Tuesday, December 30, 2008


"Jesus died for somebody's sins,
but not mine".

Patti Smith, poet, godmother of punk, political activist turned 62 today.

"I go to this here party,
and I just get bored..."

Happy Birthday Patti Smith

Monday, December 29, 2008


On December 29, 1890, United States troops sent to disarm the Native People at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, massacred an estimated 300 Sioux Indians.
And the beat goes on......

Saturday, December 27, 2008


This is the best news I've heard from the sports world since Mohammad Ali.

Article was printed by Tolerance.ca

Anti-racism Basketball Game to be Held in Pesaro, Italy
(Version anglaise seulement)

Pesaro (Italy) - On Sunday December 28th, 2008, the U.S. Victoria Libertas team, which is known throughout the world as the Scavolini Pesaro team, after taking its name from the long-time sponsor and president Valter Scavolini, will play Gmac Fortitudo Bologna at the Adriatic Arena. It is an important championship game for the Peasaro team, but Scavolini has already achieved its greatest triumph thanks to a courageous decision made by both the club and the players who have decided to promote an anti-racist message which Italy and the European Union are in serious need of.

Scavolini, in line with the project against racial discrimination it is promoting, and in support of the campaign for the rights of the Roma people promoted by EveryOne Group, has officially invited the Roma community of Pesaro (offering free tickets) to watch the game at the Adriatic Arena. The Roma living in Pesaro will cheer on the Scavolini champions and admire the skills of Curry, Hycks, Hurd, Myers Stanic and Zukauskas while displaying banners with the slogan “The Pesaro Roma support Scavolini against racism”.

Before the New Year, the Scavolini champions and some members of the board of directors will visit the abandoned factory in Pesaro where the Roma live, in a gesture of solidarity and fraternity.

“The initiative taken by the Scavolini team is a fine example for Italy and the rest of Europe”, say Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau, leaders of EveryOne, “because it emphasises one of the most current and tragic aspects of racism in the present day (both in Pesaro and in other Italian cities) and that is the intolerance shown towards people of the Roma ethnic group, the most vulnerable minority exposed to racist propaganda. It is easy to commemorate the persecution and genocides of other historical periods or other countries, but it takes courage to protest against the racial hatred that is poisoning the society and age we live in.”

EveryOne Group has informed the European Commission of Scavolini’s initiative, asking for its example to be presented to the Member States as an educational project against racism, in line with the new Europe which places human rights among its priorities.

A short film will be made and photographs taken during the game and the players’ visit to the Roma camp. This dossier will then be presented to the institutions of the European Union early in 2009. “From the president to the man in charge of contacts with the schools, Rodolfo Filippini; from the champions to the younger players, Scavolini is marking out a new path,” continue the activists, “ a path of solidarity and respect for minorities which makes sport a life model for human society itself. “When we met the Scavolini board, we noticed how genuine their desire was to contribute to the elimination of racial hatred, which is one of the most horrendous crimes of human society.

“During the ‘game against racism’ and the meeting between the men from the Scavolini team and the Roma families,” say Malini, Pegoraro and Picciau, “the younger players and students will have the opportunity to understand the value of solidarity as they shake the hands of people (even youngsters their own age) who live surrounded by racial hatred; people who fight every day the “game of survival” - where what matters is keeping families united and teaching the youngest generations to preserve the gift of hope, even in extreme hardship, exclusion and persecution”.

Friday, December 26, 2008


The following was published in the newsletter of the European Roma Information Office.

Far-right groups across Europe could be gaining support as the financial meltdown continues

23/12/2008 - The warning comes at a time of increased racist violence and attacks on gypsy communities across Europe.

A far-right group called the Hungarian Guard, which has been accused of persecuting gypsies, says it will defy attempts to ban it, as governments become increasingly concerned at the rise of the right. It is feared that extremist parties could make significant gains in European elections next June, particularly in eastern European countries.

In an interview with Sky News, a senior member of Hungary's right-wing Jobbik party said the financial crisis was making people look to parties they might once have called extremist. Zsolt Varkonyi said: "They realise that they have been lied to by our leaders, our politicians, our economic experts, so perhaps it is time for them to listen to us.

Jobbik also defends its official links with Hungarian Guard. "It was formed because there is no security in Hungary for people in villages; they are robbed and they are killed. "Talking about the image is just scratching the surface. What they wear, how they look, it's not really important."

Hungary has been among the countries hardest hit by the financial crisis. The government was forced to turn to the international community for an emergency bail-out. Hungary has established its first national police force to deal specifically with crimes against the Roma gypsy community. Political analyst Krisztian Szabados told Sky News: "We expect that public support for right wing extremists, which has been around 1%, will rise to at least 7%. We expect violent clashes between right-wing extremists and the gypsy population."

There have also been significant increases in violent racist attacks reported in the Czech Republic and Italy


Eartha Kitt died yesterday at the age of 83.

For me, there was an irony to her dying on Christmas Day. I played Santa Baby many times throughout the day. It's one of the few holiday songs I can deal with. That and John and Yoko's So It Is Christmas.

Ms Kitt was not only an amazing actress, dancer,and singer but also an activist for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. She was infamous for making Lady Bird Johnson cry at a dinner by responding to question about the war with a strong anti war statement.

She now joins my other divas who have recently died including Odetta, Mariam Makeba, and Yma Sumac

Sunday, December 21, 2008


On December 19, 2008 work finally began on the Berlin Memorial to the Sinti and Rroma who were victims of the Holocaust, or Porraimos in the Gypsy language. Romani Rose, a Sinti activist and President of the Central Council of Sinti and Rroma in Germany, attended the dedication ceremonies.

The memorial will be a fountain with dark water designed by an Israeli artist. A poem written by an Italian citizen is to be inscribed in the bricks used. One does wonder why a Sinti/Rromani artist was not used. Nor a Sinti/Rromani poet chosen for the bricks. Ah, but we are sticklers, eh? Believe it or not, there are brilliant Sinti/Rromani artists and poets.

On December 16, 1942, Himmler signed the Auschwitz Decree sending all Sinti/Rroma to extermination camps.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I found this ad for GYPSY FORTUNE TELLER coin bank on an auction site.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


B92 News Society :

Roma Holocaust marked today
16 December 2008 | 17:35 | Source: B92
BELGRADE -- Roma Holocaust Day is observed on Dec. 16 in memory of more than a million Roma, or Gypsies, who disappeared during the WW2 Nazi occupations.

In 1942, Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler ordered that all Romas from occupied territories should be deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. According to existing data, 25,000 Roma were deported.

The situation was similar in concentration camps in Serbia.

Even though there were Roma in almost every such camp in Europe, there is not much data on how many were killed.

Historians started to research the fate of Roma in the mid 1970s, while after the Washington Conference in 1999, previously unknown Roma concentration camps were discovered.

Member of the Roma National Council Vujadin Marinković said that Roma have a hard time achieving their basic rights, adding that one key rights is that their suffering acknowledged as is the case with other nations.

“But in any case, their suffering was great in numbers, the Roma people know this the best. But there are no statistics for that because the world that was supposed to take care of this did not have adequate data,” Marinković said.

“More than 18,000 requests have been submitted for wartime reparations and damages to Roma in Europe, through the international organization for recognizing the rights of the Roma who died in these camps,” he said.

Historian Branka Prpa said that Europe has shown interest in the Roma question only over the last couple decades.

She said that according to information obtained by the Belgrade Historical Archive in cooperation with Roma organizations, some 24,000 Roma were killed in the Banjica concentration camp alone during the Nazi occupation of Serbia.

“Romas were arrested at the same time as the Jews,” Prpa said, adding that both Roma and Jew men from the ages 16 and up were arrested and then executed in Jajinci, near Belgrade.

Roma Holocaust Day has been observed since 1995.

This article was published by the B92 News Society.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Jose Sucuzhanay died Friday night from injuries he received in an attack one week ago in New York. Jose and his twin brother, immigrants from Equador, were attacked last weekend by men who yelled anti gay and anti Latino epitaphs while hitting them with baseball bats.

Tensions are mounting in the former Yogoslavia as ethnic conflicts escalate. In Feb. Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. Once again Rroma are in a perilous position.

Republican Senators have admitted that their votes against the bailout of the auto industry was an attack against organized labor. They expressed their animosity towards unions in general and felt that a vote against the UAW, seen as one of the most powerful unions in the country, is a statement against unions in general.
Well isn't that surprising.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


My friend Sani Rifati, a Rom from Kosovo is the president of Voice of Roma in California. This organization is involved in many projects which raise the consciousness of people in the United States about the reality of Roma worldwide. They also sponsor many projects in Kosovo and Macedonia to help the Roma directly.

One such project is the Threads That Connect Us project, which involves Romani women from central Kosovo and Kosovo Roma refugee women in Macedonia. The women do embroidery and crocheting, making items which are then sold at Voice of Roma events in the United States. This project is one of the best income generating opportunities for Kosovo Roma women, enabling many of them to support their families.

In Feb.2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. What this will mean for Roma is unknown, but no improvements have been seen so far. Voice of Roma has expanded their humanitarian work to provide additional support and opportunities for the Roma in Kosovo.

Voice of Roma raises its money through concerts, festivals and programs conducted in the United States. This year they are also asking directly for monetary support to allow them to continue and expand their activities.

You can visit them directly by clicking on the picture above.

Or mail a donation to:
Voice of Roma
PO 514
Sebastopol, CA 95473
If you mail a donation please tell Sani you heard about the fundraising through Lolo Diklo.


Rroma in Romania are naming their newborn babies after Barack Obama. Many have totally identified with Obama and think he could by "one of us".

Rroma, who are downtrodden throughout Europe, were enslaved there for many years. In Romania, they were slaves from the 1400's till the late 1800's. They continue to live lives of the oppressed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

FW: [Romano Liloro] ERIO's statement on Council of the EU conclusions on Roma

Below is a statement of the European Rights Information Office in regards the European Council's Conclusions on the Roma. You can access the Council's conclusions directly by following the link at the end of this entry.

--- On Wed, 12/10/08, Morgan Ahern <; wrote:
From: Morgan Ahern <BR>Subject: FW: [Romano Liloro] ERIO's statement on Council of the EU conclusions on Roma
To: punkaheron@yahoo.com
Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 12:23 PM


From: Romano_Liloro@googlegroups.com on behalf of ERIO News
Sent: Wed 12/10/2008 12:06 PM
To: Roma_Daily_News@yahoogroups.com
Cc: Ivan Ivanov
Subject: [Romano Liloro] ERIO's statement on Council of the EU conclusions on Roma

European Roma Information Office
ERIO's statement on Council of the EU conclusions on Roma
Roma need a stronger political response
ERIO, the European Roma Information Office, welcomes with some reservations the 2914th General Affairs European Council conclusions on the situation of the Roma minority in the European Union and in candidate and neighbouring countries, taken during its meeting on December 9th, 2008.
The EU governments' representatives justly recognise the state of deprivation experienced by Roma inside and outside of EU borders. Moreover, they aim at developing actions which take into account different sub-groups inside the Roma minority (the young, women, the elderly, etc.). Positively, the Council suggests those actions should be designed and implemented with the close involvement of Roma themselves.
However, the Council's conclusions are very deceiving when it comes to requests of practical action to the European Commission and to Member States for the inclusion of Roma.
Reading the conclusions, we can only find a weak call for taking into account "the situation of the Roma when designing and implementing policies to defend fundamental rights, combat poverty and discrimination and uphold gender equality, and ensure access to education, housing, health, employment, justice and culture, and where appropriate to identify specific actions for 2009 and 2010 to that end".
We believe that Roma need a stronger and more dedicated approach.
Furthermore, the emergency situation faced by the Roma cannot be solved only by a "better use of the Structural Funds, the Pre-Accession Instrument and the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument", as the Council's document suggests.
If there is no specific policy on Roma, those funds can not be properly allocated.
Finally, the European Council only calls upon the Commission to do more paper work on the Roma which could prove useful (as in the exchange of best practices in the field of Roma inclusion) but with a very limited beneficial impact for the Roma minority.
What is really needed is a stronger European Roma strategy and ERIO will continue to advocating for this.
The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) is an international advocacy organization, which promotes political and public discussion on Roma issues by providing factual and in-dept information on a range of policy issues to the European Union institutions, Roma civil organizations, governmental authorities and intergovernmental bodies.
The ERIO cooperates with a network of a large number of organizations and acts to combat racial discrimination and social exclusion through awareness raising, lobbying and policy development.
Avenue Edouard Lacomble 17
Brussels 1040
Tel:      0032(0)27333462                      
Fax:     0032(0)27333875      
For more information:




Oh the fun. Bank of America, who withdrew the financing for Republic Windows and Doors last week, has announced they are willing to extend loans to the factory only to cover its debts to workers.
This willingness, of course, only appeared after they have been blasted by Chicagoans for cutting off the plant's credit after the bank itself received $25 billion from the government.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


On 29 November 1864 in Sand Creek Colorado, a US army regiment under leadership of a Methodist pastor, acting on orders of the Colorado governor and ignoring a white surrender flag, massacred over 500 sleeping Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. This was one of the most brutal atrocities in US history. Almost all the victims, who were mostly women, children and elders, were tortured, mutilated and scalped.
No charges were ever filed against the soldiers and they were originally given a victory parade through Denver.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Since their layoff on Friday, workers have occupied the Republic Windows and Doors factory in Chicago's North Side.

Most of the 250 workers, many off whom have worked at the factory for years if not decades, have been there all weekend.

They were given less than 3 days notice and are owed vacation and severance pay.

The workers not only blame the owners of business, but also Bank of America which recently became a lender to the factory.

They are pointedly furious at the government "bail-out" of corporate America while workers are forgotten.

To their surprise, they're becoming a 'cause-celebre' with visits from Jesse Jackson and Rep. Luis Gutierrez.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


This Monday, 8 December, will be the 28th anniversary of John Lennon's death. He'd by 68 years old had he not been murdered in New York City.

I try to imagine all he would have contributed in those years.

To read the quote on Lennon's t-shirt click on it.

PS I still love Yoko Ono.

Rroma of Kosovo

Below is a good documentary on the Rroma of Kosovo forced to live in lead contaminated area.

lolodiklo sent you a video: "Trapped - 1-3 - Kosovo Roma lead poisioning"

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself help center | e-mail options | report spam

lolodiklo has shared a video with you on YouTube:

English and Romanes.

See Video in better quality on www.RomaniMundi.com

Trapped - The forgotten story of the Mitrovica Roma (Kosovo)
In post-war Kosovo, 200 km from the European Unions borders, men, women and children trapped in heavily polluted camps are slowly dying from lead poisoning. We visit the Roma camps, the site of the most shocking public health disaster in modern Europe and meat their inhabitants, their leaders as well as the World Health Organisations representative in order to understand what happened here since the 1999 war.


the World through Roma Eyes

Never be bullied into silence.

Never allow yourself to be made a victim.

Accept no ones definition of your life, but define yourself.

Harvey Fierstein

Roma film maker Katalin Barsony travels the world to give a voice to the voiceless through a vision and celebration of a people who have always been misun... more
© 2008 YouTube, LLC

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


And now we've lost Odetta. The amazing singer and civil rights activist died Tues.

In less than a month, Yma Sumac, Miriam Makeba and Odetta have all died.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I'm working on an annotated media list for this blog. I keep wanting to call it a bibliography but I don't think that applies grammatically. And we all know how important grammar is, eh?
So, if any of you who read this blog think that would be a good idea, let me know through a comment.


There's been a steady resurgence of right wing survivalist groups in this country since the election of Barak Obama. David Duke's been issuing warnings about Armageddon to his followers, and hate crimes are on the rise.

The media is once again warning Americans of 'gypsy scam artists'.

And in Europe, things get more violent against immigrants and Rroma.

There have been mob attacks on Rroma villages in the Czech Republic, led by hundreds of members of the Czech nationalist group. Reports have implicated officials in the attacks.

In Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Austria, the Netherlands... attacks against Rroma are escalating.
Animosity towards Rroma and Travelers is tangible in England and Ireland.

There's an interesting situation in England. In the 1990's they passed the Caravan Sites Act which mandated that Rroma and Travelers could only stop and designated campsites. One problem was that they never designated any campsites and thus it's illegal for Rroma/Travelers to stop virtually anywhere.
So there's been a dynamic debate about where the 'Gypsies' could stop. Almost any chosen site is protested by the locals and the beat goes on. With the economic downturn and such, hostilities toward 'gypsies' are intensifying. So the British government chose this time to announce it's plan for a land grab, whereby the government can buy or confiscate people's property to set up 'Travelers' camps.
Can you imagine the uproar this has caused.