Archiv der Kategorie 'Großbritanien'

Ex-Yorkshire mayor in racism storm over anti-Muslim and ‘Romania gypsy’ tweets

A FORMER Yorkshire mayor faces being reported to the police over alleged racism and anti-Muslim comments on social media.

Councillor Heather Venter, who was mayor of Driffield in 2013 and 2014, supported controversial posts on Twitter, but denies harbouring racist views. One tweet she ‘liked’ said: “Shouldn’t employ Muslims. Nothing but trouble.” Another tweeted on April 30, read: “Sadly, looks like Romania’s Gypsy begger/pickpockets will b [sic] soon replaced by African Muslims.” She also tweeted a link to an article by a neo-Nazi website that read: “White South Africans march in London against white genocide.” The controversy comes after a website accused the councillor of racism for her Twitter activity.George McManus of the Beverley and Holderness Labour Party. said the tweets ‘liked’ by Coun Venter were “designed to cause offence”. He added: “There’s no room for remarks like these in a civilised society. I am particularly concerned that this person occupies a position of authority as a councillor and that this impacts badly on the reputation of the good people of Driffield. They are in my opinion designed to cause offence and to cause racial and religious hatred. (mehr…)

Roma woman flees racial attacks in Czech Republic, becomes UK police officer

In Czech society, stereotypes usually put ethnic Roma on the wrong side of the law. In Great Britain, Romani people are offered unsuspected opportunities, and so it is that Dana Ghosh, a Romani woman from the Czech Republic, is in her police uniform for the first time today.

In the English town of Peterborough, Ghosh is expected to mainly serve the large Romani community. Czech Radio reports that her ethnic origin was not important at all when she applied for the prestigious job.

„I liked the idea. I thought about it a lot and ultimately I decided to go for it. The whole process lasted about five months. I learned I got the job a couple of weeks ago. I‘m enthusiastic about it,“ says Ghosh, who is originally from the town of Opava.

Ghosh, who is now a mother of two, left the Czech Republic with her parents and siblings because of racial attacks in 1998 and relocated to Britain. Now the delicate, elegant young woman in her third year of college has become a community police officer.

„I didn‘t say I was a Romani woman during the interview, but I remembered that I speak Romani fluently,“ Ghosh says. Reportedly no one even asked about her ethnic origin.

„I can imagine being useful in that field. I definitely will do my best to help the community and people here as much as possible. Probably the most troubled area, in my opinion, will be Pakistani and Romani relations,“ she says.

Another Peterborough police officer of Romani origin from the Czech Republic, a man, is already working in that area. „I am looking forward to having a colleague here who will be able to shoulder part of my obligations and my work. I will support her however I can so that everyone in the community knows who she is. I believe she really has great potential to change the way the community runs, for people to trust her,“ says officer Petr Torák (pictured above).

„For Dana this is really a chance to become a role model, not just for the Romani community, but generally for the members of all national minorities. When a police officer is directly a member of the community she serves, there’s no language barrier, that’s a big victory,“ says experienced police officer Jim Davies, who also chairs the Gypsy Roma Traveller Police Association.

Date: 29.09.2014

Police accused of ‘institutional racism’ towards Romanies

Inquiry launched after Gypsy officer says he was subjected to years of racial abuse

One of Britain’s largest police forces has launched a review into how it deals with Gypsies, Roma and Travellers after being accused of institutional racism by one of its own officers. Thames Valley Police said yesterday that it had reached a settlement with Constable Jim Davies, an English Romany Gypsy who claimed at an employment tribunal earlier this year that he had been subjected to years of racial abuse. PC Davies, 52, from Brackley, Northamptonshire, also alleged that he had witnessed other officers referring to Romany Gypsies as “pikeys”. His experiences led him to found Britain’s first Gypsy Roma Traveller Police Association (GRTPA), which launched in March and now has 55 members. In a statement, Thames Valley Police said it would “not tolerate any form of discrimination towards any minority group”. It added: “In light of the issues and observations raised by PC Davies, a review of how Thames Valley Police engages with Gypsy Roma Traveller communities will be commenced. “This review will be conducted independently and will involve a review of existing policies and procedures to ensure Thames Valley Police serves all of its communities and ensures that any racial stereotyping or outdated practices and procedures are amended or removed.” PC Davies, who has worked for Thames Valley Police for 20 years and is currently in the fixed penalty unit, told The Independent he had never sought any financial compensation from the force because his only motivation was to “change things and make things better”. Although he was unable to talk about the specifics of his own case for legal reasons, PC Davies said he had set up the new association because of the lack of a “support network” for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller police officers, who he said faced “open discrimination”. “It’s not something that’s peculiar to the police, it’s there in all walks of life and all occupations,” he said. “Various members tell a similar story: it’s very rare for someone to challenge a colleague for racist behaviour or racist comments if those comments apply to Gypsies and Travellers. And that makes for a very difficult working environment.” (mehr…)

Anti-Roma bias, job fears aid far-right in central Europe

The people of this peaceful village at the foot of the Slovak mountains vented their anger by electing as their regional governor a man who calls his Roma compatriots „parasites“ and admires a wartime figure who collaborated with the Nazis. Marian Kotleba’s landslide victory in November exposed pent-up frustration over unemployment and neglect by mainstream parties, together with a deep-seated animosity towards the Roma, factors that have built support for extremist politicians in Slovakia and elsewhere in central Europe. Still, many were shocked when Kotleba – a former high school teacher who looks back fondly on the Slovak state that was allied with the Nazis during World War Two – came from nowhere to win 77 percent of the vote in Balog, 260 km (160 miles) northeast of Bratislava, the capital. Overall, in the central Slovak region of Banska Bystrica, he won 55 percent, enough to become regional governor and a further sign that some European voters frustrated with the economic crisis were willing to take chances with extremists. Nationalist sentiment is increasingly directed against Slovakia’s Roma, a minority of 400,000 in the country of 5.4 million who live on the fringes of society, suffering from poverty, poor education and limited job prospects. In some settlements they have no access to running water. With European Union expansion opening borders, deprived regions have seen waves of departures, including some of Europe’s 10 million Roma, to countries such as Canada and Britain, where immigration has again become a hot issue. British Prime Minister David Cameron has imposed new regulations on migrants amid fears of an influx of poor people from Romania and Bulgaria, for whom restrictions on free movement within the EU expired at the end of December. Kotleba, who did not respond to requests to be interviewed for this article, ran on a platform that derided „Gypsy parasites“. Some Roma, whose forebears arrived in central Europe from India in the Middle Ages, see Gypsy as a derogatory term. Kotleba once ran a party that was disbanded for racial hatred. The 36-year-old has organized marches in military-style uniforms and praised Jozef Tiso, the wartime leader of Nazi-allied Slovakia. His party’s newsletters talk about „desperate villages and towns suffering from crime and terror from Gypsy extremists“. „We voted for him out of desperation,“ said Martina Strorcova, a pub owner in Cierny Balog. She says local people on low incomes often accuse Roma of drawing welfare benefits while not being willing to work. „It is bad to see how some of us toil and others take social support,“ Strorcova said. The pub in the village centre only has two customers at lunchtime, and Strorcova says business is tough. People who work at the local iron works bring home just 430 euros ($590) a month. The Slovak minimum wage is 337 euros a month, less than 2 euros an hour, against the equivalent of 7.50 euros in Britain. Cierny Balog’s 5,000 inhabitants include about 700 out of work during the winter, said social worker Lubomira Pancikova. „The problem is unemployment, not only among the Roma but overall. Young people run away, men and women in their most productive years,“ Pancikova said. The official jobless rate in the region is 18.1 percent, although in some areas it tops 30 percent. It is the second worst in the country and far above the national average of 13.7 percent. Kotleba promises to create jobs through public works schemes, setting up public companies and farms. „He wants to give normal people, and the Roma, a pick-axe in their hands and make them work,“ said Ivana Galusova, who voted for Kotleba. In fact, Kotleba may not be able to do much. He will be isolated in a regional assembly dominated by Smer, the leftist party of Prime Minister Robert Fico. (mehr…)

Alarm Sounded on Anti-Roma Rhetoric as Door Opens to More EU Workers

Politicians are inflaming community tensions with anti-Roma rhetoric, an alliance of Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs has warned as Britain opens its borders to Bulgarian and Romanian workers.

MPs on the all-parliamentary party group on Gypsies, Travellers and Roma sounded the alarm about provocative language as a prominent Tory council leader suggested some Roma are planning to come to the UK to „pickpocket and aggressively beg“ following the end of labour market controls on the two eastern European countries.

On Tuesday, ahead of the restrictions expiring at midnight, Philippa Roe, of Westminster city council, blamed Roma in central London for already causing „a massive amount of disruption and low-level crime“, including defecating on doorsteps. Speaking on the BBC, she called for more limits on benefits for new arrivals from EU countries and claimed there would be rising costs in council tax unless the government offers financial help.

„I know the vast majority of Romanians and Bulgarians planning to come to the UK are planning to work and contribute to society here,“ she said. „But I think the fear that everybody faces is those that come to Britain and either fail to find jobs and therefore fall back on our welfare system, or those who deliberately come here to pickpocket and aggressively beg. (mehr…)

David Blunkett riot fear over Roma migrant tensions

Tensions between local people and Roma migrants could escalate into rioting unless action is taken to improve integration, David Blunkett has warned.

The former home secretary fears a repeat of race riots that hit northern cities in 2001. His concerns centre on the Page Hall area of Sheffield, where Roma migrants from Slovakia have set up home. But he also accused the government of „burying their head in the sand“ over the scale of Roma settlement in the UK. In an interview with BBC Radio Sheffield, he said the Roma community had to make more of an effort to fit in with British culture. „We have got to change the behaviour and the culture of the incoming community, the Roma community, because there’s going to be an explosion otherwise. We all know that.“

‚Downtrodden village‘

The Sheffield Brightside MP said he feared a repeat of the violence that erupted between Asian and white youths in Bradford and other cities in 2001. „If everything exploded, if things went really wrong, the community would obviously be devastated. We saw this in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham all those years ago when I first became home secretary. We saw that the community itself were the losers.“ He called on the Roma community in Page Hall to change aspects of their „behaviour“, such as congregating on the streets on summer evenings and dumping litter, which he said was „aggravating“ local people. „We‘ve got to be tough and robust in saying to people you are not in a downtrodden village or woodland, because many of them don‘t even live in areas where there are toilets or refuse collection facilities. You are not there any more, you are here – and you‘ve got to adhere to our standards, and to our way of behaving, and if you do then you‘ll get a welcome and people will support you.“ Mr Blunkett said the local population in Page Hall, which he said was made up of people with „Pakistani backgrounds, Somali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemeni and traditional white working class“ also had to make an effort to reach out to the Roma community. „By all means express how you feel but do something with us. Join the people who are doing something about it,“ he told them. The MP said „phenomenal“ progress was being made by community groups to improve integration in Page Hall but the government’s decision to axe Labour’s Migration Impact Fund – a £50m pot for councils to ease pressure on housing, schools and hospitals – was hampering these efforts. „We are not asking for a lot of money. We are just asking for a bit of understanding from government. A bit of interest. The government’s just not interested. It’s absolutely pivotal to holding this community together.“ (mehr…)

UK has one of largest Roma populations in Western Europe with 200,000 living here

Contradicts Government claims ‚relatively few‘ had set up home here
Most of the Roma citizens thought to have arrived in the last ten years
200,000 figure is four times 49,000 estimated four years ago in a report
Some 183,000 have set up home in England as well as 3,000 in Scotland

Britain has one of the largest Roma populations in Western Europe – with about 200,000 living here – says an authoritative report. The study contradicts Government claims that ‘relatively few Roma citizens’ had set up home in this country. Most are thought to have arrived in the last ten years. The 200,000 figure is four times the 49,000 estimated just four years ago in a report prepared for the Department of Children School and Families. Some 183,000 have set up home in England, with 3,000 in Scotland, 900 in Wales, and 500 in Northern Ireland. The findings come amid concerns about how many more migrants will arrive when restrictions on workers from Romania and Bulgaria are relaxed in January. It is claimed most of the migrants have arrived since a number of eastern European countries, including Slovakia and the Czech Republic, joined the European Union in 2004. The latest study, conducted by the University of Salford and seen by Channel 4 News, concluded the migrant Roma population in Britain was ‘significant’, increasing, and that 200,000 was almost certainly a ‘conservative estimate’. As well as London, Yorkshire, the North West and the Midlands are identified as areas where large numbers of Roma live. According to Channel 4 News, Sheffield has seen a big influx of Roma families over the last ten years. A decade ago, only one or two were living in the Page Hall area of the city. There are now several hundred families – with more arriving. Families of ten children are not uncommon. Miroslav Sandor, who works in a local advice centre in Sheffield for Roma people, came to the UK in 2004 when Slovakia joined the EU. He was drawn by the chance to send his children to school and college. He told the programme: ‘We came here for a better life, having a job, having education for my children.’ Miroslav ‘Bob’ Sandor, his son, said: ‘In Slovakia when you go to school they don’t let you go to college. If you Roma they just don’t care about you.’ Gulnaz Hussain, manager of an advice centre for migrants in Sheffield, said: ‘I don’t think we could accommodate more people arriving. I think it’s taken its toll in terms of numbers and houses that are available.’ When asked if Roma people had been welcomed, she responded: ‘There’s been some increased tension since their arrival.’ One of the local residents, Jane Howarth, who is not Roma but has taken it upon herself to organise street patrols around Page Hall, said she often saw ‘hoards of people, Roma, standing on street corners, drinking, eating, chucking all their rubbish’. Dr Philip Brown, one of the authors of the study, said: ‘A few years ago we didn’t really understand the number of migrant Roma in the UK.’ The Council of Europe estimates the population across the whole continent is somewhere above 11million – with 6million in the EU. Of those, around two million live in Romania. Spain has the largest Roma population in Western Europe, with 750,000, followed by France with 400,000.

Source: Daily Mail Online
Date: 30.10.2013

London: Porajmos-Gedenken und Proteste gegen Antiromanismus

Am 2. August 2013 ereigneten sich Proteste von organisierten Roma gegen die antiromanistischen Zustände in Europa im Zentrum Londons. Weiterhin fand im Hyde Park eine Gedenkveranstaltung für die Opfer des Porajmos (der Völkermord an den Sinti und Roma durch die Nazis) statt. Ab 15 Uhr fand eine Protestkundgebung vor den Botschaften der Tschechischen Republik und der der Slowakei statt, bei denen die Autor_innen dieses Artikels allerdings nicht anwesend waren.

Um 17 Uhr versammelten sich dann ungefähr vierzig Personen vor dem Hyde Park Holocaust Memorial, um der Gedenkveranstaltung für die Opfer des Porajmos beizuwohnen. Die Veranstaltung war von der Roma-Organisation 8th April Movement organisiert worden. Deren Aktivist Grattan Puxon war auch einer der Redner auf der Kundgebung. Er erinnerte an die Verfolgung und Deportation der Sinti und Roma in der Nazi-Zeit und betonte, dass der Antiromanismus auch heute noch ein großes Problem sei.

Eine weitere Rede eines Historikers erinnerte an die Ermordung der Sinti und Roma im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz in der Nacht vom 2. auf den 3. August 1944. Er verwies vor allem auch darauf, dass die Sinti und Roma damals Widerstand gegen ihre Ermordung geleistet hatten und nicht ¨wie die Schafe zum Schlachthof¨ gelaufen seien. Er erwähnte auch, wie bereits zurvor Grattan Puxon, dass Antiromanismus heutzutage dazu verhelfe, Wahlen zu gewinnen, also mehrheitsfähig sei und dass diesem Problem nur durch Erinnerung an die Geschichte beizukommen sei. Hierzu sei es nicht nur notwendig, dass Sinti und Roma die Stimme erheben, sondern auch, dass ihnen zugehört werde.

Weitere Redner kamen von anderen Roma-Organisationen, unter anderen aus Tschechien, sowie von einer antirassistischen Organisation aus Hiroshima, die auch an die Bombardierung Hiroshimas gedachte. Außerdem wurde auf die gewaltsame Räumung der Travellers in Dale Farm verwiesen (mehr Informationen:

Ein Redner von der Jewish Socialist Group sprach den von Antiromanismus betroffenen seine Solidarität aus und kritisierte, dass auf dem Gedenkstein für die Opfer des Holocaust in Hyde Park nur die jüdischen Opfer erwähnt werden. Dies müsse sich ändern.

Um 18 Uhr 30 versammelten sich schließlich nocheinmal bis zu 45 Personen vor der französischen Botschaft, die südlich des Hyde Park gelegen ist. Dort wurde einerseits gegen die Räumung eines Roma Camps im Zentrum Londons durch die Polizei in der letzten Woche protestiert, zum anderen gegen die große Anzahl an vergleichbaren Räumungen und Abschiebungen von Roma in Frankreich protestiert. Die Demonstrierenden stellten sich mit Transparenten in den Eingang der Botschaft, wurden allerdings nach einiger Zeit von der Polizei aufgefordert, den Eingangsbereich zu verlassen.

Die Anwesenden formierten sich nun zu einem Demonstrationszug, der mit Unterstützung durch eine Samba Band zur Marble Arch, dem Ort des geräumten Roma Camps, zog und sich dort auflöste.

Informationen zur Räumung des Camps an der Marble Arch und Aufruf zu den heutigen Protesten:

london_tourists (Die Autor_innen dieses Artikels sind weiße Aktivist_innen aus antifaschistischen Zusammenhängen aus Deutschland, die zufällig an den Protesten teilnahmen und andere Menschen auf diesem Wege über das Geschehene informieren möchten)

Quelle: Indymedia
Stand: 03.08.2013

Where Am I To Go? London Roma Evicted

In another dawn swoop, an encampment was destroyed at Hendon last month. Some families agreed to be flown back to Romania, while others were given 30 days to leave the country. The land on which they squatted is now under 24-hour security guard and is being sold to a major developer.

Britain has recently adopted the same cold-blooded tactics as France, Germany and Italy, breaking up camps, arresting, re-arresting, and carrying out so-called voluntary returns of EU citizens. Neither allowed to work nor to receive benefits, the legal excuse
for their forceful explusion is that they can‘t support themselves.


6.30 pm on Friday, 2 August, outside the French Embassy,
58 Knightsbridge Road, SW1X 7JT (Knightsbridge Tube)

A samba band will lead a march to Marble Arch, scene
of the last ethnic-cleansing operation.

You are also welcome to participate in the Roma Genocide
Commemoration taking place at 5pm at the Hyde Park
Holocaust Memorial in memory of the 500,000 Roma
murdered by the Nazi.

At 3pm protests are being held outside the embassies
of the Czech Republic and Slovakia demanding an end
to neo-Nazi attacks and wide-spread apartheid in

For more information contact:

Toma Mladenov, chair Roma London BG

Ladislav Balaz, chair Europe-Roma

Grattan Puxon, 8 April Movement

Source: Indymedia
Date: 20.07.2013

Roma abuse: Calls for inquiry as Oxfam report uncovers discriminatory treatment

PUBLIC officials have been accused of “institutional racism” in a hard-hitting report into the treatment of immigrant workers seeking a new life in Scotland.

The report, commissioned by Oxfam, says members of the large Roma community in Glasgow have been systematically threatened and lied to by government employees while long delays in payments of legitimate benefits have led to high levels of child poverty.

Evidence of discrimination and prejudice against the most marginalised ethnic group in Europe is contained in the report written by the Govanhill Law Centre (GLC), which investigated how more than 60 Roma families living in the city were dealt with by the DWP and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The lawyers who carried out the investigation said the way many Roma were treated was contrary to the UK government’s legal obligations and amounted to unlawful and unequal treatment. (mehr…)