Anti-Gypsyism – the specter that is haunting Europe

Genocide by proxy!?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Anti-Gypsyism in Europe certainly is not new. Far from it. It has been about ever since around the 15th century in one form or another, sometimes mild sometimes very harsh and found its vilest expression in the Nazi actions against Gypsies for reasons of race.

Now, and especially after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe this vile phenomenon is once again really raising its ugly head and is on the rise, and that not just, I hasten to add, in Eastern Europe. This vile specter has even reached the shores of Britain and Ireland by now, as in the case in Northern Ireland in early summer 2009.

Attacks of various kinds all the way to arson and murder have been perpetrated against Gypsies in a variety of European Union member states by thugs with the governments of the countries and the European Union bodies doing nothing.

Are we witnessing genocide by proxy? It would appear to be thus.

The year 2009, on August 2nd, sees the 65th anniversary of the destruction of the Gypsy Camp at Auschwitz-Bikenau where at that one night from the 1st to the 2nd of August 1944 thousands of Gypsies, predominately women and children, were gassed and then burned, and this year, 2009, and the previous one, have seen the greatest escalations in Anti-Gypsyism and Anti-Gypsy violence in recent times and also the most serious of attacks.

While the perpetrators more often than not get away scot-free even if they are found out by the police, Gypsies who are defending themselves, their families and community are charged with affray and other crimes.

Gypsies who have mentioned about organizing self-defense groups have been told that they could be charged under terrorism laws, while fascist thugs can organize all they want and threaten all they want and nothing is done.

It is, once again, becoming more than obvious that, as far as most of the governments in the European Union member states are concerned, as well as the EU bodies themselves, the Gyppo counts for nothing and if he intends to defend himself against attacks then he is the criminal and not the attackers.

That is the way that the law always has been bent against the Gyppo and I guess we should by now have understood, though I know many have not as yet, that the European Union bodies are going to do nothing as far as Anti-Gypsyism is and neither will most EU governments. They are quite happy with this ethnic cleansing and genocide by proxy, it would appear.

© 2009


Asylum in Canada necessary until European Union can guarantee safety for Romanies

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

In a statement released the Roma Community Center in Toronto stated that it is very concerned about Canada’s recent decision to shut the door on Czech Romanies and Mexican refugees. Immigration Minister Jason Kenny thinks that Roma don’t face state-sanctioned persecution in the Czech Republic.

While it may be true that the Czech Republic (or any other countries in Eastern Europe from where Rom flee to the West) does not directly, per government decree, persecute the Rom the Czech Republic does so by proxy in that it allows others to do the dirty work for it..

As a signatory to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Canada has now taken a decision that both flouts international law and the documented reports of systemic persecution of Roma in Czech Republic. Yet Amnesty International stated in April that Gypsies in the Czech Republic “continue to suffer discrimination at the hands of both public officials and private individuals, including in the areas of housing, education, health care and employment. Not only do they face forced evictions, segregation in education and racially motivated violence, but they have been denied justice when seeking redress for the abuses against them”.

And it would appear that Amnesty International forgot the fact that Gypsy children routinely are sent – for their entire school life often – to special schools that once upon a time had the title – roughly translated – and you would find the same schools in many countries of mainland Europe and the same policy as regards to Gypsy children – of “special school for the educational subnormal”.

Human Rights Watch reported that since 1989, “Czech authorities have failed to adequately protect Gypsies from the ever-increasing danger of racist attacks. When attacks do occur, Gypsies are often denied equal treatment before the law, a direct violation of both Czech and international law”.

Minister Kenney states that claimants from the Czech Republic and Mexico are clogging the system, are preventing “legitimate” claimants from getting in to Canada, and that an overhaul of the system is necessary because it is overburdened. Yet the total number of refugee claimants arriving in Canada has decreased from 45,000 in 2001 to approximately 36,000 in 2008. The total number of refugees accepted annually in Canada has been cut in half, compared to the 1980s. The system isn’t working because of inadequate resources. Imposing visas on visitors from these two countries will not increase the number of claimants accepted from totalitarian regimes as the Minister implies, especially when those countries already have visa restrictions in place.

Minister Kenney calls Czech Roma refugee claims fraudulent. When the independent adjudicators of the IRB accepted 85% of their claims during the last 18 months, why did he say this? Neither Canada nor the EU has used this opportunity to criticize the Czech government and shame it into improving the human rights situation of this persecuted minority. This government is saying, “None is too many, we don’t want the Gypsies either.”

The IRB recently released its own report on conditions of the Romanies in the Czech Republic – yet it has no mandate to issue reports on overall country conditions and has never done so except in the case of the Rom. This is a breach of due process and taints the impartiality of IRB panelists who will be deciding hundreds of still-pending Romani-Gypsy claims.

The real reason, and this is blatantly obvious, for Canada to try to block Gypsy refugees from the Czech Republic (and elsewhere) is none of the reasons given but the very fact that they happen to be Romani, to be Gypsy, in the very same way as Gypsy from the Czech Republic, so years ago, were being turned away from even getting onto planes in Prague, for instance, by British Immigration official stationed there and working with the Czech authorities hand in glove.

The case of a Gypsy journalist is the prime example who, together with the Gadjo colleague, was on the way to London for an assignment but who was turned away at the airport by British officials who had him pointed out by Czech police as a Gypsy, while his colleague was permitted to continue and the Roma was not permitted to board the plane despite his Gadjo colleague's remonstrations even.

We now appear to see a similar situation in Canada and, I must say, it does not surprise me at all seeing the way that Canada has been going in the last couple of days, not just as far as Gypsies are concerned.

Anyone who waits for the EU to do anything will also wait a very long time indeed. We have seen this in the case of Italy, and elsewhere. The EU says a lot but does nothing, especially not when it comes to matters Gypsy.

© 2009

The FSG presents in the United Nations the shadow report on “Discrimination against Roma women in Spain”

Madrid, July 2009 - The Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) will present on July 22, 2009 a shadow report on the discrimination faced by Roma women in Spain during the 44th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, at the Office of the High Commissioner of the UN in New York.

The fact of presenting such a specific shadow report on Roma women in Spain constitutes in itself a milestone as it will be the first time in UN history that such a hearing will take place, and furthermore by a Roma woman, Tamara Carrasco. Tamara Carrasco, Head of Gender Equality Area of the FSG, will raise her voice at the UN High Commissioner’s Office to highlight the discrimination faced by Roma women in our country.

Spain has ratified six of the seven major international human rights texts including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). These treaties are binding and therefore enforceable by the Spanish State.

Spain signed the CEDAW in 1980, which came into force on January 5, 1984. Since that date and at least every four years Spain is obliged to submit a report on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures taken to give effect to the provisions of the Convention, as provided in Section 18 for consideration by the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, comprised by 23 experts in the field.

The Convention requests governments to assess on their own efforts to comply with the Treaty. This governmental point of view is complemented by civil society’s reports. For that reason, in the past (and to this day), the Committee has requested the input of NGOs in the form of parallel or independent reports, and informal oral presentations.

The last recommendations of the Committee to the Spanish government emphasised that national reports provided little data on Roma women and girls. Therefore the FSG has developed a shadow report to the 44th Session of CEDAW to be held next July 22 at the UN headquarters in New York. Tamara Carrasco responsible for the Gender Equality Area and Inés Cedrón, representing the International Department of the FSG, will present the Organization’s perspective on the specific discrimination suffered by Roma women in Spain.

The report itself can be downloaded in Spanish at:
and in Spanish and English at: Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women:


Gypsy Basket-makers are leaving their trade

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Aydin, Turkey, July 2009 - The basket-makers living in Ilicabasi in Aydin, pointed out that they are being forced to leave their trade as they cannot compete against baskets and plastic products from China and elsewhere.

The Romanies living in Ilicabasi, explained that they have competed against plastic products before to trying to keep their trade alive, but now, as the Chinese products are commonly sold in all bazaars, their basket-making trade is being all but destroyed.

The basket-maker Rom are extremely concerned that can no longer even earn enough money to live let alone make some profit.

The basketry is the most popular characteristic trade of the Gipsies in that region, but now it is being destroyed by the introduction of cheap and nasty Chinese products, including woven baskets and not just plastic products.

First it was the advent of the use of the plastic baskets that began forving the basket-maker Rom out of the market and now all of it is being displaced by the cheap and nasty Chinese products. The basket-makers cannot compete even if all of them work all day every day.

One of the basket-makers, Ceylan Aydeniz, explained that formerly they were only making baskets to earn their living and it was enough for them but now, even they have to have lots of different trades and jobs besides making baskets, they are at the point of losing their traditional life and trades.

He said : “People used to buy handmade baskets before, but now they are preferring cheap and nasty Chinese plastic baskets. As you know, plastics are either very harmful for human health or dangerous for environment.”

And one must say that he is not wrong there in his assumption as to plastics, especially when they come from China and that also might apply to woven baskets that are imported from that country. The manufacturing process in China use stuffs that would not be permitted in Europe, for instance, as we have seen with the lead in paints on toys, etc.

Maybe, just maybe, there could be a field here for a Fairtrade operation, bringing such Romani produced handmade wares out of Turkey to the rest of the world.

It is clear also that the Romani folks over there in Turkey – as everywhere – cannot always think that they can continue with their old ways in this modern world. Adaption is necessary, and this includes education in many areas. However, such crafts, made from natural materials, should be encouraged and supported and ways should – nay must – be found to do just that. It is being done for Africans and other peoples; why not for the Gypsy and his crafts and trades?

© 2009

Village prepares for fight against Gypsy site

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Residents are preparing to fight a new application to create a gypsy caravan site on the outskirts of their village.

An application has been made to site 10 mobile homes, 10 utility dayrooms and 10 touring caravans for “nomadic use” on a piece of land off Lower Howsell Road in Leigh Sinton.

The site has been the subject of similar development proposals before. The first, for 50 pitches, was made in 1992. This went to public appeal and was rejected because it would be harmful to the character of the area and would impact on the local community.

In 2003 there was an application for holiday log cabins. This was thrown out on similar grounds.

On both occasions residents have campaigned strongly against the plans, holding crowded public meetings, raising “fighting funds” and writing dozens of letters of objection.

They say that the development would be on a greenfield site and would harm the amenity of neighbors and the village as a whole, as well as being contrary to the local plan.

One resident who lives near to the proposed site said she expected the village to unite against plans once again.

“This is the essentially exactly the same thing they wanted to do before, and the same reasons not to allow it should apply,” she added. “Obviously house prices will go down as soon as a big gypsy camp is created, and it does appear that some of these sites are not that well run. You cannot rely on what is said now as a benchmark for what it will be like over the next few years.”

Another resident, who has lived in the village for more than 20 years, said: “We have been waiting for it, but we have fought it before and will do so strongly again.

“This affects everybody in the village and I don’t think there is going to be anyone in favour of it.”

Maggie Smith-Bendell, liaison officer with the Romani Gypsy Advisory Group, believes the fears are unfounded.

She said: “These people are in desperate need of somewhere to live.

“The land is owned by the family and they are doing everything the right way. They haven’t just pulled up on the site. If, and when, they get planning permission it will be a beautiful site funded by them. They are not asking anything from the taxpayer.”
Leigh and Bransford Parish Council will discuss the application at a planning meeting in the village hall at 7.30pm on Tuesday (July 7) and residents are encouraged to attend.

“It is a sensitive subject, and we are expecting to see a few people,” said chairman Martin Gloster.

What amazes me again and again is that anything that is for Gypsies will faught tooth and nail by residents on grounds that “ it would be harmful to the character of the area and would impact on the local community” while, when the land, as has happened in some instances, is sold off to developers who then wish to build a housing estate there the planning permission is, in a great number of cases, granted.

When it is Gypsies who wish to create a “housing estate”, albeit a caravan site, it is in issue of “would be harmful to the character of the area and would impact on the local community” but that seems to change when it is houses for Gohja (non-Gypsies) that are being built. What a load of £*&^!

It does not matter, we can see, yet again, whether Gypsies go about it the proper way or not. They will be refused planning and that despite the fact that, so it was said, they should be able to make provisions for their own housing. Dordi! One rule for the Gohja and one for the Gyppo. Still the same as always.

Instead of fighting against the development why don't the people actually get together with the Gypsy? In the same way I would like to suggest to the Gypsy families to try and invite the locals over for a BBQ or such and maybe that way prejudiced can be overcome and things worked out. I am not holding out much hope from what I see of the behavior of the locals but... in my view worth a try.

© 2009

In the face of Anti-Gypsyism a framework agreement for the Romani People in the EU is required NOW

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Pogroms in Italy, "final solution" proposed in electoral campaigns in the Czech Republic, Romani-Gypsy children placed in schools for mentally handicapped across Central and Eastern Europe, including Germany and Austria, ripped tents in France, where the Romani families are thrown on the street, and now the turn of Northern Ireland, part of Britain, where recently, extremist groups have been targeting Gypsy families originating from Romania.

Where on Earth is Europe and the European Union headed? Adolf Hitler had a European project. In the immediate aftermath of World War II the UN was launched to a project such as that and the European Union, which emerged out of the European Economic Community, swore, on paper, to also prevent such happening from ever occurring again. The truth appear to be a different one and it would appear as if the EU in fact is aiding and abetting the self-same action perpetrated against the Romani People, if not by direct commission than by commission and inaction. Nice words, probably just intended for the media and the world at large, are just not good enough.

Association "La voix des Rroms", “The Voice of Rom” ( has been calling on the European institutions to rapidly adopt the framework agreement for the Romani People in the European Union, as has been proposed by the Rromani Activists’ Network on Legal and Policy issues (RANELPI)*. The immediate adoption of this framework agreement and its immediate implementation of this Frame-Statute is now a most urgent case and, in fact, an emergency.

* The proposal of this framework agreement is available online in English, French, Hungarian, Italian, Polish and Romanian on the website

However, I do not think that we should be holding our breath here for I am sure that we'd all be well expired before if we'd do be fore we'd see any action.

The problem is the European Union itself for, it would appear there is more to the silence and inaction as to the happenings that does meet the eye.

To me, as a Rom and someone who has been watching this for many, many years, it would appear that there is an agenda here and that this is “ethnic cleansing by proxy”.

It should have become quite clear by now to all but the truly blind that something is not right here and that there is too much waffle going on and no action and that it would appear that the EU's true aim is to make the Gypsy disappear and, while they cannot do that directly, they allow others to do it for them.

Let the reader think for him- or herself as to whether or not this may be so.

© 2009