Announcing O NEVO DROM NL #2

The latest issue of the O NEVO DROM Newletter in PDF is available. I had tried to upload it to our Yahoo groups mirror but with 450KB it appears to be too large to be uploaded in one go. Therefore anyone not as yet subscribed to the newsletter/magazine wishing a copy and/or wishing to subscribe please contact me via mentioning that you wish to receive a copy of O NEVO DROM #2. It will then be sent to you as a PDF file, delievered as an email attachment.

Latcho drom,

IRU Parliament meeting in Belgrade

Belgrade, 17. 6. 2005, 10:30 (ROMEA/Roma Network)

There will be IRU Parliament meeting in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and Montenegro on 1-2 July 2005. The IRU Parliament meeting will be attended by the IRU Parliament members and by the President of the International Romani Union Stachiro Stankievicz, by the Vice Presidents: Nadja Demeter, Florin Cioaba, Normund Rudevic and Zlatko Mladenov; by the High Commissioner Orhan Galjus; by IRU General Secretary Zoran Dimov; by the Commissioner of foreign policy Heredia Ramirez and by the Commissioner for Holocaust Affairs Roman Chojnacki.
The following topics will be featured on a meeting: domestic and international policy of the IRU, reports on a present situation of Roma in the courtiers of the Parliament members, especially in Serbia; Roma Inclusion Decade; Cooperation with World Bank, Open Society Institute, United Nations, etc.; coordination of media and information.

ROMEA, Roma Network

Oh, how very lovely - yet another IRU gabfest, another gathering of Romani intellectuals that have, in the main, lost the plot and the contact with the grassroots.
I cannot, for the life of me, see why, in the age of easy international communications money has to be spent on such gabfests that do not achieve anything whatsoever with the exception of wasting time and resources. The same could be achieved using computer-based communications such as messenger conferencing - with video even. Maybe by actually doing the work in such online conferences instead of sitting about looking pretty and loving ones own voice and feeling important on a platform some things might actually get done and many more people who have to go begging for money in order to attend these meetings could actually participate. Then again, that would threaten the status quo.

Muted respose to gypsies' land defeat

25 June 2005 07:47

A Norfolk community won a major planning victory when an inspector decided that gipsies could not stay on land close to their homes even though they owned it. But with two communities completely divided, there was still a muted response.

On the face of it, they won what may come to be seen as a major victory -but getting anyone in Denton to talk about successfully challenging the gipsy settlement in their midst proved almost impossible.

It is two years since a gipsy family, long associated with north Suffolk, settled at the South Norfolk village. Residents have fought to have them moved on - firstly challenging their arrival and then arguing that the setting-up of a caravan site was against planning rules.

The planning inspector found against the gipsies, who now have a November deadline to leave the village of 352 people that appears in fear of reprisals.

Most people questioned about how they feel now the case has been won offer a similar response: "I do have an opinion, but I would really rather not say anything." Even those with no objection to the site refused to comment.

The well-organised, clean and tidy site on two water meadows, off Middle Road in the village, gives the impression of being totally inoffensive.

But an EDP reporter and photographer, asking if those living on the site wanted to comment on the planning decision, found themselves on the receiving end of aggressive language and threats. They were told to get off the site immediately or their cars and a camera would be "smashed up".

When someone from the village did eventually respond, Clare Valori said the feelings of Middle Road residents were "very low key". "As a group, we are very pleased that the appeal has been dismissed on planning grounds and really would like to stress that there is no personal animosity between us and the occupants," she said. "And we would like to keep it that way for the time that they are still here."

Another resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said no one would be sorry to see the group go. "No one wants this in their own back yard," he said. "The place will be a lot better off once they have gone, but no one will ever admit to saying so."

But while other communities in the region might be hoping this decision will prove a turning point in the way travellers are dealt with, Jon Blunkell, travellers' liaison officer for Norfolk County Council, said he did not expect it to make a big difference.

"In discussions with my colleagues, what is being said is that you can't now expect a similar case to necessarily go the same way," he said.

Mr Blunkell said he did not believe the Denton situation would lead to fewer planning applications being made retrospectively. "Every case is still going to be considered on its own merits," he said.

It seems the clash of cultures seen in Denton is likely to recur wherever gipsies settle for the time being.

Original Internet Source

I am having a hard time, generally, to believe anything negative that this newspaper reports as regards to the Romani in that area seeing their general anti-Gypsy bias that they espouse.

Gypsies lose fight for meadowland homes

23 June 2005 20:59

Romany gipsies have lost their fight for permission to stay on meadowland in a Norfolk village - and have now got until November 11 to leave.

A public inquiry that finished on June 9 heard their case to put down hard-standing and keep caravans at the Middle Road site they own at Denton, near Harleston.

But now the inspector, Lucy Drake, has dismissed the appeal.

Stuart Shortman, solicitor for South Norfolk Council which turned down their planning application, said it would carry on talking to the gipsies.

"There are dates that have been set and extended by the authority and, as things stand, the date when we would expect the gipsies to leave is November 11. We will liaise closely with the local residents and the gipsies."

He did not expect any problems when it came to the gipsies moving on.

The inquiry at Long Stratton considered an appeal by Clifford Jay, Stephen Coates and Robert Smith on the council's refusal to allow retro-spective consent for hard-standing. They argued their human rights would be violated by a decision that forced the 30 adults and children back on the road, having arrived in October 2003.

Philip Brown, for the gipsies, argued that four children were now benefiting from a settled education for the first time in their lives, and allowing the settlement was preferable to an extended "return to itinerant roadside camping".

Denton Parish Council chairman Edwin Winter said villagers no longer felt confident walking their dogs or riding along Middle Road and there was genuine fear of repercussions that prevented people voicing their concerns. Other residents said the peaceful village atmosphere had been shattered.

Original Internet Source

Amazing that, while everyone seems to fighting for Irish Gohjas in trailer on an illegal encampment in Essex no one seems to do anything to help Romanichal families that are being evicted or under threat of eviction.

Basildon: Bulldozer Law Puts Tony Blair on Trial

London, 17. 6. 2005, 10:52 (Ustiben)

A dramatic legal victory this month has highlighted the possibility that the UK government would face international condemnation should threats to bulldoze Britain's largest Gypsy settlement be carried out. The proposed raising of a hundred homes at Dale Farm would trigger damages claims totalling anything up to eight million euro. But in addition the Labour Government itself could be challenged under European law.

Lawyers representing residents at Dale Farm and nearby Hovefield, both threatened with destruction by Basildon district council, have been alerted by the news that 300,000 Roma in Greece have won an unprecedented case against their own government.

Dale Farm representative Kathy McCarthy plans to deliver a warning to Prime Minister Tony Blair next week stating that eviction by Basildon would violate Article l6 of the European Social Charter.

"The law is on our side," she said. "We intend to get a hearing before a judge as soon this is possible."

It is Article l6, guaranteeing protection of family life and accommodation for all EU citizens, which has been broken by Greece, according to a ruling on 8 June from the European Committee on Social Rights.

The European Roma Rights Centre, which brought the complaint, says it marks a turning point in legal efforts to end systematic human rights abuse of Roma from the Ukraine to the United Kingdom. In Britain, more than 300 private plots owned by Gypsies have been flattened and closed down in the past l8 months.

However, one family has this week reoccupied a closed plot at Bulkington, scene of two violent evictions by Constant. Legal proceedings have been initiated.

"Evictions are illegal," says Claude Cahn, the EERC acting director. "Any country that allows such a policy to continue is now exposing itself to a similar conviction."

As to the intention of Basildon to evict ten Gypsy families at Hoverfield, preparations are being made to seek a judicial review of that decision. Dale Farm residents are already suing under the Human Rights Act in respect of earlier evictions they suffered in neighbouring Hertfordshire.

Strengthening the case against Britain is the recent report by the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Alvaro Gil-Robles. He says present policy fails to meet accommodation and other basic needs and that racism against Gypsies is rampant.

Meanwhile, an appeal is being made to Basildon councillors by members of the Jewish community not to go ahead with evictions. Ruth Barnett, who escaped the Nazi persecution in Germany, says she is concerned both for the families involved and for the reputation of Britain.

She is asking members of the council committee which meets on Tuesday (21 June) to think again about the families at Dale Farm, in particular the children, and not to make a decision they could later regret.

A Jewish human rights monitoring team is being formed to witness the direct action operation by Constant & Co., a company which styles itself as Gypsy eviction specialists. The firm has submitted a blueprint for the demolition of what is virtually a village at Crays Hill, Essex. It carries a price-tag of three million euro.

Others preparing to observe the mass-demolition include Liberal Democrat MP Nick Harvey. Some members of Basildon council have expressed their opposition to the operation and a petition signed by local residents is to be presented soon.

Roma representatives will be reporting on the crisis to the Romani union parliament meeting in Belgrade on 1 July. The planned destruction of Dale Farm has been condemned by Romani organisations in France, Germany and Serbia, as well as the US, Canada and Australia.

Ustiben report, By Grattan Puxon

For a Romani-Gypsy, like myself, I am sure it is hard to understand how the Irish Travellers, when in Eire, refuse to be called Gypsies and vehemently demand the term "Traveller" but as soon as the hit the sores of the UK they are, all of a sudden "Gypsies". Amazing how they are "Gypsies", which in fact they are not, when it suits them and demand protection under the ethnic minority laws, to which they are not entitles because they are not a recognized ethnic minority in the UK while the Romani-Gypsies are, but in Eire, where nothing can be gained from the use of the term "Gypsy" but everything from the term "Traveller", they refuse to be "Gypsies" (and they then speak the truth, as they are NOT "Gypsies"). What is even more disconcerting to a Rom, like myself, is the fact that Romani from this country, and elsewhere, demand they be allowed to stay at this site there in Essex, while they same people, such as the IRU Parliament, for instance, will say a single word when it comes to Romanichals being refused planning and being moved on. There must be political mileage in there somewhere.

Romany gipsies ignored stop notice


08 June 2005

Gipsies continued developing an unauthorised caravan site despite being served with a stop notice, a public inquiry heard yesterday.

The illegal encampment on two water meadows in the Waveney Valley, at Denton, near Harleston, started in October 2003 when the site was cleared, trees felled and hardcore put down.

This led to complaints from villagers, and the following month South Norfolk Council took enforcement requiring that development halted. But it was claimed yesterday that the encampment continued to expand, with sheds and a field shelter for ponies among the most recent additions.

More than 30 adults and children now live at the caravan site, and the inquiry is hearing an appeal by Clifford Jay, Stephen Coates and Robert Smith, against the council's refusal to grant retrospective planning consent.

Mr Coates, who lives at Plot 6 with his wife and three young children, said they wanted to settle down when they started a family and had paid £2500 for their property.

Two of the youngsters have health problems requiring hospital treatment, and the oldest boy will soon be starting at Earsham Primary School. His wife is also expecting their fourth child.

Mr Coates said if the appeal was rejected they would simply have to go back on the road, although they intended staying in the area.

"I have never lived in a house. I was born a gipsy and I will die a gipsy in a caravan. That's a tradition and a way of life," he said.

"It is very important that we stay as a community." More...

Romany associations will not establish umbrella organisation

Prague, 9. 6. 2005, 16:53 (CTK)

Representatives of Romany associations in the Czech Republic agreed that they would not seek the establishment of the umbrella organisation which would represent all Romanies, Gabriela Hrabanova from the Athinganoi society told CTK today. The decision was made by representatives of seven Romany associations and the central Bohemian Romany coordinator at a recent meeting in Prague, Hrabanova said.

Certain Romany organisations have been calling for the establishment of one umbrella Romany organisation for several years. Last April, the Parliament of Czech Romanies was established and it had the ambition to be the representative of all Romanies in the Czech Republic. However, some Romany organisations have had objections to it from the very beginning and refused to join it.

"The participants at the meeting stated that absolute independence of existing Romany organisations is the only possible reality at present," Hrabanova said.

They agreed, however, that their organisations would cooperate and act together mainly in the implementation of the Decade of Romany Integration, the international project launched by the World Bank in eight central and east European countries. It mainly concentrates on the improvement of housing, health care, education and employment of Romanies.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Romany Parliament, the Association of Romanies from the Plzen region, west Bohemia, the Romany association of citizens of Lysa nad Labem, north Bohemia, the Romea organisation, Athinganoi and Dzeno, the Association of Romany Regional Representatives and the Association of Romanies in Moravia together with the central Bohemian regional coordinator.

The participants called on Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Nemec, the government commissioner for human rights and the government Council for Romany Issues to organise a national meeting of Romany organisations, advisers and activists.

The implementation of the Decade tasks and the inclusion of Romanies in the project should be the main topic of the meeting. The Romanies also want representatives of certain ministries and institutions to attend the meeting.


Maybe it is better so that all the individual Romani organizations in the Czech Republic continue to remain independent seeing the vast amount of corruption that always seems to go hand-in-hand, it would appear, with such "umbrella" organizations.

Karasek to discuss removal of Lety pig farm with owners

(PDM staff with CTK) 10 June - Government human rights commissioner Svatopluk Karasek will meet the owners of a pig farm situated on the site of a former Romany concentration camp in Lety today to discuss its removal, according to the website

The meeting will be the first between a government representative and the managers of AGPI, the company that owns the pig farm, after eight years, Karasek told CTK.
"We need a calm atmosphere for these sensitive talks. I am looking for a reconciliatory solution which would not be only a repetition of a situation eight years ago," Karasek said.

It does not help the matter that the case is being permanently watched by the public, he said, adding that he was afraid that the media interest and the consistent fuelling of the problem could lead to the increasing of the costs of a possible removal of the pig farm.

The removal has been demanded by representatives of Romany organisations for a long time. They point out that the location of the pig farm on the site of the former camp in which 326 people died and 600 were transported to Auschwitz is undignified and insulting to the memory of the victims.

In 2000, a memorial with the names of Lety victims was unveiled at the cemetery in nearby Mirovice.

AGPI management made it clear previously that it is willing to remove the farm to another site which will be fully prepared for operation.

"We are not expecting any concrete results from the meeting. It is the first meeting and I do not want to anticipate its outcome," AGPI director Jan Cech told CTK.
According to certain estimates, the removal could cost the state CZK 1 billion.
Karasek told CTK today that "such an enormous sum is absolutely unacceptable to the government." He said that he would therefore try to find such a solution that would be feasible for all sides.

The company management has not yet named any sum.

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said previously that he would prefer to spend money on the education of Romanies rather than to build a memorial to Romany victims of Nazism.

He added, however, that the government was prepared to discuss the establishment of a dignified memorial with Romany organisations.

(USD 1=CZK 24.405)

Paroubek wants to fund Romany education instead of Lety memorial

Prague, 6. 6. 2005, 20:52 (CTK)

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek would like to finance education of young Romanies instead of a memorial to Romany victims from WW2, he said at the opening of the photographic exhibition "Lety - the Story of Concealed Genocide" in the Chamber of Deputies today. He, however, noted that the cabinet is prepared to negotiate with Romany organisations about the establishment of a respectful memorial in Lety, south Bohemia, at the place of the former Nazi concentration camp for Romanies.

"In my opinion, I would prefer investing the money in the education of young Romanies to building a memorial," Paroubek (Social Democrats, CSSD) told CTK.
He said that he would pay attention to the solution of Romany problems and thereby commemorate Romanies who perished in the concentration camps in Lety near Pisek and Hodonin near Kunstat, east Bohemia. More...

Gypsy group defends village site

Gypsies fighting to stay near a village in Somerset have told a public inquiry they moved on to the site to get a base for health and education services.

A total of 16 families of Romany Gypsies moved on to the site in North Curry last October.

They bought the land in Oxen Lane in an auction and have erected fences and built a road on the site.

Some villagers have since been arguing with the local council to have the families evicted from the site.

Taunton Deane Borough Council issued the Gypsies with an enforcement order denying them permission to stay.

A public inquiry is being held in which a government planning inspector is considering the Gypsies' appeal against this.

John Holland, 38, a self-employed gardener, told the hearing he was fed-up with "living in road verges".

The council's barrister Richard Langham said Mr Holland and the other families had arrived at the site on the same weekend.

He said: "You knew it was important to establish the camp quickly, giving the council no opportunity to be warned."

'Off the highways'

Margaret Smith-Bendell, a spokeswoman for the Romany Gypsy Council, said that government had done "nothing for the Gypsies of this country" since the 1960s.

She said that once Gypsies were allowed to occupy land they co-existed very well with the local community.

"All I'm interested in is getting my people and their children off the highways," she said.

"Prejudice towards Gypsies arises from a lack of knowledge of our ways. As a race we are no different to house dwellers.

"Romany Gypsies want access to education and health facilities in the same way as house dwellers."

Planning inspector Roger Priestley will present his report to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister who will then have the final say on the appeal.

Original Source

Inquiry over Gypsy site under way

A three-day inquiry has begun to determine whether Gypsies who set up camp in a Somerset village should be allowed to stay.

Several residents in North Curry have been fighting to get the 16 families evicted since they arrived last autumn.

The group, who bought the field in Oxen Lane at an auction, have put up fences and built roads.

A government inspector is to conduct a planning inquiry after Taunton Deane council denied them permission to stay.

After hearing both sides of the argument, the inspector will make a recommendation to the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who will make the final decision.

About 150 residents turned up for the first day's hearing on Tuesday.

Julia Tibbs said: "I would like to think this is the beginning of the end."

But Brian Cox, solicitor for the Gypsy families, said: "There are more than 4,000 Gypsies on unauthorised sites.

"They have nowhere to live and they have children with health and education needs and they have to live somewhere."

Last month, following a similar inquiry in Wiltshire, a group of Gypsies were allowed to stay on a site in Minety near Chippenham for a further 18 months.

Original Source

Court confirms probation for Romany activist Gina

Plzen, 8. 6. 2005, 12:26 (CTK)

The Regional Court in Plzen today confirmed a ten-month sentence with two-year probation imposed on Romany activist Ondrej Gina, accused of embezzlement, fraud and tax evasion. The Plzen court thereby rejected Gina's appeal and confirmed the original sentence by the district court. This verdict cannot be appealed, Gina can only lodge a recourse with the Supreme Court.

According to the verdict, Gina had several private cars repaired for the money from the Fund of Understanding and Hope and the Romany Cultural Unity, which he headed. He thereby caused a total damage of 70,000 crowns. Gina also fraudulently gained social allowances of 20,000 crowns. More...

Chav has made it into the dictionary

Chavtastic words and 'brand Nazis' make it to the dictionary

by Lisa Burn Brand Republic 9 Jun 2005

LONDON - Language is living and constantly evolving, demonstrated today by the inclusion of a host of new words in the latest edition of the Collins English Dictionary.

"Brand Nazi" makes it into the book, meaning a person who insists on buying one particular brand of clothing or other item, as does that leader of designer fashion "chav". This Burberry-clad phenomenon is defined as "a young working class person who dresses in casual sports clothing", possibly coming from the Romany term "chavi" meaning child. The word also gets its female equivalent, "chavette" included as well as adjectives "chavish" and "chavtastic", meaning suitable for chavs. More...

Celebrating travellers' role

08 June 2005

A FESTIVAL celebrating travellers' and Gypsy communities was launched on Wednesday.

The festival will see pupils treated to storytelling, music and workshops by a Polish Romany dance group and the Snap theatre group.

It will also feature exhibitions of photographs depicting circus, fairground and traveller families and works by borough pupils telling the story of Brent's travelling communities.

The festival has been organised by Brent Council's ethnic minority and traveller achievement service (Emtas).

Head of Emtas, Rocky Deans, said: "Brent is home to Irish travellers, Roma gypsies from eastern Europe and fairground and circus families, among others.

"It is important that we celebrate the culture of these communities and in doing so promote respect and understanding."

Queens Park Rangers football club will also be lending its support by hosting an under-12 soccer tournament for boys and girls from traveller and Gypsy communities on June 24.

The festival marking Travellers and Gypsies Cultural month is being launched at the Gwenneth Rickus building in Brentfield Road, Harlesden, at 5pm.

Speakers include Tom Sweeney, of the Traveller Law Reform Coalition, Romany journalist Jake Bowers and director of the Irish Traveller Movement Martin Collins.

For more details of events taking place call Denise Delalande on 0208 937 3329

The photographic exhibition is on at the Gwenneth Rickus building until June 24 and the one by borough pupils at Brent Town Hall, Forty Avenue, Wembley, until June 30. For details, call Brent Council on 020 8937 1200.

Internet Source

Although rather interesting and positive, this festival, and the launch of a Travellers and Gypsies Cultural month, it is again all ass-about-face in that firstly it talks about "Traveller culture" - there is no such thing - while there is a Romani Culture, yes, and then apparently, and I can prove them wrong there if need be, that Brent is home to "Irish travellers, Roma gypsies from eastern Europe and fairground and circus families, among others" to quote the "Emtas" spokesperson; but nothing of the Romanichal of this country who also happen to live in the Borough of Brent, though not, necessarily, visibly in trailers on official sites or, more like the Irish, on illegal encampments. And then it is always Roma from Eastern Europe, recent arrivals who often do not even have asylum given to them and are just still here while their cases are being dealt with and given mention while at the same time the local Romani People are being forgotten, deliberately, methinks. We are just not attractive enough in that we do not wear colorful costumes or sing the "traditional" Gypsy songs of the East and maybe the behavior of the traveling Irish who are but Gohja in trailers appeal to folks more as well.

Roma in Strasbourg

Written by David Ferguson in Brussels
Tuesday, 07 June 2005

"Prejudice towards Roma is not the manifestation of a phenomenon which is sporadic, occasional, or limited both geographically and in time. On the contrary, this is a recurrent phenomenon, which exists in all European countries in varying degrees and is even on the increase both in frequency and vehemence," said Maud De Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe. As many as 6 to 8 million Roma live in Europe with the largest population concentrations found in the Balkan peninsula of southeastern Europe, central Europe, and in Russia and the other successor republics of the USSR.

EU enlargement has placed the issue of equal rights and improvement in economic and human conditions for Roma firmly on the European policy agenda. Countries where Roma populations exceed half a million are Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and the former Yugoslavia. Slovakia, with its estimated 320,000 Roma, has the highest proportion of Roma in the world.

Speaking yesterday at an event organised in Strasbourg by the Forum of European Roma Young People, De Boer-Buquicchio underlined the role of young Roma in overcoming racism and improving human conditions: "As young Roma, you have an important role to play to serve as mediators and promoters of communication channels between your communities, institutions and the rest of the population, to develop capacity-building of future generations of young Roma, to boost their drive for higher education, and to change through your success and personal achievements the negative prejudices still existing within a large part of our societies," she said.

De Boer-Buquicchio recalled the state-organised genocide perpetrated also on the Roma minority in Nazi-occupied Europe, claiming the lives of half a million Sinti and Roma. Often, though, when remembering the holocaust, the focus is on the methodic destruction of Europe's Jewish community with the loss of 6 million lives. "Racism and intolerance in all forms be it anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or prejudice against Roma, or xenophobia at large strike at the heart of the idea of a democratic society based on respect for the equal dignity of all human beings," said De Boer-Buquicchio.

Despite backing from European institutions and new major programmes in the enlarged EU and candidate countries, violence against Roma remains widespread. In January, for example, ten young Italians set ablaze a camp where five Romanian Roma families lived including a nine month old baby. The perpetrators justified their action as 'Saturday night fun'.

"Anti-Gypsyism is an aggressive, widespread and still acceptable form of racism in Europe," said Valeriu Nicolae, executive director at the European Roma Information Office. "Without strong reactions from European Institutions and leading European politicians, social cohesion and equal opportunities, which are both fundamental principles of a united Europe, run the risk of being seen as hypocrisy by the over 8 million European Roma."

Internet Source

Maybe one should also mention in this context that the Jewish Community has been actively working against the recognition of the Romani Holocaust by claiming and continuing to do so in books and by other means that "Gypsies were only sent to the camps because the were regarded as asocial and not for reasons of Race". It is amazing that this is done in the light of the fact that the same laws that were applied to the Jews were also applied to Zigeuner (Gypsies). But, well, the Holocaust just has to remain a uniquely Jewish event and "the Gypsies defile the memory of the Holocaust by wishing to be associated with it" - as some people in the Jewish community keep saying.

Nazi slaves and forced labourers get full payouts

Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:41 PM BST

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - Some 80,000 non-Jewish slaves and forced labourers under the Nazi regime have received up to 7,700 euros each under a recently-concluded compensation programme, officials said on Friday.

Surviving slave labourers or their heirs got a maximum of 7,669 euros each, while forced labourers in industry were paid 2,556 euros and those who had to work on farms 1,022 euros.

Rounded up in Eastern and Central Europe, they were deported and made to work as slaves in concentration camps or labour for German industry or agriculture during World War Two, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said.

"Although the payment is in one sense largely symbolic, it has also made a difference for many, many elderly and in some cases very needy people," IOM's director-general Brunson McKinley told a news briefing.

The successful claimants, traced to some 80 countries, shared total payments worth 405 million euros, according to IOM.

The IOM received 332,000 claims from non-Jewish claimants, mainly ethnic Roma and Sinti from Slavic countries. It is one of seven partner agencies of the German Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future", a four billion Euro fund set up by the government and industry to compensate Hitler's victims.

Hans-Otto Braeutigam, executive chairman of the German Foundation, said the "modest payments" were in recognition of Germany responsibility, but could never atone for the suffering.

"These old, former forced labourers have been waiting for this for more than 50 years. I am sorry to say that it comes very late but I hope it doesn't come too late," he said.
"There can be no full compensation for what these people have gone through...We have a responsibility to see this does not happen again," Braeutigam added.
Another 250,000 claimants, about half of them former Italian soldiers interned by the Nazis after 1942, were rejected as ineligible, according to IOM's Norbert Wuehler, director of IOM's claims programmes.

IOM handled claims from non-Jewish people living worldwide except those in five countries which have set up national compensation programmes -- Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Poland. Jewish claims are handled by a survivors' organisation known as the Jewish Claims Conference.

"The Nazis conducted raids in Eastern Europe where they regarded people as inferior so they used them as a labour pool. Most were from former Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary and the Slovak Republic," Wuehler told Reuters.

The IOM also said it was winding up payments to 15,549 people who proved property losses due to the Nazi regime.

Most of the successful claimants under its global programme live in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovenia, but others were traced to Israel and the United States, a statement said.

Internet Source

Well, well, well, what can one say? First they made sure that most of the non-Jewish survivors of the forced labor schemes were dead and buried before they actually made an attempt to pay and then all those people get is such a miserly sum. For those not familiar with the Euro this equals about GBP 5,000 or USD 8,500 in the current rate of exchange. I do not care what Hans-Otto Braeutigam, executive chairman of the German Foundation, said in this respect. In my view as a Rom, some of whose relations suffered and died in the camps, this is an insult that is worse than anything so far thrown at people such as Sinti and Roma in respect of their suffering in the Holocaust. Germany as a people must do much better. I rest my case.

Corin Redgrave critical after collapse at meeting

Sam Jones
Thursday June 9, 2005

The actor and political activist Corin Redgrave was critically ill in hospital last night after suffering a heart attack while defending a controversial Travellers' site at a public meeting.

Redgrave, 65, had just begun his speech to Basildon council's development control committee when he fell unconscious to the floor.

The meeting was cancelled and Redgrave was taken to Basildon hospital in Essex.
Just before he collapsed, Redgrave had revealed that he was being treated for cancer at the Royal Marsden hospital in London.

Ron Poulter, who was standing next to Redgrave when he collapsed, said: "He stopped talking [and] sank to his knees

"The police used their machines on him twice. The second time they seemed to get a pulse and then one of the Gypsies started giving him mouth to mouth."

Redgrave was at the meeting at Basildon's Townsgate Theatre to speak on behalf of the 500 Gypsies and Travellers who live at Crays Hill, near Billericay.

They arrived at the seven-acre greenfield site five years ago, and have campaigned to stay on the site despite fierce local opposition.

The issue has proved so divisive in the area that parents removed their children from the village primary school in protest, leaving Traveller children as the only pupils.

Two years ago, the deputy prime minister, John Prescott, turned down appeals for planning permission and gave the illegally camped travellers two years to find new sites.

When the deadline expired on May 13, Basildon council called a public meeting to decide whether to evict the 80 families still at the site. More than 300 villagers and Travellers packed the theatre last night to listen to the debate.

Redgrave had told the councillors: "I've been to Crays Hill primary school. I've witnessed the trauma that these children, whose families are refugees from previous evictions, are under.

"I think I know what it would do to them if you evict traumatised children."

Last night, Kathleen McCarthy, one of the Travellers who accompanied him to the hospital, said: "We are all feeling it. He is like a member of our family."

"He got so angry when he was talking because he had heard people telling lies about us."

The actor's second wife, Kika Markham, was last night being driven from London to the hospital by police.

Redgrave had written about the plight of the Gypsies and Travellers in yesterday's Guardian, describing them as "the most deprived community in the country".

Redgrave has starred in films and on TV since the early 1960s, with roles in The Charge of the Light Brigade, Oh! What a Lovely War, In the Name of the Father and, more recently, in Enduring Love.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005

Internet Source

Please, folks at the Guardian and elsewhere, do not call those people at Dale Farm "Gypsies" - regardless of whether you spell it with a capital "G" or a small one. They are NOT Gypsies but Irish Travellers and therefore but Gohja who live in trailers; and not much different to American Redneck Trailer Trash (I do know that some people will highly oibject to this comparison but the truth does hurt at times), with the exception that the Irish Travellers tend to move about as well with those trailers. Irish Travellers are NOT, please let me reiterate that, Gypsies as per the dictionary proper, as Gypsy refers to, theoretically, only to the "ethnic group" of Romani (or Romany in the anglicized spelling) and NOT to other itinerant groups. The often used term "nomadic" is incorrect as well. Shame most journalists do not seem to know such finer points. Dosta!

Quote of the Week

"No we were not always slaves; see our brothers who live in the mountains. They know nothing of chains, neck irons, whippings and hunger and thirst...Let us go free!!" - Mateo Maximoff

Gypsies still accused of stealing children, especially in Italy


(AGI) - Trieste, Italy. June 4 - The numerous reports of sightings of Denise Pipitone that have been reported to the Carabinieri of Trieste, all appear to be false. The police forces have denied that attempts to locate the missing child are limited to just the city of Trieste. Denise Pipitone disappeared last September in Mazara del Vallo. The confirmation of this arrives from Colonel, Ivano Fraticelli, commander of the Trieste Carabinieri task force and from head of the city's flying squad, Mario Bo. "For some months" said Fraticelli, "our patrols, together with those all over Italy, have been going around with the photograph of the missing girl and the half dozen or so reports of sightings we have received recently have all been found to be false and unreliable." Of the same opinion is Bo, who adds, "These fake sightings are regrettable especially in light of the difficult situation Denise's family are living." In the face of this, yesterday the lawyer of the Pipitone family, Giacomo Frazzitta, expressed his feelings on the possibility of the child still being in Trieste, hypothesising that the child was taken by a gypsy family that had crossed the border from Slovenia. The Carabinieri refute the lawyer's claims, "All the indications we have, especially those of the last ten days, have been immediately investigated and have led to no success." One of the sightings that said that Denise was see in a Romany camp in Caros Triestino, near Aurisina, but even in this case it was not her, the child reported by the citizen was some 8 years older than Denise. (AGI)

Original Internet Source

Gypsies plan court fight to beat Asbos

Council may face test case over illegal camps

Martin Wainwright
Thursday June 2, 2005
The Guardian

A council's unprecedented attempt to use anti-social behaviour orders to close illegal Travellers' sites is likely to face a court challenge if any orders are served, the Gypsy Council warned yesterday.
Travellers will be encouraged to bring test cases against the Labour-run authority in West Yorkshire, which could halt the gradual spread of the orders, which are temptingly rapid, convenient and do not require criminal court standards of proof.
Wakefield is the first council in the country to announce a trial use of Asbos on five sites - school playing fields, a recreation ground and a cricket club ground - which have been plagued by illegal encampments. From today the council plans to serve orders on anyone moving on to the designated open spaces to set up camp. More...