on the Romanian Gypsies the other day have not been acting alone and it may be proof that groups such as Combat 18 are involved and even thugs of the British National Party.

© 2009

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

President of the European Union?

Please click on picture for larger view

This about sums it up, and not just as far as Italy is concerned, but as far as the entire European Union.

Homeschooling soon to be considered “child abuse”?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

In Britain, the country with probably the world's most liberal education system as regards to homeschooling, government think tanks now push for registration and inspections of homeschooled children in case homeschooling might be a cover for “child abuse”.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We will soon find, I am sure, that homeschooling in itself will be considered “child abuse”. I am also sure that all over this idea we would find the fingerprints of the European Union where in most countries it is illegal to homeschool. Germany only not so many months ago in a legal judgment made the final statement, as far as Germany is concerned, that educating children at home is and will remain against the law in Germany and in France and other affairs things are about the same.

Read on: http://tinyurl.com/m3odjp

New York legislator says Holocaust memorial only for Jews

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

A state assemblyman from New York, USA, has stated on record that a Brooklyn Holocaust memorial should only be for Jews.

Dov Hikind, a Brooklyn Democrat, said the memorial should not recognize the other victims of the Nazis, according to a report by the New York Post. The memorial in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood was erected by the City of New York.

"These people are not in the same category as Jewish people with regards to the Holocaust," said Hikind, an Orthodox Jew whose district includes the heavily Chasidic section Borough Park. "It is so vastly different. You cannot compare political prisoners with Jewish victims."

Along with 6 million Jewish victims, millions of gays, disabled people and Roma also were persecuted by the Nazis -- a fact that several city officials played up in their defense of a plan to recognize those groups at the memorial.

"It wasn't only the Jews that were massacred," said the city's Jewish mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

"There's no doubt that most of the atrocities at the Holocaust were done upon Jewish people," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. "But it goes against history and their memory to not commemorate all groups that were persecuted by the Nazis."

Hikind, who speaks out frequently on Jewish issues, made the comments at a news conference attended by his 89-year-old mother, Frieda, a survivor of Auschwitz.

Not that this is really anything new as far as the Jews' take on the Holocaust is concerned. To them it was only they that suffered and “Gypsies defile the memory of the Holocaust by wishing to be associated with it” as it was stated some years back by some Jewish dignitaries, including a Mayor in Germany and member of the Board.

When the listings are given Gypsies, anyway, run basically on the bottom rung, well below the gays and lesbians, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others. This despite the fact that Gypsies are the only Race, aside from the Jews, who were, in fact, persecuted and gassed for reasons of race.

“ You cannot compare political prisoners with Jewish victims” Hikind said but Gypsies were not “political prisoners” but imprisoned and gassed for the selfsame reasons, namely that of sare, and it should be remembered that some of the extermination methods were first “tried out” on Gypsy victims, such as Zyklon B on 200+ Gypsy children from Czechoslovakia, the so-called “Protektorat Boehmen und Maeren”.

But those Jews have but one thing in their mind and that is to have the Holocaust to be a uniquely Jewish event and no others have a right to be involved – according to them – regardless of whether or not they were persecuted for the selfsame reasons. They were not Jews and hence they have no right here.

Sorry Mr. Hikind, personally I do not care what you, or others of your kind, say as to this. In fact I think that Gypsies have more right on a Holocaust memorial than the Jews if we want to play on percentages murdered. Our Romani People lost more that seventy-five percent of our People to the Nazi extermination apparatus which means that a genocide was near complete here, as far as Europe is concerned.

Then again, do the Jews care? I don't think so.

© 2009

Natascha Winter & the Sinti men

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The problem, and this is rather self evident, that the Sinti Rechtsprecher and other Sinti men has as regards to Natascha Winter, the head of the Sinti Allianz, is the fact that Mrs Winter is more of a man than they will ever be. This is the fact and truth; plain and simple.

The men often rant and rave saying that a Sintizza should not (be allowed) to run an organization but they are really nothing but jealous and their jealousy makes them look rather silly.

While Natascha Winter has gone and started something to help the People the others just talk, talk, talk and then talk a lot more.

Firstly their claims as to Sinti women not being allowed too run such affairs have no substance seeing that our People originally were ruled, on clan level, by the old women. Secondly it shows that those men who just rant and rave against Mrs Winter have in fact no backbone for, otherwise, instead of all the talk they would do things themselves.

But this they do not. They rely on others. Often they reply primarily on Gadje, on non-Gypsies, to set up and run organization that are – supposed – to help our People. Anyone can have a big mouth but to actually do something, however little, takes initiative, inspiration and intelligence, as well as get up and go power and staying power. Something those ranting and raving men do not have, it would seem and so they feel rather put out when a woman does it instead.

Why the German Sinti men from certain quarters seem to have a problem with Mrs. Winter when they seem to have nothing to say against Lalla Weiss who runs a Dutch Sinti Organization.

Would I be too much off the mark if I would suggest that in Germany it has to do with monies from the government, that is to say the “reparations” and such like; something that does not enter the equation in the Netherlands? I think I would not and that is “where the hare lies buried”, as one would say in Germany, here translated.

Such a shame that because of such infighting the Sinti get not very far while the Gadje and especially the governments sit and laugh.

© 2009