Sunday, February 14, 2010

Roma Gypsy Children Given Death Sentance

These two little brothers Ergin aged 9 and Robert aged 5 live on the lead contaminate camp in Kosovo. As a result of lead poisoning both of these innocent children have Kidney failure, you can see in this photo how poor Ergin’s face has swollen up as his kidneys struggle to clear the toxins from his body.
Both boys need a specialist diet to help take the strain off their failing kidneys, their parents live in adverse poverty and struggle to feed their family from food scavenged from the waste sites.

This diet costs just 7 Euro’s a day at today’s exchange rate that’s £6.07 (UK) or $9.72 (US).

Until September 2009 the children’s diet was being funded by KAAD – Kosovo Agency for Advocacy & Development, but KAAD decided it could no longer afford to pay and the boy’s have been left to die.

Will you stand by while a child dies for the sake of 7 Euro’s ?

If everyone donated just 7 euro’s then Ergin & Robert would have a chance of survival while we fight to get their funding reinstated


To make donations just send 7 euro’s via PAYPAL to ;

Visit the Patrin website for more information.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"La casa de Bernarda Alba"

This is an email sent to me by a trusted friend

Miguel Ángel de la Fuente Frechoso

I apologise as I have messed up the you may have to cut and paste the links

but..thank you Migel xx

Hi, Pesha,

Im sending u the link to this really amazing theatre play "La casa de Bernarda Alba" (House of Bernarda Alba) a classic from the writer Federico García Lorca (one of the best writers in XX spanish letterature, killed because he was gay and anti-dictationship, by the way). The play this time s been represented by GIPSY ACTRESS from the EL VACIE neighbourhood, a poor marginal gipsy neighbourhood in Sevilla (Andalucía, Spain) where gipsies are in risk of extreme poverty and social exclussion. The 8 women cant write or read, but they performed really well (i saw it yesterday).
I leave u here some links with videos where u can see them rehearsing and performing in the actual play:

Its even strange the way they speak spanish, because they may speak more "caló" than proper spanish. Caló is the low-class gipsy dialect spoken by gipsies in Andalucía.
This initiative has got the applause of the public and is getting more and more famous.

Unfortunately, two of them had a recent problem because someone from the TV program "21 días" (21 days, which is based on spending 21 days making smthing as this time was 21 days living in a shanty with gipsies) make them simulate a robbery so now the showman from 21 days is free, but the two gipsies are about to go to jail next 1st february if they dont pay 3800 euros.
In the links I provide u there is an account from the TNT theatre in order to collect money to help them.
If this two women could be free from jail they would keep on going out this social underdevelopment and exlusion they are, because the play they are performing is already invited to some of the main theatres in Madrid.
This is the year against social exlusion in the European Union... lets help and hope this women can keep on playing theatre and raise their lives to a decent position out of poverty or mistreatment.


Miguel Ángel de la Fuente Frechoso

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Outside The Box !

I opened an email this morning that had originally been sent to my colleague Rachel at UK Association of Gypsy Women, it was an invitation to register for a program that is designed to encourage and support people from unrepresented (minority ethnic) groups to take public appointments.

I read with enthusiasm until Rachel’s email went on to direct me to the attached Diversity Form, I have put a copy on this post and apologise that I have struggled to do this (techno phobe) and it is rather small and difficult to read.

The top and tail of it was that although invited via a Gypsy and Traveller unit from Communities and Local Government, we as a people had no place. Many races and mixed races are listed, but we it seems are expected to tick the box marked “other”

The Romany Gypsy people are UK’s oldest Ethnic Minority, we have fought and died for our country, yet when it comes to being recognised, at the bottom of the list we are simply considered as one of, or part of what makes up “the others”

I know Rachel has replied to this invitation and made her feels perfectly clear, and I will do so via this blog.

Diversity forms are supposed to exist to help eliminate discrimination, so..if your ethnic group are listed on the form, you can be accounted for, “you count” your voice and cultural needs quite rightly are important to those who have complied the form. do they consider the needs of the “others”, the nameless ones who don’t fit into any box,..quite simply..they don’t.

This goes toward keeping our people marginalised

There are some area’s whose forms have a box for Gypsy Traveller, but they are few and far between. I for one refuse fill them in, but write on the bottom
“ I am a Romany Gypsy woman, I am from UK’s oldest ethnic minority, neither myself or any of my people are “an other” of any kind”

I hope the Gypsy/Traveller/Roma people who read this blog will do the same

Rachel Francis Igham has asked me to add her comment to the post;

The diversity form was included with an invitation to participate in a new government sponsored Public appointments mentoring programme initiative, which is designed to encourage and support people from under represented groups to take up public appointments.

CLGO Gypsy Traveller Unit emailed the invitation to me on Friday the 22nd January stating ‘unfortunately they had just received this information and the deadline for applications submitted was the 31st January 2010, I have no reason to believe otherwise.

However, as my colleague Shay commented just over one week to the deadline.. well planned! I am inclined to agree.

UK Association of Gypsy Women have consulted with central government for many years and if I am honest, we cannot be accused of giving them an easy ride, none of the consultants were ‘Yes women’. I am also aware that we are ‘tolerated’ only because they cannot be seen to ignore an organisation that is solely led by community women, even so we have had to fight every step of the way for our place round the consultation table.

It has not been made easy for us, saying that we will continue to break down the barriers of exclusion until my people enjoy the same rights as every other citizen of our homeland.

Rachel Francis

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


We trying to organise a trip to Kosovo to visit the people on the camp and see what we can do to help, I know there is a desperate need for nutricious food, for clothing and for toys for the children.
Please read this posting and the previous one, it will outline the desperate plight of these forgotton people.
We need to help and we also need to use the information we gather to lobby politicians and beaurocrats world wide.

Many thanks

Kosovo's poisoned generation

By Nick Thorpe BBC News, Kosovo
A small child is sweeping the yard outside her home - anywhere else the scene would be touching - but here in the Cesmin Lug refugee camp in northern Kosovo, it is tragic.
The children are sick with lead poisoning.
The camps were built close to the Trepca lead mine and smelting works.
The factory was closed by order of the UN administration in Kosovo, in 2000. But the slag heaps were never cleaned up.
The lead blackens the children's teeth, blanks out their memory, and stunts their growth.
The children swing between bursts of nervous hyperactivity, and something like a coma. Some have epileptic fits.
This is the worst ever lead poisoning that we know of in Europe
Dorit Nitzan
WHO regional office, Belgrade
"Every child conceived in these camps will be born with irreversible brain damage," says Paul Polanski, a US human rights activist based in Nis, Serbia.
"Everyone talks about resettlement, but that's not the problem, the problem is medical treatment."
Dangerous levels
Mr Polanski claims 77 people have died in Cesmin Lug and another nearby town, Osterode, mainly through complications from lead poisoning.
The local UN administration in Mitrovica sees him as a trouble maker.
Lead in the blood is measured in micrograms per decilitre.
"This is the worst ever lead poisoning that we know of in Europe," said Dorit Nitzan, head of the World Health Organization (WHO) regional office in Belgrade.
"We are talking in the tens - 40-50 mg/dl, more than a 100 in the blood... really high levels."
In 2004, the WHO recommended the evacuation of Cesmin Lug, and two more Roma camps at Kablare and Zitkovac.
All had been set up by the UNHCR in 1999 as a temporary measure, when the Roma Mahalla, on the southern shore of the Ibar River, was burnt down by Albanians in the dying days of the conflict over Kosovo.

The Roma want medical treatment not resettlement
In 2006, Kablare and Zitkovac were closed down, and the Roma from there moved to Osterode, a former French army base.
It was polluted by lead too, but after the topsoil was removed and concrete put down, the WHO classified it as "safer" than before, and about 600 Roma, including some from Cesmin Lug, moved in.
Some children began medical treatment, known as "chelation" - to clear the lead from the blood - sponsored by the WHO.
But the success of the treatment assumes that the children have been removed from the source of the pollution - that assumption remains a source of controversy today.
Who is responsible?
In Cesmin Lug, children go barefoot, even in winter, on the polluted earth.
In Osterode there is concrete, running water, and indoor toilets, but still the wind blows the deadly dust through the air.
In May 2008, the UNHCR handed responsibility for the camps to Kosovo.
"It was quite a shock," says Sasa Risic, the minister for communities and returns.
"We were told to solve, immediately, a problem which the UN had not been able to solve for nine years."
The UNHCR turned down our request for an interview, on the grounds that administration of the camps belonged to the UN Mission in Kosovo, Unmik.
"The main culprit is always Unmik, or the UN, but it's not true," said Gyorgy Kakuk, outgoing spokesman of Unmik in northern Mitrovica.
So what can Unmik fairly be blamed for? I asked.
"Our responsibility over the years," he replies carefully, "lies in the fact that we were not tough enough, in bringing those people back, from the beginning."

Children have little protection from the polluted soil
"We always withdrew when we faced resistance."
Resistance came from two sources.
One was the local council in Albanian-run southern Mitrovica, which delayed the rebuilding of the Roma Mahalla, where the gypsies lived before 1999; the other was the Roma in the camps themselves.
Today, the rebuilding of Roma Mahalla in southern Mitrovica, funded by the Dutch and Norwegian governments, is proceeding slowly.
In Phase 1, some 400 Roma returned, but Phase 2 has not yet started.
The US government has also launched a new project to re-house 50 families from Cesmin Lug - but there are complications.
Some Roma at Cesmin Lug told me they were afraid to leave the Serb-controlled north, for the Albanian-majority south, because they feared they would lose their welfare payments - which were still paid by Belgrade.
Others said they would not feel safe living among Albanians again, after what happened in 1999.
Later this month, the WHO will make their next fact-finding visit to the camps.
As a wintry sun sets over the slag heaps, the children sing a nursery rhyme some say dates back to the time of the Great Plague in England.
"Ring a-ring o'roses, a pocket full of posies. A-tishoo! A-tishoo! We all fall down."

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Christmas..The Shame of Europe

I would like to wish all that read my blog a very happy Christmas..and my best wishes for the new year

Sadly in an EU member state there are children that are not as fortunate as our own children and grandchildren, many of them will not be here next Christmas

I know it is a busy time of year, but I beg you all to please read this posting, click the links and count your blessings..but please PLEASE..add your names to the "toxic waste kills" web site.

On the camp they have a running track..called the "path of health" as children run on this the toxins rise even more ..and because the children are running they breath in those toxins even more


Since posting this entry I have recieved an email from Dianne Post who is an Attorney in USA, Dianne's email says so well what I am trying to pass on that I am adding it to this post, It is good to know that in a world that is so often uncaring that there are good people who really do care
Thank you Dianne...thank you so very much

I am an attorney who started working with the Roma IDPs in the lead poisoned camps in 2005. I worked at ERRC and we filed 4 different legal actions against them. I left ERRC in 2006 and have since filed another action. The only cases still standing are one at the United Nations Headquarters in New York that was filed in February 2006 and one with the Human Rights Advisory Panel in Kosovo. In nearly 4 years, they have refused to take any action with the case at the UN. With the case in Kosovo, they have denied jurisdiction and said it has to go to the UN in NY. So yes, there is no Rule of Law and it is Europe's shame. I visited my clients last January and saw children runnning around in the snow and ice with no shoes. I saw young men whose hands were blown up like balloons from the excess lead in their bodies. Sara, the child in the story in the Sun, is one of my clients and I visited their home and had to see the terror and pain in her parents eyes as they watched her slow death knowing they could do nothing. The UN has in the past admitted they are responsible for the harm but now refuses to take any responsibility. It is extremely difficult to hold them accountable in the legal realm. We need you. Each one of you to contact Ban Ki-Moon at the UN, your countries ambassador to the UN, your foreign minister, your president or prime minister and force them to take action. The EU is now in charge of Kosovo as UNMIK slinks out as the criminals they are. Go to the EU Parliament. Join the actions at the web site. But do something.As you eat your Christmas dinner, as you open your gifts, as you sip your wine, remember these children whose kidneys, brains, and eyes - whose lives - are being destroyed every day by the lead in doses never before seen in humankind.
Thank you.
Dianne Post Attorney
Phoenix, AZ, USA

I am not a lover of the "The Sun" the past they have posted derrogatory articles about our people. However I applaud and thank them them for this recent article

Published: 15 Dec 2009
LITTLE Sara Jahirovic is dying a slow, painful death.
Staring up with big, haunting brown eyes, Sara is a victim of broken promises by United Nations charity chiefs more than a decade after British troops helped free Kosovo.
Her desperate father - he has eight other children - explains that at the age of three she has already had three heart attacks and, as she now suffers daily fainting fits, this Christmas may well be her last.
Sara is just one of hundreds of forgotten children abandoned to suffer brain damage and await death in an international scandal exposed today by The Sun.
The youngsters are being poisoned by dust blowing into a stinking refugee camp from a mountain of toxic lead waste towering above them.
They were packed into the contaminated site by the UN ten years ago after British soldiers went in with our allies to rescue Kosovo from Serbian tyrant Slobodan Milosevic.
Their families, burned from their own homes by ethnic cleansing as the conflict ended, were assured it would be for just a few months until a safer place could be found.
But the UN High Commission For Refugees and sister agency UNMIK - the UN Mission in Kosovo - abandoned them behind the barbed wire of the filthy Osterode camp in Mitrovica when they pulled out two years ago and left the Kosovo government with the problem.
Around 400 of the 650 refugees at Osterode are youngsters, with more than 200 under the age of ten.
After a decade in the hellhole, tests show the children now have so much lead in their blood that medical equipment cannot accurately measure it.
The World Health Organisation and humanitarian campaigners say only immediate evacuation and medical treatment will save the children.
Yet the UN and its agencies STILL refuse to act.
Last night British scientists and humanitarian campaigners called on Foreign Secretary David Miliband to intervene.
Leading toxicologist Professor Alastair Hay, a UK Government adviser, said: "I have never encountered a situation in all the years I have been looking at lead where the situation is so catastrophic as it is for these children.
At risk ... camp kids with a bleak future
"I think this is absolutely criminal. It is such a disgrace that these children are exposed."
So far, at least 84 refugees have died in the camp - many of them children whose organs simply packed up.
Sara's father Feruz, 38, wipes away a tear as he watches her play in the filthy, crumbling former army barracks and says he expects her to join them soon.
Feruz, his own skin tainted with a dull, grey film of the deadly dust, said: "We do not know how long Sara will be with us.
"She has had three heart attacks and she is only three. She has regular fainting fits and epileptic attacks, yet she is a lovely, happy child. The only grace is that she does not understand what is happening to her.
"If she gets too excited, she collapses with an attack. At night she is screaming and my wife and I take turns to be awake with her because at any second she could die. We are exhausted.
"It is agonising to look outside and see a mountain of lead, and know it is killing your children.
"I am a strong man and yet I can do nothing and have to watch my children die in front of me.
"I have nine children, and seven of them are very sick. If there is a God, then he would help us. I am begging anyone who can help to stop this crime.
"The United Nations moved us here and told us it would be for a few months. We believed them and were grateful. Now they have gone but we are still here.
"Kids are kids wherever they are. They have a right to be healthy and happy. The United Nations told us it was saving us but it is killing us.

"The only way the children can be saved is to move them away and give them medical treatment because here they are getting nothing. We are forgotten.
"People come and measure the levels of lead in our children's blood and then go away and do nothing. There is no help, no hope.
"Where is the United Nations? When we first came we were told we would be here for four months. That is what they promised. Now they have gone. We need help."
When the World Health Organisation first tested the childrens' blood for lead five years ago, the readings for 90 per cent of the children went off the scale.
The levels were the highest they had ever recorded in any area, with many children poisoned by more than four times the amount that triggers brain damage.
Three months ago, after repeated pleas for help were ignored, outraged WHO bosses called for the camp's "immediate and urgent" closure.
Standing on top of the 200 metre high mountain of 100 million tons of lead waste, you can see the air thick with the fine, grey dust that blows on to the camp.
The colossal slag heap that dominates the skyline was formed by Europe's biggest mining and smelting complex, which has lain derelict since the Kosovo war. Below, children play in skips of human excrement and drink water from communal taps on land contaminated with the lead waste.
British human rights campaigner Bernard Sullivan told how he first began fighting for the refugees after delivering aid.
He said: "The UN has left these people high and dry. They have a moral responsibility to clean up the mess they have made."
Both UN organisations claim they are still committed to helping the families even though they are no longer in charge.
But Kosovo government spokesman Memli Krasniqi said: "The UN did not do anything to move these people. We don't know why.
"They have done their job badly. Now we are trying to deal with it but a lot of time has been lost."
Meanwhile, only one thing is certain this winter in the camp - even more children will die.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Daily Mail Continues To Incite Racial Hatred Toward Gypsy & Travelling Families

The Daily Mail continues to incite racial hatred toward Gypsy and Travelling families…..

It is hard to believe that in a modern Britain Paul Dacre and the rabid pack of racist hate hungry rabble that he employs, can conduct unabaited a campaign that is designed to incite racial hatred against UK’s oldest ethnic minority..The Romany Gypies..and other groups of Travelling peoples.

It will take a little time, but please read through the links on this posting, you will note as you read that Surrey Police did make it clear that the article about the Helicopter was untrue, a similar one appeared in the Sun, they did print a retraction, not so the Daily Mail. Printing lies and deliberately misleading their readership is all in a days work for Dacre and his cronnies.

These Articles have been reported to the Police as “hate crimes” and have been logged, I will let you all know if we get a positive out come.
A complaint has also been lodged with The Press Complaints Commission

After discussing this matter with the Police on more than one occasion, the opinion is that the more unscrupulous Editors who allow this sort of article to go to press do so in the knowledge that provided it is worded in such a way that it is not aimed at any one individual then they will be exempt from any redress from the Press Complaints Commission

In point of fact the damage done by aiming the hostility toward the community as a whole is by far more damaging, as it criminalizes us as a people; it creates a picture of an asocial race.

In the 1940’s Adolph Hitler labeled the Gypsy people as asocial and used it as an excuse for ethnic cleansing. Today Newspaper Editors are using the same excuse to persecute our people. It’s far more subtle; they don’t round us up and kill us in our tens of thousands. They print these damaging articles that marginalize our people even more. They vilify us and create fear and hate against us. As a result our children get persecuted and bullied in school, families cannot get planning permission because people believe the stories and don’t want Gypsy people for neighbours. In order to live in peace and have their children educated and access medical services people deny their culture. This amounts to ethnic cleansing by media.


The article below by the Daily Mails Richard Littlejohn is grossly insulting and inflammatory leading the reader to believe that all Gypsy and Travelling people are thieves and benefit fraudsters.

This next one gives the impression that our community is not worthy of Lottery funding and that Gypsy people are not hardworking people who play by the rules and pay their taxes


There is no evidence that the family named in this article are in fact a Gypsy family

Below is an email I sent to Paul Dacre you will see it was forwarded to him as I had emailed the reported Rachel Porter but she did not reply, Paul Dacre did not reply either.

FW: RE Article in Daily Mail‏
Shay Clipson (
17 August 2009 16:54:24

Dear Mr Dacre I am concerned at the mount of articles that appear in your publication that are derrogatory toward the Gypsy and Traveller community I sent the attched email to your Rachel Porter this morning As yet I have not recieved a reply regards Shay Clipson

RE Article in Daily MailDate: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 11:12:43 +0100
I read with interest your article in Saturdays Daily Mail. Can you tell me what evidence you have that the Connors are in fact an Irish Travelling family ? The Law Society have no record of Jeremy Kaye being a Solicitor Best Regards
Celebrate a decade of Messenger with free winks, emoticons, display pics, and more. Get Them Now


I have also included the wholly untrue article as printed in the Daily Mail on 14th may 2009.

Response from Surrey Police
RE: ‏
Press Office (
17 August 2009 13:56:02
'Shay Clipson' (
Dear Shay,

Surrey Police did not state that the offence had been committed by any particular group, in fact we stated the offenders were unknown. Here is a copy of our media response:

"Damage was caused to the Surrey Police helicopter during an incident at its base at Fairoaks Airport, Chobham just before 10pm on Thursday 30 April. Five windows were smashed by unknown offenders and the value of the damage is being determined. The incident is part of an ongoing investigation and security measures are being reviewed as part of this. Surrey Police is working with the maintenance contractor to ensure the aircraft is back on line as soon as possible. We continue to have access to air support through agreements with surrounding Forces."

Following the article in The Sun on 14 May, we have been in contact with the 'Friends, Families and Travellers' action group and the accuracy of the article was challenged. This led to a correction being published in The Sun:

"CHOPPER ATTACK: Surrey Police have not blamed gipsies for an attack on their force helicopter, no staff in their operations room were threatened by gipsies and no gipsy site was being targeted for a raid, as we reported on May 14 We apologise for the mistakes and are happy to set the record straight."

So far no-one has been arrested in connection with the incident and, even if they had, their ethnicity is not a detail we would comment on.



_______________________________Nick ClokeSenior Media Relations OfficerSurrey Police Headquarters_______________________________


Monday, May 4, 2009

“Anti-Gypsyism continues to be a major human rights problem in Europe – governments must start taking serious action against both official and inter-p

“Anti-Gypsyism continues to be a major human rights problem in Europe – governments must start taking serious action against both official and inter-personal discrimination of Roma”

Report From The Council of Europe
Thomas Hammarberg
New pledges were made on International Roma Day to combat anti-Gypsyism. At the same time we received information that a group of Roma children, arrested in Kosice in eastern Slovakia, had been forced to strip and slap one another violently in the face in the police station where they were held. In Belgrade, a number of Roma families were suddenly evicted from their homes without alternative accommodation being offered to them. In Mitrovica, I witnessed Roma who continue to live in conditions dangerous to their health in lead-contaminated camps.
When the sadistic incident of police brutality in Slovakia became public, having been filmed and later leaked to the media, the involved policemen were suspended. Still questions remain. Was this event unique or have similar violations taken place before? Did the policemen know that this was totally unlawful? Did they even fear repercussions (one of them operated the camera)? Is there a serious gap in the training or instruction of the police and, therefore, responsibility for these actions lies higher up?
These questions will certainly be investigated in Slovakia and further action taken. What is likely to remain, however, is the perception that such humiliation would not have taken place if the children had not been Roma. Certainly, this will be the conviction within the Roma community itself.
The EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has collected information about how Roma and other minorities feel about their situation in society. It has now published the first two parts of the survey on minorities and discrimination in EU countries: a broad overview of the whole study and a more substantial report on the Roma, “who face the highest levels of discrimination”.1
The Roma part of the survey focuses on seven member states: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. In each of them no less than 500 Roma respondents were interviewed. The answers strongly confirm my own impression from missions to several of these countries – and to other European countries inside and outside the EU:
Half of the respondents answered that they had suffered discrimination at least once during the last 12 months and for many of them there had been several such incidents during this period (on average 11);
The overwhelming majority of them had not reported these incidents as they did not believe that this would give any positive result. Most of them were not aware of any organisation or institution to which they could address such complaints;
One in four stated that they were victims of personal crime at least once during the past 12 months and one in five responded that they had suffered racially motivated personal crime including assaults, threats and serious harassment;
A clear majority – between 65 and 100 %, depending on the country – did not report such crimes to the police. They did not trust that the police would be able to do anything;
One in three Roma interviewed had been stopped by the police during the past 12 months and half of them thought this happened because they were Roma. Many of those stopped had experienced this several times, on average four times;
The survey confirmed problems related to schooling – 30 % had gone to school for only five years or less. In addition, the employment rate was generally low (from 17 % in Romania to 44 % in the Czech Republic).
The FRA report indicates that the long history of discrimination has resulted not only in poverty but also in alienation and exclusion. The institutions set up to receive complaints about human rights violations seem not to be known by many Roma or are not seen as open or useful for them. As incidents of harassment and racist crimes are not reported in many cases, even today the depth of the discrimination is not fully reflected in official data.The exclusion of Roma is also a major cause for their migration in Europe. A recent study commissioned by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and my office highlights discriminatory practices which the Roma migrants currently face. The study concludes with a set of recommendations for action by states. 2
We know that the Roma population - whether citizens, displaced persons or migrants – is worse off than any other group in Europe in relation to key social indicators on: education, health, employment, housing and political participation.
This has not gone unnoticed. Twelve governments, including those in the Balkans, cooperate in a joint project called “Decade of the Roma Inclusion 2005-2015” which seeks to address these problems of poverty and to enhance the Roma socio-economic status. This reflects a political commitment which hopefully will contribute to breaking the vicious circle.
At the same time, we have to conclude that progress is slow. We have learnt that there is no single reform or action which would cause a quick change for the better. Though, for example, a strong investment in education, including pre-schooling, for Roma children is essential, the results would still depend on other improvements, such as ensuring better housing conditions and enhanced health care. A comprehensive but also participatory and sustained programme is needed.
What is absolutely essential is to combat anti-Gypsyism. The continued negative attitudes of many in the majority population is a deep problem. Without changes in these all the programmes will fail.
I believe that truth commissions on previous persecution of Roma would be useful to counter ignorance. The Council of Europe has produced unique fact sheets on the Roma history in Europe which would teach any serious reader about the horrible consequences of anti-Gypsyism in the past - mass killing of Roma during the nazi and fascist era but also other atrocities committed against these people for several generations.3
There is still too little factual, informative education about the Roma culture and history in ordinary schools. Production of national learning material can draw from the Council of Europe fact sheets – which, indeed, the Italian government has recently decided to do.
Hate speech must be stopped. It is crucial that leading politicians and other opinion makers avoid anti-Roma rhetoric and, instead, stand up for principles of non-discrimination, tolerance and respect for people from another background. I have previously been prompted to react against some stereotyping statements by politicians, for instance, in Romania and Italy and have noticed that such statements are now becoming more rare.
However, politicians also express themselves through concrete decisions, and it still happens that mayors or other local authorities take steps which violate human rights of Roma communities. A recent example was when people were chased away from a Roma camp in Belgrade in a manner which did not follow acceptable procedures for eviction.
The eviction came as a surprise to the Roma who had been promised a later deadline and had not been offered appropriate alternative accommodation. The situation became worse when the locals attacked the Roma who had been relocated to temporary containers in one of the suburbs. These mistakes were not planned – and were regretted by the central government - but indicated a lack of serious care and human rights considerations by the local authorities. Would this have happened to non-Roma?
In north Mitrovica in Kosovo4 I recently visited a Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian camp which had been established in a severely lead contaminated area. Several years ago it been established that living here was hazardous, in particular for children and pregnant mothers. This health danger had been convincingly proven be a medical team from the World Health Organization as early as 2004. Now, five years later, many of the Roma still live on this toxic site.
Even considering the complicated political situation in north Mitrovica, it is utterly unacceptable that the camp inhabitants have not been assisted to move. It is even more embarrassing that the international community is at least partly responsible for this failure. The inhabitants I talked to were convinced that their situation would have been resolved long ago if they had belonged to another ethnic group. Unfortunately, I cannot but share their conviction.
Thomas Hammarberg
1. European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey (EU-MIDIS), Fundamental Rights Agency: (back)
2. See study on recent migration of Roma in Europe. (back)
3. (back)
4. “All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.” (back)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dear Jo..........

This beautiful poem was written by my 19 year old son Tom, who has Aspergers Syndome & Paranoid Schizophrenia. Tom has a work placement with other people with mental health problems.
He came home tonight upset as his special friend Jo is going through a very difficult he sat down and wrote her this poem, which he says I can share with you all

Dear Jo...
Come here or gentle lady so, loving and fare
Come to me if you need some one to listen, and for you I will care
Come to me when you are troubled let me feel your face
Oh gentle lady I will take you to another place
Under the clouds or on the moon,
In the stars where we may loom
And together we shall fly through the impossible dream
Climb countless mountains and go over many a stream
Permit to hold your gentle hand
And together we shall fly to a different land
A land where there is only you and I and the blue ever lasting sky
Come with fair gentle Jo together we shall fly.
I will let you see Mars or the oceans blue
Come fly with me fare lady loving and true
Come walk with me in but the suns sweet rays
Come with me and go over calm gentle waves,
Do not be troubled or be in sadness
Don’t feel alone lost in madness
Don’t find your self-loosing your sanity
Come from your hardships and with me, leave reality
Fly with me its not impossible, we just leave gravity
Hold my hand I wont let you fall, or let go
Come with my darling sweet Jo
Together we can look down on earth so green
We shall fly together to places you have never seen
And under the stars, and to the moon we shall embrace
My hand wrapped around you, looking at in to your eyes, and stroking your face
And then we shall return to where Mortals only know
But they shall never know the places we go
Only you and I share that secret land
And if you want to go back, just hold my hand
No other mortal will ever see
The places we go, just you and me
Let them wonder in their own mind of what this place be
But they cannot see it, nor can they be as free
For we just let our souls together take flight
And they will never know what that place is, or how is it a wonderful sight
Its just that little place, under a tree
Just a little place for you and for me.
And what a wonderful place it can be.

Signed Your Dear friend Thomas
Copyright. Thomas Schewitz 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pope Welcomes Back Anti-Semitic Bishop ~ An Insult To Holocaust Survivors & Victims

This week on 27th January it was Holocaust Memorial Day the anniversary of the date of the liberation of Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

I would normally have a great deal to say on the subject and as always point out the many other Holocausts since WW2, and how we should be mindful always that the possibility of even more is not only very real but very likely.

I am sad to say that the Vatican, far from acknowledging that inactivity on their part during WW2 probably helped set the scene whereby Nazism flourished. They now appear to have a Pope in Benedict XVI a Pontiff that echo's some very Nazi views.

Pope Piux XII is often referred to as "Hitler's Pope" as not only did he do little to condemn Nazism which would have in turn gone a long way to possibly prevent the devastation of the Holocaust. Pope Piux XII appeared to both aid and abet the Nazi's in order to consolidate his power over the Catholic Church.
There are historians who state a different case, that this label of "Hitler's Pope" is unfounded as Piux XII was secretly plotting against the Nazi's, Please forgive my utter cynicism, it is what can be seen openly practised that makes the impact. It is also all to often the case that there are some that will always change allegiance to be on the winning side. It would hardly have been acceptable after the event and the discovery of the horrors of the death camps for the Vatican to be seen to have been true supporters.Make no mistake, which ever Pope is in place, he is in reality nothing more than a figure head for a very successful business.

Any doubters that PiuxXII and therefore The Vaitcan were complicit with Nazi activities in WW2, should look to the present day.In a world unsettled both politically and economically we have Pope Benedict XVI, since being elected in April 2005 he has caused insult and controversy.
In September 2006 Benedict caused outrage in the Muslim world when speaking at the University of Regensburg.During his seminar entitled "Faith, Reason and the University: Memories and Reflections" he quoted the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II
""Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Understandable the Muslim world took exception to this, Here we have a Pope, who should be striving for religious tolerance and understanding with these words actively doing the very opposite. There is enough neurosis in this world in regard to Islam, and most of it based on lack of understanding.

In December 2008 at his "End of Year Address" The Pope spoke of Gender, Homosexuality and Transsexuals, he stated that

""But, in so doing, the human being lives against the truth and against the Spirit creator. Rain forests deserve, yes, our protection but the human being - as a creature which contains a message that is not in contradiction with his freedom but is the condition of his freedom - does not deserve it less"

This is a disturbing stance to take over fellow human beings from "Gods representative on earth", of course in this popes lifetime measures were taken to rid the world of this perceived threat.

Pope Benedict XVII was born in Bavaria in 1927. At 14 he joined the Hitler Youth, and much as it is claimed that he often did not attend meetings, one could be forgiven for suspecting that exposure to such at an impressionable age has certainly impacted on him

Just recently the excommunicated Bishop Richard Williamson has been received back into the fold. This man is claimed to be "dangerously anti-Semitic". How can this Pope even entertain this maniac?
Giving an interview to Swedish TV, Williamson, whilst speaking in Regensburg recently said;

“hugely against six million having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler. I believe there were no gas chambers”.
He added: “I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but none of them by gas chambers.”
Regensburg is the same venue where the Pope made his offensive speech about The Muslims and where he once taught.
Holocaust denial is an offence under German law and prosecutoers in Regensburg have opened an enquirey
Sayings of Williamson,
(as published in The Catholic Herald March 2008)

Sayings of Bishop Williamson
'In accordance with their false messianic vocation of Jewish world-domination, the Jews are preparing the Anti-Christ's throne in Jerusalem.'
'Can you imagine Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music staying with the Captain if the romance went out of their marriage? Would she not divorce him and grab his children to be her toys? All the elements of pornography are there...'
'This is my diagnosis of the Unabomber. You may say what you like about him as a criminal terrorist, and much of it is true... But he still has a remotely Catholic sense of how technology brutalises man. How Catholic are those technophiles who wallow at ease in their computers? Give me the Unabomber's seriousness over their shallowness, any day of the week.'
'A woman can do a good imitation of handling ideas, but then she will not be thinking properly as a woman. Did this lawyeress check her hairdo before coming into court? If she did, she is a distracted lawyer. If she did not, she is one distorted woman.'
I feel for the Worlds Catholics as I know they do not share this mans views or those views held by the Pope on Gays or Muslims, but these speeches by him are creating a very dangerous environment, they are the seeds of discontent and suspicion, and scattered far and wide could yet again have devastating results,
Great Oaks and little acorns come to mind.

Put the above together with the finger printing in Italy of Gypsy children, and the camps that have been built to house them "for their own safety" as they are the victims of frequent mob attacks.
The Vatican could do so much to combat this, but so far apart from a few carefully chosen words, have not done so.

Taking all into account, the world political and economic climate, the apparent need to scapegoats and someone to vent hate upon, all the ingredients are there, look back at the history, pay close attention to the economic side. Then consider the power of the Papacy

Pope Benedict XVI was born Joseph Alois Ratzinger in Bavaria the strong hold of the Nazi's. When he was a Cardinal he was known as "PanzerKardinal" because of his hardline stance.

"Give me the child.......and I will show the man"

I understand that there is some unease within the Vatican of late publicly they defend the Pontiff but there is concern, one Vatican prelate said privately

"the Church will pay the price for this one...The Pope is undermining the legacy of John Paul II.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Court of Appeal Rules Against the Residents of Dale Farm over 1000 Face Eviction

On the morning of 22nd January 2009 the Court of Appeal gave it's finding in regard to Dale Farm
The Case was decided by 3 Lord Justices
Lord Justice Pill
Lord Justice Moses
Lord Justice Lloyd
Sadly the previous decision by Mr Justice Collins was over turned and it was found that Basildon Distect Council was not acting unlawfully when it sought to evict the residents.
The full decision is attached, but in brief Lord Justice Pill stated that
"there was a problem for traveller families caused by the limited areas where they may lawfully park".
And this it has to be said is a very large part of the problem. However what is overlooked as far as I can see is the fact that although Gypsy and Travelling families can buy land, they do not get the same or equal consideration by Local Authorities when applying for planning permission, as that afforded to the settled community
It is a very sad and distressing decision for the families that live in the community at Dale Farm.
I would hasten to add that this is purely Legal Decision, as the Court of Appeal can only consider a decision made, and appealed on a point of law, therefore any decision must be made on the existing law as set down.
To prevent future problems we should campaign for the law to be ammended to give "equality to all" applying for planning permission in UK. and for respect for cultural needs and presevation of cultural identity
Let us hope that even at this late hour Basildon Council will make a "moral decision"
If you feel strongly about this I suggest you express your opinion to the Chief Exectitive of Basildon Council, Mr Bala Mahendran
alternately the postal address and direct line to his office are as follows
Bala Mahendran
Chief Executive of Basildon Distrct Council
The Basildon Centre
St Martins Square
Essex. SS14 1DL
tel 01268-294506
I noted with interest that Mr Mahendran is an Asian gentleman, and I would guess looking at his photograph that he would be in middle age.
Mr Mahendran must surely remember, as I do that not that long ago in UK people people were totally nuerotic about people of colour moving into their street or locality, certain that this would devalue their properties ( sound familar), and Enoch Powell made his famous "rivers of blood" speech.
All sorts of stories abounded, and were readily believed about the unsavoury lifestyles and habits of these people, likewise today stories circulate about the Gypsy and Travelling community, these are as unfounded and based bothing more than ignorance and intolerance and fuelled vigorously by certain national newspapers
All of this prejudice was as unacceptable then as the prejudice against Gypsy and Travellers is now. Gypsies are UK's oldest ethnic minority, and yet when it comes to "equality" we are sadly denied this.
Please Mr Mahendran, give our people the same rights and consideration as your family and ethnic group enoy!
To read full Judgement click link below

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Yet More Anti-Gypsyism in UK Press

Yet again the UK Press have felt it perfectly fine to print an article that is blatantly Anti-Gypsy.

The article can be read by clicking the link below. The latest missive appeared in this mornings Daily Mail.

Whilst I can neither confirm or deny the crimes and incidents listed in this article, I would say that if these crimes have been committed then they have been comitted by "some" Gypsy and Travellors, but this article seems to lead the reader to the conclusion that "all" people from our community behave in this was, and therefore all Gypsy and Travellors should be prevented from setting up home on sites.

If this level of hatred was directed at any other minority group in this country there would be public outcry, and quite rightly so.

Recently there seems to be trend in UK press for running such articles which is totally unacceptable.

I share the view that such articles incite racial hatred and should be reported to the police, I myself have reported todays Daily mail article to both my local police authority and to the Metropolitan police, locally the Inspector I spoke to is "taking advice", the Met on the otherhand, stated that such a complaint can only be taken by them if it is presented to them by the Press Complaints Commission, they did not accept my stance that the Police should accept any complaint of a criminal act made to them by a member of the public, who have the right to access police help.

However the Met did give me a crime ref/log number, so if anyone wishes to support my complaint you can ring the Met on 0300-123-1212 and quote Crime Ref/ Log number CHS 9204 of 10th January 2009.
Since posting I have had the following information from Lord Avebury..which I have no doubt is this and then follow the link below to the article
If anyone from the site mentioned in the Daily Mail article reads this and wishes to make complaint PLEASE do so, if you want help doing so please email me
"The Press Complaints Commission say that only complaints from a person who is himself or herself affected by an article has the right to complain. If you know a Gypsy or Traveller living on an unauthorised site in the area mentioned who is prepared to complain it would be good, because in the case of previous anti-Gypsy articles this has always been the stumbling-block.Its also necessary to campaign widely for a change in the terms of reference of the PCC, so that racist articles could be the subject of a complaint by organisations representing the group concerned.
Eric Avebury"

The offending article is below

I am also adding information from an email I recieved recently fromhe Travellor Law Reform Project..shown below

Racist press articles and resistance to site provision

Two unfortunate developments have begun occurring recently. TLRP believes that they are closely linked.

The first is that there have been a number of inflammatory articles in several newspapers concerning site provision for Gypsies and Travellers. Complaints have been made to the Daily Express, the Police Complaints Commission and the police. A protest was held outside the offices of the Press Complaints Commission on Thursday 4 December, at which Candy Sheridan, Vice Chair of the Gypsy Council, handed in a number of individual letters of complaint. The PCC has agreed to meet with the Gypsy Council to discuss the current attacks on Gypsies and Travellers in the press. The police, meanwhile, have moved the complaint of incitement to racial hatred back and forth between Sussex and City of London police and now handed it to the Press Complaints Commission for advice. This is clearly unacceptable, as an allegation has been made that a crime has been committed by the Daily Express, and it is not for an unaccountable body such as the Press Complaints Commission to do the work of the police in investigating the allegation.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Little Treat for You All :-)..The Magic of the Sinti and Gypsy Swing


It's been such a long time since I posted..Thanks for all the emails and good wishes..I hadn't disappeared..I have had some personal difficulties to try and deal with.

I'm sending you all some music ..I hope you enjoy it..I tried to upload them as videos but for some reason blogspot was having none of it so you will have to click on the links below.

and if you liked that .....try this..I adore the bitti moosh with the guitar thats bigger than himself ..bless him

There are some serious issues that I will post soon..but for now ...just enjoy that Gypsy Swing

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dale Farm

The previous post about the planned siezure of children prior to the possible eviction at Dale Farm prompted 2 quite negative comments ( click on the comments link on that post to view)
I would like to thank Dick Jones for emailing me his informed thoughts on the subject. So valid and accurate are the observations made by Dick that I have decided that they are best used as a new post
Many thanks Dick
By Dick Jones
The previous post tells a grim and depressing tale indeed. It would seem that in addressing the ‘Gypsy Problem’ our own local authorities have been studying the philosophy and practices of the Balkan states.
Sadly, the three comments that, at the time of writing, have been appended to the previous post merely lend substance to the narrow, prejudiced and unenlightened views that prevail at the highest levels of government.
Firstly, I would say to Veshengro that the ethnic composition of the Travellers in question is absolutely not the issue here. To ignore what is little more than a process of calculated hostage taking and blackmail on the part of a duly constituted county council in order to pick away at the old English-versus-Irish Traveller issue is, to say the least, crass. History has demonstrated again and again what happens when minorities sharing victim status in the face of systematic persecution insist on maintaining their singularity. Can there be anything more conceptually crazy and practically witless than ignoring the need for solidarity when the pressure is on?
Secondly, in response to Angela B’s insistence on the observance of the letter of the law, I have to say that I find it astonishing that in spite of all the easily accessible data published concerning Traveller numbers, official site availability and planning permission, there are those who’d rather look no further than the ends of their noses in the defence of a set of laws that are unjust and unworkable.
Sorry, guys, but it’s watch-my-lips time! These are the facts.
Traveller numbers. The most recent authoritative data tells us that there are between 90,000 and 120,000 Travellers in the UK today. In July last year, the government tallied 15,014 caravans in England and Wales. Most of them - 10,777 - are on council-run or legal private sites. Just over a quarter are on unauthorised sites - 1,855 - or roadside verges - 2,409 - the unaccommodated total being 4,264. And this figure is changing almost as I write. In 1979, the government tallied 8,358 Traveller caravans in England and Wales. By last year, there were 15,014, not far off double the number in 20 years.
Site availability. The government reckons that there is a need for 4,500 extra pitches in England and Wales. Clearly something of a challenge. However, since in 1994 the Tories trashed the Caravan Sites Act of 1968 (whereby county councils were obliged to provide official sites for Travellers ‘residing in or resorting to’ their territory), the legal requirement to provide sites has released councils from their obligations and the slow, painful but ultimately positive process of providing sites has ground to a halt. Traveller numbers, however, have risen.
Planning permission. So the government of the time seemed to be compounding an unresolved problem rather than hastening a solution. But no problem, said Home Secretary Michael Howard. We’ll establish a level playing field and encourage Travellers to apply for planning permission with no let or hindrance. And an official recommendation was circulated to all county councils suggesting that they identify land within their authority that might be allocated to Traveller families applying for planning permission. To date, 90% of planning applications by Travellers have been turned down with two-thirds of all appeals being rejected against 20% of applications by the sedentary population.
Clearly the overall situation is untenable. According to the BMA, the Traveller community is the health group most at risk in the entire country with the highest child mortality rate and lowest life expectancy. Also Ofsted has identified Traveller children as having low levels of overall educational achievement and as being highly vulnerable to bullying.
The only solution to the inevitability of illegal encampment – whether it be the highly organised and resourceful community of Dale Farm or a patch of scrub next to a landfill facility – is the provision of a network of properly convened sites across the country. Their design and construction should be determined through full consultation with both the Traveller and the housed community. Only through a mutual understanding of the very real concerns and requirements of both communities will this endlessly ongoing conflict be resolved.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Secret Plan To Seize Over A Hundred Gypsy Children in UK

The Article below by Gratton Puxton reveals a shocking and sinister plan..who could ever imagine this mind-think could be possible in a modern day Britain.
These tactics have been used in the past, Gratton was himself involved in an eviction in the 1960's when children were removed, he, himself lost his effect ..he lost his home.

(Pictures of Dale Farm)

Secret plan to seize over a hundred Gypsy children

By Grattan Puxon, Dale Farm

A whistle-blower has revealed the existence of secret plans to seize more than a hundred Gypsy children from the besieged Dale Farm Travellers' community and take them into temporary care.

If a judge gives the go-ahead, the children will be taken by force from their parents as part of the biggest anti-Gypsy operation ever mounted in Britain.

Basildon District Council has set aside five million euro to bulldoze Dale Farm and drive over a thousand so-called illegal Gypsies and Travellers from the area. It has already demolished a dozen Gypsy properties at nearby Hovefields.

According to details obtained by Ustiben, Essex County Council welfare officers would enter Dale Farm village in a fleet of coaches and mini-buses, accompanied by bailiffs and police, some in riot gear.

The media will be told the removal of infants and youngsters, among them some seventy primary-school children, along with the elderly and vulnerable, is for their own safety.They will be detained at a holding centre some miles from Dale Farm.

Officials anticipate that within hours frantic parents will call to demand their children back. According to instructions, they are to be released providing families agree immediately to leave the county under polic escort.

Heavy vehicles, including JCBs, earth-movers and lowloaders will be employed for at least a week raising the village. Its five tarmacked streets, lined by fenced and walled yards, comprise 132 chalets, mobile-homes and caravans, as well as the new Saint Christopher' s community centre and chapel.

Saint Christopher' s is named after a school built by Travellers in Ireland 45 years ago and burned down by Dublin Corporation. It's the headquarters of the Dale Farm Chaveys Youth Club, formed this summer with the help of the Essex Racial Equality Council.

The Gypsy Council is meeting in the centre on Tuesday (9 Sept) to discuss the threat. It has asked for and obtained a confrontation with top Essex officials at County Hall, Chelmsford, which is expected to take place later in the week.

Gypsy Council president Richard Sheridan, chair of the Dale Farm Housing Association, views the county council plan as an abuse of welfare legislation.

"This is county council collusion with Basildon's policy of ethnic-cleansing, " commented Sheridan, who is attending the Roma Summit in Brussels later this month. "They want to crush our homes and take away our children."

Gypsy Council secretary Joseph G.Jones, recently appointed a technical expert to the UN Advisory Committee on Forced Evictions, has submitted a report on the situation for the UN body, which met last week in Nairobi.

The issue as to whether Basildon can destroy Dale Farm, located in a greenbelt zone and lacking planning consent, without alternative accommodation being provided for the 90 families, is to be decided in the Court of Appeal on 5 December.--

Sunday, August 10, 2008

An Urgent Appeal From The Balkans

I have recieved News from my friend Milenko, he has sent the following message and links. I ask you all to take the time to read the publication, please send this link on to as many people as possible. The winter will soon draw in, and as has happened in the past in Kosovo many will perish.

I was horrofied, but not at all surprised to read that the Red Cross no longer provides donations to refugees and the displaced. When people give their kind "donations" to the Red Cross I wonder is they are aware of this...I think not. Refugees and the displaced are surely amongst the most vulnerable people on the planet, yet this worldwide charity offers them no help, Shameful.
You can tell them what you think at this email address

I urge you all to contact the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and ask for urgent assistence

UNHCR is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
United Nations High Commissioner for RefugeesCase Postale 2500CH-1211 Genève 2 DépôtSuisse.
telephone number:+41 22 739 8111 (automatic switchboard).

To contact by email you will need to go to the website


The message from Milenko is below;

Dear friends,
Balkan Refugee Voice is a publication that in this issue informs readers about the living conditions of refugees living in Serbia, about the Readmission Agreement signed by Serbia and the EU, about Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Kosovo, and the Erased (Izbrisani) from Slovenia.You can download Balkan Refugee Voice here:
And if you would like to print it and distribute it you can download it here:

Freedom Fight (Serbo-Croatian: Pokret za slobodu) is an organization devoted to working on issues of worker, refugee, and students' rights. Among other projects Freedom Fight organizers produce Z-Magazine Balkans, a printed version of Z-Magazine in the Serbo-Croatian language, as well as monthly bulletins such as Workers' Voice, Refugee Voice, etc. produced by and for affected communities.
More at:
Freedom Fight (Pokret za slobodu)

Roma Education in Belarus

I have recieved the following article from Nicolas Kalinin in Belarus. Again, I would be grateful if after you have read this, you pass it on.
Education is paramount to to future of our people,
Nais tuke Nicolas mi pral !

Don’t stay aside from Belarus

Recently Lukashenko signed new edition of State educational system program. It was so many discussion about future edition in society but finally everything happened even worst that anybody accepted.
Belarusian authority still neglects national minorities. I want to remind, that some years ago Belarusian Section of International Society of Human Rights have done proposition to Lukashenko about Roma educational problems. One from there plenty directions how to solve low percent of Educated Roma people, was idea to establish Roma school or Roma classes. By official origins of information, only 2 percent of Roma population has finished secondary school (9 classes). Its official number, which seems too increased (exaggerated) a lot to decorate real situation.
Well, now Belarus has new Educational system. But again Roma minority in Belarus still has not been involved in educational process. Some independent experts assured that its not single case, its policy. Policy to prevent Roma people to been educated, to prevent Roma people to have a job, to separate Roma people from society! Odd, isn’t it? Its not odd, its terrible but we have to live with it.
Belarusian authority well informed about Roma minority problems, they have access to all information. But it’s a policy in Belarus. In Belarus discrimination against Roma is not a social problem. Its political. Actually, nothing new, we saw that kind of behavior before. From Saddam, When Kurds had not rights at all and it was in contemporary history.
I always ask myself, what poor Roma people have done to Belarusian Authority, to merit so strong hate in return? Its strange because, Roma is single minority discriminated in Belarus. There is no discrimination against Poles minority in Belarus, it wasn’t Poles minority in Belarus and wouldn’t be even in theory. Famous “Grodno” case nothing more than well financed fake. Why Roma?
Europe and USA have to do something for Belarus. Its so beautiful country, I really like it, so, It seems to me, we deserves to give as a hand. Don’t stay aside from Belarus.

Kalinin Nicolas
European Roma Travelers Forum

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Red Cross Collaborates in Ethnic Filing of Roma in Italy"

Once again the Red Cross are demonstrating that they are not in fact "nuetral" as they always claim to be. Italian Police are being assisted by the Red Cross to carry out the abhorent act of finger printing the Romani people, including innocent little children.

The Romani in Italy live in squallor and are the victims of frequent and extreme racial attacks, which the police fail to prevent.

The Red Cross should be involved, but far from finger printing these poor people they should be doing what they can to help them.

Although I do not dispute that the Red Cross does do a huge amount of good work worldwide, sadly when it comes to our people it is a very different story. In a more recent "Holocaust" the Red Cross failed to help the Roma when they were dying , often freezing to death on the Macedonian border, the help was there, but the Red Cross workers who were mostly Albanian refused the aid on purely racial grounds.

In World War 2 the Red Cross played an active part, collaborating with the Nazi's and aiding them in the deportation of innocent people to the death camps.

And now we have this horror taking place in a modern Europe, in a so called civilized country.
Please email the spokes person for the International Committee for the Red Cross to protest.

Please also sign the petition


Press release - European Center for Antiziganism Research Monday July 14, 2008
Massimo Barra, the head of the Italian Red Cross, insisted that the aim was to integrate Roma people into Italian society. If children were fingerprinted, it would be done "as a game", he said. Mr Barra said the Red Cross "always respects human rights. We are building bridges, not walls." 5 July, The Times
The European Center for Antiziganism Research based in Hamburg, Germany condemns in the strongest possible terms the involvement of the Italian Red Cross in assisting the Italian Government in the ethnic registration and profiling of Roma. We urge members of European Civil Society to condemn this action of the Italian Red Cross and to pressure the Red Cross (internationally) to demand that their Italian division withdraw from this involvement.
The registration of minorities is contrary to European Data and Minority Protection legislation in Italy, and yesterday, the European Parliament itself passed a Resolution against the fingerprinting of Roma in Italy, see a recent news report at:
The announcement that the Red Cross will assist the Italian police in the registration and fingerprinting of Roma in Rome, Naples and Milan was made by Massimo Barra, Head of the Italian Red Cross, in an interview published in The Times on July 5. This was confirmed in a statement by the Italian Minister of the Interior, Mr. Roberto Maroni, published in the Südtiroler Zeitung on July 10, that the government of Silvio Berlusconi is proud of the participation of the Red Cross in the ethnic registration and fingerprinting of Roma.
The decision of the Italian Red Cross to assist a neo-fascistic Government in singling out the Roma for registration and profiling is chillingly reminiscent of Red Cross collaborations with the Nazis during WWII in the registering, deportations and destruction of Roma life. Moreover, today these actions are being validated by arguments that are similar to those of Nazi German, which state that Roma and Sinti need to be controlled as a means of “crime-prevention”.
We ask every Board and Organizational Structure of the Red Cross to condemn the actions of the Italian Red Cross which support the current Italian government’s recent measures towards Roma.
We request an official Statement from the International Red Cross, as a matter of urgency, condemning the behaviour of the Italian Red Cross for their support of the policies of the neo-fascistic Italian Government. We demand an immediate interdiction of this support for the Italian Police in ethnic profiling and registrations of Roma.
Furthermore, we urge members of European Civil Society to pressure the Red Cross by withdrawing their support, and stopping their financial support to its activities.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Roma in Italy~ A case of Deja Vu?

I do not need to express my horror and outrage at the communication I have received from the Council of Europe, Concerms have been raised for some time about the Italian government making "camps" to keep the Roma in. Cast your mind back 60+ years. But more recently...remember Kosovo..Ruanda..and currently the situation in Zimbabwi.
History just keeps repeating itself over and over again

In response to the many requests for information on who to write to to express disapproval. May I suggest that you contact the Pope. During WW2 Pope Piux X11 maintained a public front of indifference on the grounds of "nuetrality". I'm not going to deliver one of my famous rants about this, however I do think that this Pope given his own history and background should be seen to speak out against this. The Popes English is impeccable therefore he will understand any correspondence written to him in English.I'm sure he would want to hear peoples veiws on this, with that in mind is the Holy Father's personal email address

Please read the communication from The Council of Europe, please also watch the BBC News video

Subject: SG - Proposal to fingerprint Roma in Italy - Proposition de relever les empreintes digitales des Roms en Italie
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 16:14:38 +0200

From: "Council of Europe "

Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis on the proposal to fingerprint Roma in Italy
Strasbourg, 27.06.2008 - "The Italian Minister of Interior is reported to have proposed that all Roma, including children, living in camps in Italy should be fingerprinted. This proposal invites historical analogies which are so obvious that they do not even have to be spelled out. While I believe that Italian democracy and its institutions are mature enough to prevent any such ideas becoming laws, I am nevertheless concerned that a senior member of the government of one of Council of Europe member states is reported to have made such a proposal."
Thanks to the BBC for the report below

These Romani children died in "camps"

Write to your Euro MP



Sunday, June 8, 2008

UK's Only Gypsy Magistrate Sacked For Criticising The Police

I would like to thank Robert Verkaik of the Independent newspaper for kindly writing this article.
If you read this and the article underneath about another Magistrate who to my mind quite rightly spoke out against the Police, then you must draw your own conclusions as to why this gentleman was not sacked, but I was
Kushti baxt
Anyone who did not see the original posting on this matter please scroll down a little, the post on the balance of the scales of justice gives far more detail.

Straw sacks magistrate who criticised police
By Robert VerkaikSunday, 8 June 2008

Jack Straw was at the centre of a political row last night after he sacked a magistrate who criticised the police for failing to protect her daughter from being physically assaulted at school.
Mr Straw, the Secretary of State for Justice, has written to the magistrate saying that while he understands a mother's desire to help her daughter, her criticism of the police means she can no longer be trusted to be impartial in court.
"We have concluded that although you acted with the best interests of your daughter, your behaviour has led to your impartiality being brought into question," Mr Straw said in the letter. "It is clear that by mentioning you were a magistrate and then criticising the police, the two issues became linked and therefore there is doubt whether you would be able to consider matters involving the police impartially."
Shay Clipson, 50, a magistrate from Grimsby, Humberside, believed to be the only Romany magistrate on the bench in England and Wales, had asked police to help protect her 13-year-old daughter from a gang that had been bullying her in and out of school.
She claims her daughter had been subjected to beatings, racially abused, spat on, had cigarettes stubbed out in her hair, and had been thrown into the traffic on a very busy road.
The news comes a week after it emerged that the family of 15-year-old Arsema Dawit had complained to the police that she was being harassed shortly before she was stabbed to death in a London council block.
Ms Clipson said: "On 20 September 2007, my daughter had been told by a key member of this gang that she was going to be subject to a beating, possibly during the lunch break, failing that definitely on her way home. Neither the headteacher nor the head of year would make themselves available to speak to me. I told the school that in that case I would have to involve the police."
But, she said, the local police made it clear that they would not intervene. When Ms Clipson complained about the officers' alleged inaction, the police reported her behaviour to the local bench committee and then to Mr Straw, who upheld her dismissal.
Police were later forced to investigate when her daughter was badly assaulted by a family member of the same gang. In a separate incident, recorded on mobile phones and uploaded to YouTube, Ms Clipson's daughter was kicked unconscious on the school playingfield.
But Mr Straw, in a joint ruling with the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, found that by raising the fact that she was a member of the local magistracy, Ms Clipson cannot be trusted to do her job.
David Howarth, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on justice, said: "Mr Straw's action is shameful and very heavy-handed ... Why can't a magistrate criticise the police? ... The police should not be able to end the career of a magistrate just because they don't like being criticised."
Ms Clipson said she feels let down by the system. "I was acting as a mother who had good reason to be both furious and to question the lack of competence and ethics that were being displayed. Not only was my child terrified for her safety, this campaign of terror was based on racism, mainly her Welsh accent, and possibly her Romany background, yet the police were not doing enough to support her."

Magistrate’s shock at Boro fans’ treatment by police
Apr 30 2008 by Marie Levy, Evening Gazette

TEESSIDE magistrate Mick Dobson today told of his shock at seeing innocent fans intimidated by police at the Wear-Tees derby.
The Sunderland fan has vowed never to attend another derby match after witnessing what he describes as police provoking trouble from the minute fans stepped off the train.
Mr Dobson, who works as a scout for Manchester City Football Club, said: “I have been working in professional football for 20 years and I have never seen anything like it.
“I have nothing but scorn for Northumbria Police, so much so that I will not go to another derby match again. I feel nothing but sympathy for the Middlesbrough supporters; they were very harshly treated.”
Mr Dobson, who lives in Norton, got the train to the match with his wife, Maureen and Boro fans Maggie and Len Robinson of Billingham.
He said there was a stark contrast between the way police treated them at Middlesbrough and the hostile reception they got in Sunderland.
“Police at Middlesbrough station put the four of us at the bottom end of the train. They operated really friendly and professionally.
“There were Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Hartlepool and Nottingham Forest supporters on the train. The banter was very friendly and there were no incidents

“As we came into Sunderland railway station we saw about 50 police on the platform, many in full riot gear. They opened only one door which meant we had to get off the train one at a time.
“Ten to 20 police ran towards us shouting, screaming and banging their riot gear - it was unbelievable. The police were very intimidating and very aggressive. There were a lot of people getting pushed about who were not even going to the match.
“One old woman was crying her eyes out. She had only gone up for the shopping.”
When questioned an inspector told Mr Dobson it was his job to be intimidating but he soon changed his tone when he was informed that Mr Dobson was a magistrate.
“They escorted us to the exit but all the doors were locked and bolted. If there had been a fire there would have been a lot of casualties,” said Mr Dobson, who also had to wait for over an hour for his friends to be let out of the Stadium of Light after the match.
“The police were provoking a lot of the trouble. To be honest I might not even go back to Sunderland. I’m at an age now where I do not want the hassle.
“I was just really annoyed that people could be treated like this.
“As a magistrate I try to be fair and reasonable and look at both sides, people are always innocent until proven guilty.”
Northumbria Police Superintendent Neil Mackay, head of the force’s operations unit, said: “From the intelligence and evidence we had we were aware that large numbers of risk groups from both sides would be attending the match.
“They arrived at the city centre early and began drinking in public houses and there was some disorder during the match.”
He said most fans were good supporters but there were some groups causing confrontation.
“My officers came under attack from bottles,” he said. “My intention at any game like this is to prevent innocent fans from being injured.
“We did that, but the only way to police a match safely is to take a strong stand with some supporters.”

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Plight Of The Roma in Serbia

I have been asked by "Freedom Fight" to inckude their video on the plight of the Roma in Serbia

Please take the time to watch this video about a very sad situation

I apologise to the good people at Freedom Fight for the delay in getting this posted

you can also visit the Freeedom Fight web page