Sintis and Romas Gain Minority Status

Sintis and Romas in Europe have long been two ethnic groups persecuted by governments and those in the "majority" alike. Now, one German state is recognizing them as a national "minority."

Rhineland-Palatinate is the first state in Germany to recognize as a national minority the roughly 8,000 Romas and Sintis who live there. In 1997, the federal government recognized the 50,000 Danish in the north and the 60,000 Sorbs who reside in the southeast as national minorities.

Rhineland-Palatinate's premier, Kurt Beck, and the head of the state's Sintis and Roma association, Jacques Delfeld, signed the agreement on Monday.

"We want to send a signal with this agreement against the discrimination and for the rights of Sinti and Roma in our society," Beck said after the signing.
Protection of minorities

Recognition of European minorities on a continent-wide basis dates back only to the EU's Framework Agreement, passed in the 1990s. Germany ratified it in 1997.

With it come certain responsibilities towards minorities. In Rhineland-Palatinate, the state will promote special support for Sintis and Romas in kindergartens, schools and colleges. This measure is supposed to level the playing field for the two groups in the educational system.

Stereotypes perpetuated

The Central Committee of German Sintis and Romas, in Heidelberg, has been demanding for over a decade that an end be brought to what it believes to be discriminatory reporting against the people it represents. This comes primarily in the form of arrest warrants and reports.

Police sometimes include the terms "Sinti," "Roma" or even "Gypsy" in their reports, which are frequently published in the media. The Central Committee says the procedure helps to propagate negative stereotypes.

The new agreement in Rhineland-Palatinate will prohibit police from mentioning the ethnic identity of Sinti or Roma when publishing criminal reports in the state.
The Sinti and Roma languages will also be promoted.

No national recognition -- yet

Whether Berlin will take up the matter and put the recognition of the two groups on the legislative agenda remains to be seen. So far, the government describes the Sinti and Roma as an "ethnic group," which allow them some special protection.

But the federal government has not yet taken the final step, saying that the Sintis and Romas do not meet one of the five criteria set up in the EU framework -- namely that they do not have a permanent region they reside in.

Over 500,000 Sintis and Romas were killed by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s. Countries around Europe still systematically persecute and discriminate against the ethnic group that many do not understand.

Author DW staff (jdk)

Original Internet Source


The fist comment one would have to make, and maybe someone will have to contact Deutsche Welle in this matter, is the fact that there is no "s" in the plural for neither Sinti nor Roma but that is remain Sinti / Roma and not Sintis & Romas. It is a shame that so many journalists the world over seem to be rather ignorant when it comes to the Romani People and get things wrong, accidentally and/or deliberately.

Now to the rest of the article though:

While the government of the German Federal State of Rheinland-Pfalz (to give it its German name) seems to have no problem in recognizing Sinti and Roma as a "national minority" the Federal Government does seem to have a problem and they hide behind the EU framework, while giving Sinti and Roma the "ethnic minority" status only.

The Sinti and Roma languages will also be promoted. This is something that the Sinti do not wish to happen, however, because in this case that would mean that the language would have to be taught in schools and everyone would have access to the language and this brings us back to the issue of the "Language Charta" as well. Why is it that no one of those who think they are doing us all a favor wants to actually listen to the wishes of the grassroots People? Or is that just asking too much?

Ma Bister

This coming week, on August 1-2, we mark the 61st anniversary of the
destruction of the Auschwitz Gypsy Camp. Let us never forget our martyrs and in their honor wear a brown ribbon during this week, and, maybe, not just during this week alone but as a permanent reminder to ourselves and the world around us.


Quote of the Week

"Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate." - Chuang Tzu

Gypsies Target of Racist Attack in Kent, UK

21. 7. 2005

A Gypsy family in West Kingsdown has suffered a brutal attack with menaces poisoning their horses' food, damaging their home and daubing offensive slogans on their property.

George Harbour, 41, of Kingsingfield Road believes the incident was racially motivated in a bid to get himself and his family to move away.

He said: "I feel very angry and they have targeted me to try and get me to move. I have had abuse in the past.

"My family has lived in this area for over 100 years. This is my home. I have had to move all my horses to a different field because they poisoned the grass with creosote."

Despite numerous phone calls by the Chronicle, North Kent Police was unable to confirm a record of the incident, which occurred on Sunday, June 3.
(Sevenoaks Chronicle)

Amazing... Kent Police aappears to have no knowledge of this attack. Then again that is not surprising especially when one knows of Kent Police's anti-Gypsy sentiments in the past. And we can be certain that (a) it will not be investigated, if it will ever, as a racist crime and (b) the Commission for racial Equality, if contacted, will, like in the Firle Bonfire incident, deny that they have the powers to act. All it always boils down to is the fact that we, the Romani (Romany) Gypsies are not the right color and right kind of ethnic group. Ed.

Gypsies use McAlpine logo

Alfred McAlpine has been alerted to gypsies using its logo on fleet vans as part of a resurfacing service they are offering to residents in the Hull area.

The contractor was made aware of the practice by the local police and was told that its logo had been spotted on vans used by the Romany workers.

McAlpine is now working with the police to track down the perpetrators. A company spokesman told CJ: "We have been made aware that gangs are using our logo on their vans. None of the vans described belong to our registered fleet.

"We are taking this very seriously and will be launching a full investigation."

20 Jul 2005 10:14

Original Internet Source

I have to say that I have come across this scam of using the McAlpine Logo and even forged McAlpine documentation before but it has never been carried out by Romanichals (Romany) in the UK but by Irish Travellers. Either the people reporting it do not know the difference and most do not, as they see the Irish Travellers, thanks to the government, the media and many Gypsy support organizations, as Gypsy and therefore as Romany, or this are Irish Travellers pretending to be Romani. This, at least, is the way that I see this unless someone can prove me different. Ed.

Quote of the Week

"Consider the day wasted if you learn nothing new." - Unkown

Settled travellers are not gypsies - council

OCCUPANTS of an unauthorised travellers' site in Cottenham cannot call themselves gypsies because they no longer travel for a living, a council has claimed.

South Cambridgeshire District Council's enforcement officer John Koch gave evidence yesterday (Friday, 15 July) at the public inquiry into 22 illegal pitches on Victoria View in Smithy Fen.

He said the occupants of the plots - who had given up travelling for health reasons or to bring up children - were no longer officially considered to be gypsies under planning law.

The council's legal team says this should weigh against them being given planning permission.

One of the travellers, 69-year-old Patrick McCarthy, previously told the inquiry he had given up travelling because he had had several heart bypass operations and his wife had a heart murmur and arthritis. More...

This is exactly as predicted by some of us as regards to the playing around with the word "Gypsy" and by "doctoring" ethnicity to mean "lifestyle" rather than race and I have been expecting this to happen sooner or later in that the authorities, no longer wanting to grant our People the protection of an ethnic minority/group would "reclassify" the meaning of "Gypsy" and thereby making all settled Romani-Gypsies no longer "Gypsy" under the law and therefore washing their hands of any need to make provisions for us and also removing any and all legal protection as regards to attacks on racial grounds, etc.
It has not taken long since the day that measures were being put in place to "doctor" the term to the day the first actions have arrived, as we can now see with this planning ruling for Smithy Fen.
From the names I do assume that, theoretically and in all truth, the people concerned on that illegal encampment are Irish Travellers, seeing the name McCarthy, however, it is the changing of the term "Gypsy" that should and must concern the Romani very much in this.

Traveling Thieves

Katie Sabatino

Bob Sanes of Parkersburg has been a Wood County builder job years.

He prides himself on his work and was shocked to learn Tuesday that a couple of thieves have been in this Cypress Street neighborhood passing themselves off as craftsmen.

"It's sad to say. It takes all kinds you know...especially on older people like her over there," says Sanes.

He's talking about the 85 year old woman that lives across the way, who was victimized by two suspected gypsies Monday.

Police say it was around 6:00 that two men approached the home wanting to install linoleum floors.

Even though the woman said no thanks..she continued chatting with one of the men, not noticing the other had sneaked behind the house... Stealing her cash and jewelry.
"They're very good at what they do. They pray upon the elderly," says Parkersburg Detective Greg Nangle.

Nangle warns that the troubling scenario has all the characteristics of a group known as Irish travelers...Or Gypsies.

"It's a group of people out of South Carolina and Georgia...their life long ambition is to scam people out of money," says Nangle.

According to Parkersburg officials, these Irish travelers are nothing new to Wood County.

In fact this is becoming a yearly occurrence...When these so called gypsies begin traveling the country looking for an easy scam.

"My advice to the citizens of Wood County would be if you have not solicited someone to come to your home and they come unannounced, you need to get rid of them quickly, observe what they are driving and what they look like and go ahead and call 911," says Nangle.

Original Internet Source

He's talking about the 85-year-old woman that lives across the way, who was victimized by two suspected Gypsies on Monday.

One can only wonder what would happen if the word Gypsies were substituted by the Jews or Muslims. Mind you, I don't think we have to wonder what would happen should any journalist dared to use the word "Jews" in such a context. He would be out of a job and probably charged with some felony to boot. But when it has to do with Gypsies (suspected even only) then there is no problem. It is not only in the USA that we find this. Similar statements have been in the press and on police information websites in Germany (no surprise there, I guess) and even the UK. It has to be said, if one reads carefully, that they are talking about Irish Travelers, as it says, "Nangle warns that the troubling scenario has all the characteristics of a group known as Irish travelers... Or Gypsies." While the Irish Traveler part does not surprise me and the statement is correct when Parkersburg Detective Greg Nangle goes on to say "or Gypsies" then he is in the wrong because he equates in his mind, and the minds of all others, Irish Travelers with Gypsies, while the term Gypsy should only be applied to Romani. And, because it is equated with out People, the Romani-Gypsy, it is defaming our People as a Race.

Quote of the Week

"Learning is a treasure, which accompanies its owner everywhere." - Chinese proverb.

Gypsy caravan sites - fresh rows loom

Gypsies are once again on a collision course with Chichester district planners, after two separate applications for individual caravan sites were refused.

Both sites, in Clayton Lane, Bracklesham Bay, have been in existence for years, and have been the subject of previous refusals and unsuccessful appeals.

The southern area development control committee was warned of growing pressure because of a shortage of gypsy sites in the area, and planning officers recommended approval of both applications. More...

I do find it rather funny that the "not convenient for local facilities" issue is still being used to this very day. It always was when Gypsies were being asked - yes, it happened once - where they would like to have sites located. When they chose places well away from the villages the same was always used to not putting the sites there but rather locating them next to refuse tips, sewerage plants, and other such unsuitable locations. Apparently, because they were closer to facilities (well, I have seen some that were not very close to facilities when placed in such locations) so it was claimed.

The new ethnic vote: the Roma vote

Sofia, 6. 7. 2005, 16:45 (Amalipe)

During the campaign for Parliamentary elections 2005 Roma kept being one of the most "courted" and manipulated groups. Nothing new: the situation was not different during the previous campaigns (both parliamentary and local). These elections however showed a new specific of the "Roma vote". And the parties would have to take it into consideration from now on. Roma are already inclined to have a united vote in favor of their own formal and informal local leaders. A new consolidates ethnic electorate is being formed. The major obstacle in front of its complete establishment is the political immaturity of the same local leaders and their inability to turn the thousands of Roma votes into Roma deputy seats. Several facts speak strongly about the establishing of a new ethnic electorate: More...

Quote of the Week - yes, I know this one is late

"If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles." - Doug Larson

Make Poverty History

"Make Poverty History" is the hue and cry that goes out all over the place currently, especially in the UK, as regards to the UK presidency of the G8, etc. but it is ONLY, it would appear, aimed at alleviating poverty in Africa. Yikes! There is poverty right at their own doorsteps in the EU, primarily amongst the Romani-Gypsy population in the new member states such as the Czech and Slovak Republics, in Hungary, in Poland but not only there but also closer to home, such as Greece, and even the UK. We do not even want talk about those states that are going to be admitted to the EU the next time round, such as Romania and Bulgaria. More...

Forced Evictions of Romani Gypsies

While the media all over the Western world concentrates on the evictions of squatters in the towns and cities of Zimbabwe, such as Bulawayo, Harare, etc. nothing whatsoever is heard about the evictions, also by force and with the use of bulldozers to flatten homes, of Romani-Gypsies throughout the European Union. More...

Gypsies demand special attention in health and education

Juliana Cézar Nunes
Reporter - Agência Brasil

Brasília - The Association for the Preservation of Gypsy Culture estimates that there are around one million gypsies in Brazil. 300 thousand of them are nomads. The gypsies, who are still viewed by society through the eyes of prejudice, are present at the 1st National Conference to Promote Racial Equality. They are demanding that the government adapt the country's health and educational systems to guarantee their communities adequate services.

Yaskara Guelpa, who is a representative of the Association for the Preservation of Gypsy Culture, says that government officials are only now beginning to recognize the special characteristics of the gypsy people and showing willingness to discuss government policies.

According to Guelpa, in the health area the gypsies want a greater understanding of the fact that women only accept the gynecological services of female physicians. Resistance on the part of health posts and hospitals to this cultural precept is causing many women to die of complications when giving birth or to develop diseases that could be prevented.

In the area of education, the big problem is enrolling school-age children. The nomadic groups have a habit of moving their camps every three months. With the delays in the enrollment process, many children are left out of school. And many of those who manage to enroll suffer discrimination in the classroom, because teachers lack understanding of gypsy habits, Guelpa observes.

"We still face incredible prejudice in hospitals and public schools. Employees grab their wallets when we walk by," Guelpa protests. "People still believe in myths like the one that gypsies steal children. This is not true. It was a myth that developed over time, based on the period when many women gave unwanted children to gypsy women to rear."

Translation: David Silberstein


Brazilian gypsies want to be recognized as citizens

Irene Lôbo
Reporter - Agência Brasil

Brasília - Gypsies form a group which is little known but present in the imagination of Brazilians. According to Cláudio Iovanovitchi, who represents the gypsy people on the National Council for the Promotion of Racial Equality, there are around 600 thousand gypsies in Brazil without access to government social welfare services.

"When people refer to gypsies, they have in mind people who steal little children and know nothing except telling fortunes, and that is not so. They [gypsies] hold ancestral values, embody culture and musicality, and have their own ways to treat illness," says the executive coordinator of the 1st National Conference for the Promotion of Racial Equality, Jorge Carneiro.

The main demand of the group is the right to receive birth certificates. This and other demands will be presented at the conference. The right to receive birth certificates represents the first step in acquiring other documents necessary for gypsies to exercise their rights as citizens, which will be even more difficult, since they have no permanent address.

According to Carneiro, statistics indicate that 90% of the gypsy population is illiterate. They also want to have access to the government's social programs.

The 1st National Conference for the Promotion of Racial Equality begins tomorrow (30) and runs through July 2, in Brasília.

Translation: David Silberstein


There is another way of advancing our brethren in Brazil and that is our own ID cards, passports, and documents, issued by our own institutions.

14 carat gold vest for Romanian bandoleer

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

Goldsmith Erdogan Selamet of Gebze crafted a 14 carat gold vest for a customer in Romania.

Selamet says his Romanian customer, who was referred to him through relatives in Romania, is a "bandoleer" -- a leader of a single Romany clan. Selamet created the four-kilogram vest in 58 days at a cost of $85,000. I went to Romania and met the wealthy bandoleer. I learned about the vest he wanted and did it in 58 days. They loved it in Romania. The bandoleer told me he'll wear it on special days and weddings, said the gregarious goldsmith.

He worked for a long time as a goldsmith in the Covered Bazaar of Istanbul and says he could even make a golden dress if asked, I knit it with my own special golden yarn. Some customers have ordered golden belts. I'm going to Romania to take some more work orders from there.

Please look for a more in depth study of this phenomena of the "leaders" living in the lap of luxury while their People starve in the ROMANI FIRST Blog and also, in due course in the newsletters.

Psni Gets Powers to Move Travellers

By Andrew Evans, PA Lords Staff

Peers backed new powers for the Police Service of Northern Ireland to move gypsies and travellers.

Similar measures are in force for England and Wales.

But the Unauthorised Encampments (Northern Ireland) Order will not come into force until there are an adequate number of transit sites, provided by the province's housing executive, said Northern Ireland minister Lord Rooker.

Lord Glentoran, for Tories, said the problem of travellers in the province and on the UK mainland had increased since the Republic of Ireland had launched a crackdown.

Original Internet Source

More and more anti-Gypsy measures are put in place in the UK, whether in Ulster, which personally to me is part of Eire and not Britain, but that is not at issue here, intending to give the authorities powers to move on illegally encamped Irish Travellers but should Romani-Gypsies, a protected ethnic minority in the United Kingdom, try to stop when traveling they too will be treated under the same methods. Similar moves are, it would appear, afoot in the Netherlands where now traveling Sinti are no longer permitted to stop, even at camping places, for longer than 24 hours, so I have been told.

Brno clinic denies closing display out of fears of Romanies

Brno, 13. 6. 2005, 19:15 (CTK)

The Oncological Clinic in Brno today denied that the hospital gallery had dismantled an art exhibition out of fears of Romanies visiting a hospitalised woman, hospital spokeswoman Zuzana Joukalova has told CTK. Joukalova thereby dismissed the information published in the latest issue of the political weekly Tyden, saying that hospital staff along with the Zluty kopec (Yellow Hill) gallery hid the paintings since they were afraid that they could be stolen by people coming to see the Romany woman.

"The display was only interrupted for two days due to technical reasons, and now it is open to the public again," Joukalova said.

However, Tyden reported that even gallery owner Miroslav Vanacek confirmed that the exhibition of artist Ivana Baraziova had been closed.

"A Romany woman was admitted as a patient to the clinic and we have decided that we would rather dismantle the exhibition for the period of her stay," the weekly quotes Vanecek as saying. CTK has not succeeded in contacting Vanecek by phone for comments.

Tyden wrote that the closure of the art exhibition was proposed by the hospital spokeswoman. "I saw several times how they [Romanies] were looking at the pictures when they should not have been there any longer," Tyden quotes her as saying.

According to Joukalova, the paintings by Baraziova were not insured and their value exceeded 300,000 crowns. "It was my duty to warn the gallery owner of the risk," Joukalova said in Tyden.

Well, Gypsies are thieves, are they not, and would run off with the art display. Sure. Yes folks, I am sarcastic.

Media cultivating 'climate of hostility' towards gypsies and Muslims

15th June, 2005

The British media is encouraging a "climate of hostility" towards asylum seekers, refugees, Muslims, Roma/Gypsies and Travellers, a new report says.

Published by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) yesterday, it said that organisations active in combating racism placed media reporting on asylum, immigration and terrorism at the centre of their concerns.

"In the asylum and immigration field, the media are, for instance, reported to have continued to use provocative, sensationalist and sometimes outright racist language, present facts and statistics in a biased way, and accompany articles with threatening images," it says.

The ECRI was established by the Strasbourg based Council of Europe to be an independent human rights monitoring body that specialises in issues relating to racism and intolerance.

The report states that newspapers continue to unfairly villified Muslims: "Members of the Muslim communities also experience prejudice and discrimination, especially in connection with the implementation of legislation and policies against terrorism.

"As concerns terrorism, it has been pointed out, inter alia, that the media tend to give extensive coverage to arrests of suspects of terrorism, who are predominantly Muslims, but fail to report on their release, which has reportedly followed almost each of such arrests."

It is the ECRI's third report on the racial integration in the UK. The organisation noted that some progress had been made since its last report in 2002, notably that the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) issued guidelines in October 2003 on the correct terminology to be used when reporting on asylum and refugees.

However the PCC has no statuatory power to enforce the guidelines and has consistently seen them being flouted.

"In spite of initiatives taken, members of ethnic and religious minority groups continue to experience racism and discrimination," the report states in its summary.

It called upon the government to ensure that "reporting does not contribute to creating an atmosphere of hostility and rejection" towards minority groups and play a more proactive role in countering such an atmosphere.

"ECRI recommends that the authorities of the United Kingdom engage in a debate with the media and members of other relevant civil society groups on how this could best be achieved," it added.

Original Internet Source

Are Czech racists and why they resent Romanies - press

Prague, 13. 6. 2005, 08:59 (CTK)

The ""Czech Idols" television contest, from which Romany Vlastimil Horvath emerged as the winner last night, has refuted sociological studies according to which the Romany minority is one to which the Czech majority society has the worst possible attitude, Hospodarske noviny writes today. It were the votes by television viewers from generations that link Romanies to all possible bad human qualities that brought Horvath the victory, the author says.

"The contest has confirmed something I have been saying for many years. Czechs - with the exception of skinheads - are not racists in a sense of the word that they resent a different skin colour. Problems with Romanies, as public opinion polls show, are of the social and not ethnic nature," expert for Romany problems Roman Kristof says.
"The enormous resentment towards Romanies mainly stems from people's bad experiences, including housing problems and Romanies' attitude to work," he says.

The Centre for Public Opinion Research (CVVM), which has studied Czechs' attitude to ethnic minorities on a sample of more than 1,000 respondents for many years, confirmed his opinion. In the polls, at least three-quarters of respondents have been sying for a long time that they do not want to live near Romanies, heavy alcoholics and people with a criminal past, while people with a different skin colour are only resented by two in ten respondents.

People do not connect the question about a different skin colour with Romanies because they connect Romanies with something else and that it their bad experience with them.

According to the majority of respondents in a poll taken in 1970, in which the Public Opinion Research Institute (UVVM, the CVVM's predecessor) analysed in detail Czechs' attitude to Romanies, Romanies are noisy, aggressive, primitive, selfish, troublemakers, lazy, false and dirty.

It is just the generation of the major group of respondents from 1970 who voted in the "Czech Idols" television contest in great numbers. Peoplemeters show that it is people over 45 (and children from four to 15) who prevailed in front of television screens during the contest. They made up more than one-half of the viewers.

These people could have hardly changed their attitude to Romanies. The reason of the success of Romany Horvath is different, according to sociologist and a CVVM analyst Jan Cervenka, who has studied Czechs' tolerance towards Romanies for a long time.

He asked people in 2003 how they thought Romanies could contribute to good co-existence with the majority population. "The answers showed that Czechs believe that Romanies should change their behaviour and life-style and better adapt themselves to the norms of the majority, observe laws, work and study," Cervenka said.

This is a precise portrait of Horvath pictured by the contest and by himself. In the only interview which touched upon his nationality, Horvath said that he considered "the behaviour demanded from Romanies" the only acceptable one. "Sometime I say if I have had to prove for my entire life that it is possible to live a decent life why other Romanies could not do the same," Horvath says.

Messages exchanged by contest fans on its website show that his statement did not go unnoticed. Those who attack Horvath because he is a Romany receive various answers from his supporters.

"Yes, Vlastik is a Romany, but he is decent. Why should this bother you, you racist," a girl who called herself Magdalena wrote, for instance.


Referendum call on scrapping horse fair


Changed days: 'Real Romany people are well-liked but are now fewer in numbers'

By Dave Gudgeon

A FORMER Eden councillor has called for Appleby Horse Fair to be scrapped.

Eric Fleming says the behaviour of some of the young people who turn up at Fair Hill is barbaric. And he has rubbished claims that the event brings millions of pounds into the economy of the Eden Valley town.

Mr Fleming, of Belgravia, Appleby, wants a referendum to determine whether townsfolk want it to continue.

He said: "The real Romany people are well-liked but they are now fewer in numbers or are staying away.

"Most of the young people who do attend the fair are not real Gypsies but riff-raff who come to Appleby for a booze-up.

"They foul our streets with their litter and pollute the air with their foul language.

"I have travelled to most parts of the world but I have never seen such barbaric behaviour."

Mr Fleming, who made a film about the fair almost 20 years ago, feels the situation is getting worse each year.

And he described reports that the fair, which attracts thousands of Travellers and visitors to Appleby, generates £3 million turnover as rubbish.

Keith Morgan, chairman of the Appleby New Fair joint committee, said it could only be halted if the Travellers themselves decided against coming.

He felt that the town as a whole was not opposed to the principle of the fair and said the £3 million figure came from a consultants' report.

Three teenage girls alleged they were sexually assaulted and RSPCA inspectors were shot with BB guns during this year's event.

Original Internet Source