Travellers rights

EU fences off refugees


Hugh Edwards

As the leaders of the EU countries on 27-29 June put their names to their “universal accord” on immigration policy, news arrived of another horrific tragedy off the coast of Libya.

A hundred men, women, and children drowned as their rubber boat exploded and they drifted helplessly in waters where NGO rescue ships are now banned by Marco Minniti, Italy’s Minister of the Interior, not in the current right-wing Italian government, but in the previous centre-left one.

Don't believe what you read in the Mail


Harry Davies

Over the last fortnight the national press has picked up a story about a violent incident at Hinde House School in Sheffield.

To take the version initially printed by the Sheffield Star and then picked up by the Mail... three Roma Slovak pupils attacked another boy following an argument “about a football”. The victim was “punched to the ground” and left with a broken nose. The school has now, the reports continue, been presented with a 1,600 name petition demanding that, in the words of one parent “something be done”.

Freedom of movement for all

The latest ideas coming from reformists on migration are worth discussing.

On the one hand you have a recent Institute for Public Policy Research report which argues that we have to accept freedom of movement of labour within the EU and it distances itself from UKIP and the Tories. That’s fine. But it also talks about being tough on the misuse of these rights.

Sheffield: “The Roma are under the cosh”

Andy Shallice, an socialist activist based in Sheffield, spoke to Solidarity about the background to David Blunkett’s recent attacks on Roma migrants living in Page Hall, Sheffield.

In the original Radio Sheffield interview Blunkett did [about frictions between Roma and other communities living in Page Hall] there were no quotes about race riots.

Fight anti-Roma racism!

The French philosopher Michel Foucault once said that the way those with most power talk about those with least power always shines new light on the nature of power. We have learned a lot about power in the last week.

On 11 November, Sheffield Brightside MP and former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett claimed that the influx of central European Roma migrants into the Park Hall area of his constituency was causing so much friction there could be riots. He blamed the Romani migrants. He said:

No to anti-Roma racism!

Solidarity 301 (25 October) reported on the case of Maria, the “unusual” girl found living in a Roma community in Greece and removed from her family.

Fanned by racist outcries from the media, Maria was quickly proclaimed to probably be of Northern or Eastern European origin and in all likelihood trafficked, all based on her physical appearance.

Fight anti-Roma hysteria!

The case of a young girl named Maria living in a Roma community in Greece has caused a disturbing outcry.

She was noticed by the authorities because “she looked unusual... lack of resemblance between the blonde-haired, green-eyed, pale-skinned little girl and her parents”.

Basildon Council orders Dale Farm families to pay for their eviction

In October 2011, Basildon Council violently evicted 83 families from land they owned (at Dale Farm) because they did not have planning permission.

Now, Basildon Council has told families who have virtually nothing left that they must pay £4.3 million for the cost of the eviction!

Anti-racists fight “special schools” for Roma

Roma, Traveller, and socialist activists demonstrated outside the Czech and Slovakian embassies in Kensington on Tuesday 13 November against the policy of “special schools” for Roma children in these countries.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has called the schools “Educational Apartheid”.

The schools, which are invariably inferior and chronically underfunded, have continued to exist in defiance of a ECHR ruling, and illustrate the rising tide of anti-Roma persecution across the former Eastern Bloc.

"Fight for Sites" campaign launched

On 20 September, around 50 supporters of the Traveller Solidarity Network gathered in Toynbee Hall in East London to launch a new campaign, Fight For Sites.

The Traveller Solidarity Network sprang up out of the battle to stop the brutal eviction of Traveller families from the Dale Farm site in Essex following a long campaign by the Tory council, supported by a racist local press and a groundswell of anti-Traveller bigotry.

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