Roma protest against European-wide racism

On July 28 in Bucharest, Romania, Roma people lead a protest against the racist policies of the Italian government and recent crimes against Roma people in Ukraine. 

Claudia Ciobanu
Claudia Ciobanu NewsMavens, Central & Eastern Europe
Roma protest against European-wide racism - NewsMavens
Sign from Roma protest, YouTube

Why this story matters:

This is the first time the Roma people in Romania have mobilized to protest the European-wide racism against Roma.

The action has been triggered by the numerous racist attacks against Roma people taking place across the continent over the last few months. 

It was also provoked by the unprecedented decision of the newly elected Italian government to organise a census of Roma people and expel the non-Italian ones -- a move which has been compared to measures taken against Jews in the run-up to the Holocaust. 

Details from the story:

  • Under the slogan 'Dosta!' ('Enough!'), hundreds of Roma and their allies gathered on  July 28 in Bucharest and marched to the Italian and Ukrainian embassies to protest against acts of racism committed in these countries by the government (in Italy) and far-right activists (in Ukraine). 
  • "We protest against the ambiguity and superficiality with which the European Commission and various states fight against racism," organisers said. "These mean the physical safety of Roma people in Europe is in grave danger."
  • In June this year, newly elected Italian far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini said he would call for a census of all Roma living in the country and expel all non-Italian Roma people. He had previously refused to allow migrant ships rescued in the Mediterranean from docking in Italy. 
  • The same month, ultra-nationalists attacked a Roma settlement near Lviv in Ukraine, killing one person and injuring several others, including a child. 
  • Several other attacks on Roma settlements had taken place in Ukraine and in other European countries over the past months. 

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