Wednesday, July 30, 2008
"Campaign contributions from oil industry executives to Senator John McCain rose dramatically in the last half of June after he reversed his opposition to the federal ban on off shore drilling."
"More than 1.6 million businesses owe the federal government in excess of $58 Billion in delinquent payroll taxes, interest and penalties, including money withheld from employee's salaries."
"Fuel and energy costs are rising so quickly for US public school districts that nearly one in seven is cutting back to four day weeks this fall."
Mobile/Exxon reported the highest profits for a corporation in United States history. $12 Billion THIS LAST QUARTER.
There is an irony here, eh ?
The young Roma/travellers chose to use the word chavvy, meaning youth in Romanes, in part because of the derogatory slang meaning the word has taken in recent years. The youth are reclaiming the word, much the way Lesbians and Gay men have reclaimed the term queer. It is the prerogative of an oppressed group to reclaim their words which have been used against them.
In response to a media question, youth from Savvy Chavvy stated that their site is a place where they can be themselves without being subjected to the racist epitaphs they are frequently subjected to.
I'm still amazed when I write that. What are we fighting for. The paintings are Ms. Babbitt's. There is no dispute there. The Auschwitz Museum has been showing reproductions all along. WHY AREN'T THESE PAINTINGS BEING RETURNED TO THEIR ACKNOWLEDGED CREATOR AND RIGHTFUL OWNER ?
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Her daughter thanks us for supporting her mother, when in reality, it is us, the Rromani community, and survivors of the Holocaust, Porraimos in the Romani language, who thank her for her unwavering support for the Roma. It is easy to support people when there is little risk. Ms Babbitt supported us in Auschwitz under the very eyes of Joseph Mengele.
I have no words to express my respect and thanks to Ms Babbitt.
Please let's all do what we can to return her portraits of the Roma in Auschwitz to her.
Monday, July 28, 2008
has been sent to you by M. Ahrn.
POCKETBOOK ARGUMENT FOR INTEGRATION
Are Central and Eastern European countries so rich they can afford to marginalize millions of people?
by S. Adam Cardais
Posted on 28 July 2008
PRAGUE All too often in Central Europe the desperation of the region's Romani population remains shamefully removed from public scrutiny in ghettos hidden far outside capitals such as Prague or Bratislava.
But travel south through the Balkans to Podgorica, where near-toddlers clutch at the arms of tourists and beg for change, or Sarajevo, where shrouded, frail Romani women circulate with their children – hands extended – through the cafes in the Turkish Old Town. This screams the despair of joblessness, poverty, and illness rampant among Central and Eastern Europe's approximately 4 million Roma. The same despair countries such as the Czech Republic try to marginalize – if not cloak – through what one Prague-based human rights worker calls "tacit apartheid."
The near total societal exclusion of Roma – often referred to as Gypsies – in Western and Eastern Europe has received much attention recently, most notably from the "Decade of Roma Inclusion" initiative launched by nine central and southeast European governments in 2005 to foster integration. Yet, as any traveler through the Balkans would easily see, Roma are hanging on the desperate margins. Furthermore, Italy's recent decision to begin fingerprinting Roma after protests earlier this year reveals the depth of subterranean anti-Roma sentiment in Europe.
Given the considerable attention, and the billions of euros in European Union aid money at the "Decade of Roma Inclusion's" disposal, why so little progress? It's not a lack of ideas or funding, say Roma integration experts. It's not even that Roma are work shy, an oft-espoused theory among inclusion skeptics. No, experts say, the problem is weak political will.
Yet keeping Roma in the depths should be unacceptable in modern Europe. Not only is it unjust and immoral – it's bad economics.
"Poverty is expensive," says Gwendolyn Albert of Peacework, an international human development organization. "That's what most people don't realize."
Indeed, Roma exclusion has significant economic costs that should be shouted in arguments supporting integration. It might be a cynical approach, but it might also have the political legs that moral considerations seem to lack.
The costs start with jobs. Either because of discrimination or lack of education or skills, Roma unemployment is disproportionately high in Central and Eastern Europe, reaching 70 percent in some countries.
At the same time, majority populations are advancing toward wheelchairs faster than tricycles. Labor markets will be short tens of thousands of workers in the coming decades, so smart governments should be trying to capitalize on their inexpensive, available Romani work force. But most aren't. Instead, countries such as the Czech Republic are recruiting foreign workers to fill the gaps.
"To bring people from Mongolia to northern Bohemia or northern Moravia, where you have a lot of unemployed Roma, is absurd," Albert says.
Especially so when considering that joblessness lands most Roma on social welfare. A 2003 report by the UN Development Program found that up to 70 percent of Roma in Central and Eastern Europe derive their income from state transfers such as child allowances and unemployment benefits. This social dependency is costly, clearly, but then consider that many low-income Roma don't pay taxes to support these programs and the costs of exclusion are clear: countries lose workers, public money, and tax revenue.
Measuring these costs is difficult because reliable figures on Roma are scarce. The UNDP's are the most recent, and they cover only Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. But economists Luchezar Bogdanov and Georgi Angelov have calculated Bulgaria's exclusion drain.
In a 2007 study for the Open Society Institute's Sofia office, the researchers found that over 10 years Bulgaria would gain the equivalent of 7 billion to 16 billion euros from full integration and that the return on investment would outweigh the cost by a ratio as high as 3-to-1.
The path to realizing the ambitious goal of "full integration" throughout the region has to start with structured, coherent policy reform that leaps beyond mere awareness to improving education and health care in Romani communities, experts say. Gabriela Hrabanova, a member of the Czech government's Council for Roma Community Affairs and half Romani herself, says the Roma Teacher Assistance program, which trains teachers to better work with Romani children, is a model project.
Unfortunately, she and others says, both Brussels and regional governments' integration efforts are unfocused, with more emphasis placed on drafting action plans than building meaningful grassroots programs. The EU Roma Policy Coalition, a grouping of advocacy organizations, came to a similar conclusion regarding the EU's 2 July agenda for tackling exclusion, saying it laid the onus on member states while failing to propose a single meaningful European strategy.
The coalition is hoping for real progress at the EU High Level Conference on Roma in September. Many arguments for Europe walking the talk on integration will no doubt be made there.
Maybe someone will swallow the attendant cynicism and make the economic argument. It might just prod leaders into action.
S. Adam Cardais is TOL's Market Values columnist.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Dinah Gottliebova Babbitt was a young Jewish inmate at Auschwitz. When it was discovered that she was an artist, she was ordered by Joseph Mengele to paint the portraits of Gypsy prisoners. In his attempt to "aryanize the Roma", he wanted more realistic representations of their skin tones than cameras could capture. He's the same guy who injected dye into the eyes of Gypsy twins to turn their dark eyes blue. Something NPR once referred to as "the benign Gypsy twin eye study". Dinah developed a relationship with the Roma, especially with one young woman (see photo).
After the liberation of Auschwitz, several of Dina's portraits were found. Since that time, those paintings have been held by the Auschwitz museum. To this day, they have refused to return the paintings to Dina. It's a long story and I'll leave it to the following article to present it.
What I want to say is that one of the reasons the museum states in its refusal to return Dina's work to her is absolutely false and exploitative to the Roma. They have stated that one reason to not return the pictures is that it is evidence of the persecution of the Roma.
Dina's portraits do document the horror of Auschwitz for the Roma. As does Dina's heart and soul. THE COPIES of the works of art are sufficient. That is all that has EVER been exhibited at the museum.
Please do not exploit a woman who gave her soul to her Romani fellow prisoners. And especially not in our name.
I keep trying to get the link to a great article written by Dina's daughters. I'm having some problems so in the mean time I'll give you her webpage.
For your information, there is a great interview with Dina in a movie PORRAIMOS where I first became acquianted with Ms Babbitt.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Power and control........
Doesn't it all come back down to that ?
Interestingly, settled Sinti in Italy are also being subjected to the racist census, despite rationalizations by the government that these measures are meant only to identify "illegal immigrants". (how I hate that term). Sinti are a tribe of Roma who are found mostly in Germany and Italy. My mother's family was Sinti. 2/3rd's of the Sinti in Europe were murdered by Nazis and sympathizers.
Most of the Sinti remaining in Italy have survived there for generations and many are 'settled', meaning living in one place.
Yet the "census" goes on.
I am especially appalled at the corroboration of the Italian Red Cross in this "census" of Roma. So far reports are varying on the behavior and process of the Red Cross in the camps.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Through impeccable research Klein explores the motivations and tactics behind America's foreign policy, from the overthrow of Salvador Allende to the occupation of Iraq.
I was especially impressed with Klein's chapter on the CIA mind control experiments on mental patients (prisoners) of the 1950's and the present day torture of prisoners. The techniques are the same, an attempt to completely breakdown a personality and then recreate it as desired.
She goes further explaining how the same strategy of shock, destroy and rebuild can be used against an entire people/economic/political system.
Naomi Klein convincingly equates the policies of the CIA and shock Doctor Ewen Cameron with the economic policies of Milton Friedman.
If possible, read this book.
Here's the link to a very good article from MLive.com
It talks about the use of the term "Gypsy" moths and its relation to the situation
of Roma (Gypsies) in the world today.
I cringe each time I hear Gypsy moth
On and on.... It is any wonder we prefer to be called Roma ?
The majority of Roma immigrants in Italy come from Romania.
The interesting question is why are there so many Roma from Romania fleeing to Italy. How bad must conditions be in Romania when being despised by Italians, discriminated against in all areas of life, put into barbed wire enclosed "camps", and being condemned for begging while being denied jobs seems preferable.
Roma in Romania are still being subjected to racist pograms and denied access to jobs, education and social services.
SUSPINO : A CRY FOR ROMA is a film made in 2002 about these very issues. It follows the plight of one young Roma family in Italy who fled Romania in the hopes of a better life.
The movie not only accurately portrays the situation in Italy but also explores the conditions in Romania which led to this exodus of Roma.
Amazingly, SUSPINO could have been made today.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
They would give her neither medical attention nor a prescription for pain killers.
The doctors said they refused her treatment because she lacks a permanent address.
Tues night, Via Camdoni Roma Camp, a legal camp outside of Rome, was set on fire. It is believed the fire was started by a group of young Italian males.
It has long been believed that the Greenglasses, after confessing to their own involvement in a scheme to smuggle atomic secrets to the Soviets, lied under oath to save their own skins. And they succeeded. While both Ethel and Julius were executed, David Greenglass served only 10 years in prison and Ruth was never charged.
Yesterday a judge ruled that much of the 'secret' testimonies in the Rosenberg case would finally be released. One of the few exceptions is the testimony of David Greenglass who is 86 years old.
In a media interview, Greenglass said that he made up the account about the typewriter (this testimony was considered vital to the conviction of Ethel Rosenberg) to protect his wife and that she may have improvised the tale to appease prosecutors.
I hope they release the secret testimony of Ruth Greenglass. Remember, she's dead.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
|In April I wrote an article for the Washington State Holocaust Education Resourse Center as part of their series in conjunction with the Seattle Times. Please read this article and the entire series.|
Here is the link: http://www.wsherc.org/teaching/seattletimes.aspx. www.wsherc.org
Monday, July 21, 2008
To see this story with its related links on the guardian.co.uk site, go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/21/italy.race1
Italy's Gypsies suffer discrimination and prospect of draconian curbs
Monday July 21 2008
Italian attitudes towards the country's Roma population were in the spotlight again today after holidaymakers were photographed continuing to sunbathe close to the bodies of two drowned girls from the minority group.Who are Italy's Roma?
An estimated 150,000 Roma, or Gypsies, live in Italy, many of them in encampments on the edges of cities such as Rome and Naples. Some of the camps are unofficial and badly rundown.
The Roma are a distinct ethnic and cultural group with their origins in northern India. They have lived throughout Europe, particularly in the centre and south, for many centuries.
Just over 40% of the country's modern Roma, including an estimated 30,000 descended from 15th-century settlers, ossess Italian passports. The rest are more recent arrivals, many coming from Balkan nations during the 1990s.
After Romania joined the EU at the start of 2007, an estimated 10,000 Romanian Gypsies came to Italy, forming part of a Romanian population in the country believed to total about 500,000.What are public attitudes in Italy to the Roma?
Many people are openly hostile to the Roma, accusing them – especially the newer arrivals – of avoiding work in favour of theft and other crime and shutting themselves off from mainstream Italian society in squalid, illegal camps. Rights groups working with Roma people say they face severe discrimination, some of it tied to more general anti-Romanian and anti-immigrant feeling.
One recent newspaper survey found 68% of people wanted all Italy's Gypsies expelled, whether or not they held Italian passports. Another poll said more than three-quarters of people want unauthorised camps demolished.
In May, a mob of vigilantes torched a Roma camp in Naples after the arrest of a young Gypsy woman accused of trying to abduct a child.How has the Italian government acted?
Critics say Silvio Berlusconi, the recently re-elected Italian prime minister, has exploited anti-Roma feeling for political ends.
His election campaign promised a severe clampdown on "Roma, clandestine immigrants and criminals" and his coalition's candidate for mayor of Rome pledged the expulsion of "20,000 nomads and immigrants who have broken the law".
Other politicians have gone further. The head of the rightwing, anti-immigrant Northern League party, Umberto Bossi, argued the attack on the Naples camp was understandable, saying: "People are going to do what the political class cannot."What is the government proposing?
Berlusconi's interior minister, Roberto Maroni of the Northern League, caused controversy last month by proposing a plan to fingerprint all Roma living in camps, including children.
He said this would make it easier for authorities to identify child beggars and remove them from their parents, as well as to expel illegal residents.What has been the reaction to this?
Italian civil liberties groups have expressed outrage, with one Jewish community leader saying the measure could eventually lead to "exclusion from schools, separated classes and widespread discrimination". Earlier this month, the European parliament voted to urge the Italian government against the measure.
However, Italy's legal system has already indicated there is nothing to stop discrimination against Roma. In a ruling handed down earlier this year, but only recently reported, the country's highest appeal court ruled in the case of six people accused of anti-Gypsy racial propaganda that it was acceptable to single out Roma on the basis that they are thieves.
Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
The Italian Red Cross, which has been criticized for collaboration in this racist program, has declared that they only want to identify "these people" so we can help them.
Friday, July 18, 2008
--- On Fri, 7/18/08, European Roma Rights Centre <email@example.com> wrote:
From: European Roma Rights Centre <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Read the news: http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Security/?id=1.0.2340682108
Visit Andkronos website : http://www.adnkronos.com/
Visit to read an article on Italy's reaction to the international condemnation of their fingerprinting of all Roma
Monday, July 14, 2008
Please visit RomNews
to read the press release.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
2 July 2008
"....Over 12 million human beings have become integral to our society, economy and culture here in the USA, yet they do so in legal purgatory. While no serious political voice calls to send them back to their previous home countries, very few have the courage to admit that the only realistic option is some form of legal integration, coupled with a legitimate, forward-thinking immigration policy.
Migration and economic experts generally agree that the productivity and hard work of immigrants improves the economy and makes goods more affordable and available to US workers. Immigrants not only increase the wealth of the nation, they have contributed significantly to major scientific, medical and industrial advancements, as well as to the arts....
...At what point are we going to recognize that the status quo amounts to an apartheid system? At what point will America stop living in a state of denial?
At American Apparel we support our workers. We support our community. We support Los Angeles....
...Enough is enough. It is time to Legalize LA, and Legalize the USA."
This is a pretty powerful statement from a US corporation.
American Apparel has a history of treating their workers pretty well. Pay starts at double minimum wage.
It's ashame that the CEO, Dov Charney has a history of sexual harassment of female employees, including three law suits, two of which were settled out of court and one pending.
And he doesn't see the contradiction.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
We appreciate the support wsherc has consistently shown to the Roma people. Thanks.
Defense Minister, La Russa, who is also chairman of the right wing National Alliance Party said that the demands of the European Parliament make him laugh. He then "laughingly" suggested that all Italians be fingerprinted.
Roma organizations worldwide have been loudly protesting the fingerprinting.
I've provided a website to read two letters re : this policy.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
People across Europe are protesting this fascistic tactic in the assault on Roma and immigrants.
How do we interest the people in the United States.