Monday, March 30, 2009


On 29 March 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. They were executed in June 1953.

On 29 March 1971, Army Lt William Calley Jr. was convicted of murdering 22 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai massacre. He served three years of house arrest.

And the beat goes on.....

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Ceija Stojka Exhibition
Mar 31, 2009 - Apr 17, 2009, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Location: Kathrin Cawein Gallery
Pacific Universtity
2043 College Way
Forest Grove Oregon

A collection of paintings by Ceija Stojka.

Ceija Stojka was born in 1933 as the fifth of six children born to a travelling Lovara Roma "Gypsy" group in Austria. She and her family experienced persecution during the Nazi times, including internment in the Auschwitz, Ravensbrück, and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. She received little official school training, having been prohibited from attending school during the Nazi times. After the war she entered the second grade when she was already twelve years old. In 1988 the first of three autobiographical books on her experiences during and after the Nazi times appeared, called "Wir leben im Verborgenen: Erinnerungen einer Rom-Zigeunerin" [We Live in Seclusion: Memories of a Romni]. This was one of the first books to appear on Roma in the German-speaking world. In 1989 she began to paint. During the past ten years her works, which include oil and acrylic paintings on canvas, watercolors, and pen-and-ink drawings, have been exhibited in Austria, Germany, England, and Japan. Today she lives in Vienna and continues to paint, write, educate, sing, exhibit her art, and give public readings and performances in schools and at Roma festivals.

Several texts in the exhibit guide the viewer in understanding Ceija Stojka's work and life. First are two poems that she wrote, which depict the trauma that she and other Roma experienced in the Nazi concentration camps and the hope she has for future generations to overcome oppression.

Second are the chronological outlines of Ceija Stojka's life in the context of the Roma in Austria.

Third is a collage of pictures from Ceija Stojka in her apartment in Vienna, Austria, with her artwork and her surroundings.

Fourth are transcriptions of conversations that Ceija Stojka had with Lorely French (Professor of German at Pacific University, Oregon) and Kristen Almgren, Jacob Artz, Jessica Moser, and Maria Walters (students at Pacific University) in January 2009. Ceija Stojka explained each work of art while Professor French and the students organized and photographed the artwork in Ceija Stojka's apartment in Vienna, Austria. Professor Michaela Grobbel (Sonoma State University, California) had already selected most of the paintings in Vienna in the summer of 2008. The conversations were translated into English by Lorely French, Sanja Petricevic (Fulbright German Language Assistant), and students in German 485 at Pacific University in spring 2009: Kristen Almgren, Solène Inceoglu, and Jonathan Mather.

After all the artwork was packed up and carried away from her apartment in Vienna to be shipped to the United States, Ceija Stojka said with tears in her eyes: "I never would have imagined when I was in Auschwitz that my artwork would some day come to America. America has always been for me the main liberator of the concentration camps, and I am grateful and honoured for this opportunity to exhibit my work there."

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Roma face apartheid like conditions

As European Union (EU) and countries of Europe reportedly seemed to lack strong political will to improve the plight of Roma people who were living in apartheid like conditions, United Nations (UN) should immediately intervene, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, stated in Nevada (USA) today.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that Roma had reportedly suffered maltreatment from centuries in Europe and still continued to face social exclusion and it was apparent in the recently issued Human Rights Report by United States Department of State.

According to this Report, "In a number of countries, including Italy and Hungary, members of the Roma community were targets of societal violence, which in some cases was more frequent and lethal than in previous years".

This Report says that Albania "did not fund its National Roma Strategy"; in Austria "Roma faced discrimination in employment and housing"; in Belarus "Roma were often denied access to higher education"; in Bosnia and Herzegovina "mainstream society often excluded many Roma from public life"; in Bulgaria "police harassed, arbitrarily arrested, and used violence against Roma"; in Croatia "societal violence, harassment, and discrimination against Roma continued to be a problem"; in Czech Republic "restaurants, bars, and other public places at times refused to serve Roma"; in Estonia "Roma faced discrimination in employment and other areas".

It further says that in Finland, "discrimination against the approximately 10,000 Roma extended to all areas of life, resulting in their de facto exclusion from society"; in France "Roma faced discrimination in education, housing, and access to government services"; in Greece "Roma continued to face widespread governmental and societal discrimination, including systematic police abuse"; in Hungary "Roma continued to experience widespread discrimination in employment, education, housing, penal institutions, and access to public places"; in Ireland "Travellers faced societal discrimination and were regularly denied access to premises, goods, facilities, and services"; in Italy "Roma live in camps characterized by poor housing, unhygienic sanitary conditions, limited employment prospects, inadequate educational facilities, and inconsistent police presence".

In Kosovo "official and societal discrimination persisted against ...Roma"; in Latvia "government acknowledged that the Romani community faced high levels of unemployment and illiteracy, as well as widespread societal discrimination"; in Lithuania "societal hostility toward Roma continued"; in Moldova "Roma suffered violence, harassment, and discrimination"; in Montenegro, "Prejudice against Roma…was widespread, and local authorities often ignored or tacitly condoned their intimidation or mistreatment"; in Poland, there was "widespread discrimination in employment, housing, banking, the justice system, the media, and education"; in Romania "Romani groups complained that police brutality, including beatings and harassment, was routine"; in Russia "authorities in Chudovo, Novgorod Oblast, demolished the homes of several members of the local Romani community"; in Serbia "Roma were targets of verbal and physical harassment from ordinary citizens, police violence, and societal discrimination"; in Slovak Republic "Roma were particularly singled out for violence"; in Slovenia "Roma continue to suffer prejudice and discrimination, in particular with access to health services, education, and employment"; in Spain "Roma...still faced particular difficulties and discrimination in their access to employment, housing and social services and, reportedly, in the treatment they received within the criminal justice system"; in Turkey "law states that ‘nomadic Gypsies’ are among the four categories of persons not admissible as immigrants"; in Ukraine "representatives of Romani and other minority groups claimed that police officials routinely ignored, and sometimes abetted, violence against them".

Rajan Zed asked how Europe, which prided itself for its human rights record, was tolerating such widespread prejudice against a segment of its own society.

Maltreatment of Roma was simply immoral and a dark stain on the face of Europe. EU should offer "formal apology" for centuries and generations of maltreatment of the Roma, Zed added.

Zed called on all world religions, denominations and religious leaders to show strong will, courage, and commitment in support of Roma cause as they should not stay apathetic to societal truths by remaining silent spectators to the plight of Roma people of Europe. He stressed that it was not moral to remain unconcerned when fellow human beings were facing blatant injustice and discrimination right under our nose in Europe.

Rajan Zed further said that references to Roma people in Europe, who numbered around ten million, reportedly went as far back as ninth century AD. How many more centuries Roma had to reside in Europe to prove that they were "real and equal" Europeans like any other, Zed asked.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Last week I adopted a rescue dog from NewRattitude. This adoption has made me more aware than ever about the horror of puppy mills.

Below is a blog entry submitted by the foster mom of my new puppy. Janell is an incredibly sensitive and loving woman. My puppy, Chava, will vouch for that.

This Friday, ABC's Nightline will be investigating puppymills. Here's the blurb that Bill Smith from Main Line Animal Rescue has asked that people crosspost to spread the word:

Well friends, once again, the cat is out of the bag - or should we say the dog out of the hutch! This Friday night, March 27, ABC's Nightline will be investigating puppy mills!

ABC Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi and investigators from Nightline travel the byways and back roads of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - visiting numerous puppy mills and filming Main Line Animal Rescue's volunteers as they rescue breeding dogs and puppies from Lancaster County's notorious Amish commercial breeding facilities.

This promises to be a very special program. If you are involved in rescue, advocate on behalf of the millions of puppy mill dogs interned in our nation's commercial dog breeding facilities, or if you just simply love animals, you will not want to miss this.

Sharyn Alfonsi interviewed, on camera, an Amish breeder while touring his facility - a first for network television. With approximately 500 dogs housed on his property, this commercial breeder speaks openly about an industry cloaked in secrecy and suspicion - the cruel factory farming of man's best friend.

PLEASE tell your friends, your family, your coworkers - ABC Nightline investigates puppy mills - this Friday at 11:35 pm (Eastern Standard Time). Please take the time to forward this to all the rescues, shelters, and legislators in your area.

It has been almost one year since Oprah's puppy mill show aired. That program received the highest viewer response of any Oprah Show in years. Now we need to spread the word about this very special Nightline. Only by educating as many people as we can, will we be able to help these animals. And after you watch the program, please don't hesitate to contact ABC and Nightline to thank them for casting such a strong light on the plight of our nation's puppy mill dogs.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


25 March 1911

146 people, mostly female immigrants, died when fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York. One of the notorious sweatshops in New York, the exits were all locked to prevent employees from going outside on breaks. Most of those who died jumped out the windows to escape the fire.
After the fire, the owners were "reprimanded" and moved their operation to a new location just blocks away.

This led to strikes and walkouts of women workers worldwide.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


On March 24, 1980, one of El Salvador's most respected church and community leaders, Archbishop Oscar Romero was shot to death by gunmen as he celebrated Mass in San Salvador.

He once wrote in a letter to Presidant Jimmy Carter,
"....You say that you are a Christian. If you really are, please stop sending aid to the military here because they use it only to kill my people."

He got no response.

On March 16, Nicholas Hughes, the son of poets Ted Hughes and Syvia Plath, committed suicide, 46 years after Sylvia Plath's suicide.

Monday, March 23, 2009


In 1939, one million of refugee cross the french border from Spain, to escape after 3 years of civil war, the Fascist push of the General Franco.

Within these Spaniards anti-fascists many Romani families (Gitanos), landed in French territory to find themselves in the hands of the French autorities
whom detained all of them in concentration camps along the beaches of the mediterranean sea, where today the common of the french people taken
their hollidays. From these camps, between 1940 and 1944, the men were dispatch by the french autorities to the nazis camps. Many of them escaped
and began a resistance movement against the fascime, which full credit will be taken by the french few years later, before the "Liberation" .

The women and children will suffer the hanger, cold, illness, and the rage of the sea, which regularly will take in its wawes houndred of them, and finally
in 1944, wanting get read of the track of these camps, the French autorities sended back to spain, in cattle trains the women and children left.

Today, a catalan film maker, Felip Solé, decided to recreatre the scene of this "infamous history". with a low budget and on purpose he hasked the sons,
daughters and grand sons of these refugee to participate in this document.

Many of them came, my sister was there to represent our familly.

She just told my on the phone that: "... it was a tremendous experience, caught in the cold and snow during the filming, at the end none of us
could speak, roma or non roma we just fall in the arms of each others and cried...".

Lolo Del Carders

Friday, March 20, 2009


Press Release on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Politicians must be careful not to ignite scapegoating against Roma

Brussels, March 20th, 2009 – ERIO, the European Roma Information Office, at the eve of 21st March, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, calls on political and civil society leaders to step up their efforts in the fight against racism and prejudice that hit the 14-million people European Roma minority.

“We are receiving an increasing number of reports and news about racist attacks against the Roma community from every European Union Member State. The following months will be even more critical: with a worsening economic crisis and with European Parliament election approaching, there is the high risk that racist propaganda and hate rhetoric will easily spread among those populist politicians that use deprived and excluded minorities as scapegoats for very complex economic and societal problems”, stated Ivan Ivanov, ERIO’s Executive Director.

ERIO fully supports the statement issued today by the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Council of Europe's European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and other appeals made by Human Rights NGOs asking for a higher level of awareness against racial prejudice among politicians and public authorities. “We suggest that the 21st of March should also be considered the day of the fight against anti-Gypsyism”, Mr. Ivanov added.

“It must be a political priority to prevent hate speech and its extremely dangerous consequences. As it is happening in Hungary, where a young Roma man and his 5-years old son were killed and where we assist the quick rising of interethnic tension and the growth of the Hungarian Guard racist movement. But unfortunately Hungary is not an isolated case, since increasing violence against Roma and Sinti is on the rise everywhere in Europe. The anti-Gypsy rhetoric will increase the tension between majority population and Roma, this having unwanted consequences. Moreover, this violence is targeting the most deprived and excluded social groups, that are the first to suffer the consequences of the actual economic crisis”, concluded Mr. Ivanov.


On 21 March 1960, 69 Black demonstrators were killed at a peaceful protest against apartheid laws in South Africa. As a result, 21 March was declared "International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination” by the UN in 1966.


Betsy Blair, the actress best remembered for her role in the movie Marty, died Friday. She was 85.

Ms Blair was blacklisted in the 1950's anti communist hysteria.

On this date in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were married.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Roma Rights 2, 2008
Italy’s Bad Example

Last Updated: 2009-03-18 14:17:43

2008-09 will be remembered by Roma rights and human rights activists for the extremely troublesome situation of Romani communities in Italy. Mounting racism and anti-Romani sentiment erupted in Naples and Milan in May 2008. Moreover, various legal measures and policies adopted by the public authorities, such as the ongoing “census” of the Romani population and the transportation of Roma to special camps even further from city centres in order to "sanitise" urban centres were outright abuses of individual freedoms and rights. Growing fear and hatred of Roma among the general population on the one hand and the hostile approach of the national government and some local administrations on the other created a witch hunt atmosphere directed against even long-established Romani and Sinti Italian citizens as well as newly arriving Romani migrants.

It is true that the problems of Roma are not limited to Italy only. Roma are struggling to cope with physical violence, segregation and other forms of discrimination all over Europe. The uniqueness of the Italian case is that the Government at its highest levels has made a policy of promoting racial animosity and xenophobia.

This issue of Roma Rights attempts to analyse the dynamics of anti-Romani policies, practices and sentiments in Italy. Henry Scicluna presents a review of the Italian government's anti-Romani policy and practice dating back to 2001, and surveys the mirroring of these xenophobic and fearful approaches among the general public and the media. He also notes that the hostility towards Roma has roots reaching back past the recent events.

Secondly, Lorenzo Trucco provides an overview of legal provisions in Italy affecting migrants generally, and Romani migrants in particular, as well as Italian citizens of Romani origin. The article notes that, for the most part, the Italian approach to controlling migration and to addressing Roma issues has been punitive. In the following article, Piero Colacicchi recounts the origins of Italian government policy to encourage the creation of special camps for Roma and the ensuing negative consequences. Fourthly, Erika Szyszczak, formerly the Board Chair of the ERRC, writes about one of the most contentious issues at the core of the Roma problem in Italy and elsewhere; that of citizenship and the meaning of citizenship in the European Union.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Press release: Roma victims at the altar of the rule of law

Strasbourg, 16.03.2009 – Following several serious and violent incidents during 2008 the Roma in Hungary feel insecure in their everyday life and fear becoming the next target of attacks This was the assessment made by Mr Rudko Kawczynski, president of the European Roma and Travellers Forum in a press-conference on Thursday, 12 March 2009 in Budapest following a visit to assess the human rights situation of the Roma community in Hungary.

“I came to Hungary in order to better understand what happened in Tatarsezentgyorgy and in other parts of the country and to see what can be done to avoid repetition of such unfortunate developments’ said Mr. Kawczynski at the press conference. Irrespective of the background and history of the tensions, it is unacceptable that Roma become the target of various attacks of para-military groups.

From the way the attacks were committed, and the fact that to this day the perpetrators have not been identified, the Forum believes that these criminal groups are somehow being protected. The rule of law is failing to protect the Roma community.

The ERTF urges the authorities to set up a specialised task-force at the highest level to examine criminal attacks against Roma and proposes that the chief prosecutor should be fully involved in this process.

The ERTF believes that the lack of confidence building measures/programmes is the main reason for an increase of anti-gypsy feelings in Hungarian society. Moreover, hate speech by various public figures and the way the media reported on various problems have facilitated the whole process. Therefore, the Forum urges the government to introduce a draft law on hate speech amending the existing criminal code in order to prevent and sanction offenders.

The Forum is also concerned that Government programmes are not successfully implemented at local level due to a huge communication gap between the two levels. The lack of political will at local level prevents the Roma from benefiting from various governmental programmes.

Mr. Kawczynski said that a detailed report of the visit will be addressed to the Hungarian Government, the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for National and Ethnic Minority Rights, political parties and various bodies within the Council of Europe.

The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF), which has a partnership agreement with the Council of Europe and a special status with this institution, is Europe’s largest and most inclusive Roma organisation. It brings together Europe’s main international Roma-NGOs and more than 1,500 national Roma organisations from most of the Council of Europe’s member states.


On 16 March 1968, members of the US Military massacred almost an entire village of Vietnamese civilains. Between 350-500 people were killed on that morning. Many had been sexually abused, beaten, tortured and maimed.
The massacre and its aftermath, including cover ups and ineffectual trials were proof of the atrocities committed by the military and condoned by the United States government.

For a good report on the massacre and the subsequent trial of William Calley please check out the following website.
Sorry this is another cut and paste. Perhaps this is a blogger flaw.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


From the Syndney Morning Herald
Paola Totaro in Budapest
March 14, 2009

THE murders were chilling and premeditated: a petrol bomb thrown into the home of a Roma family followed by a hail of gunfire as the parents and children emerged from their shack in a desperate attempt to escape the inferno.

The brutal killing of the man, 27, and his son, 5, - as well as the serious injury of the family's two other children, 3 and 6 - unfolded in a Roma village 40 kilometres south of the Hungarian capital, Budapest.

It is the most recent in a spate of attacks against the impoverished ethnic minority who are often still identified simplistically across Europe as travellers or gypsies. Now, the increase in violence is being linked directly with the growing social unrest in Europe's poorer nations as they struggle under the weight of the global financial crisis.

During the past 12 months in Hungary alone there have been more than 18 attacks on Roma homes and villages. Of the six deaths, most are unsolved. Similar attacks have occurred in Italy, where the right wing, anti-immigration Northern League has failed to condemn or stem the violence despite encampments outside Naples being burnt to the ground.

An estimated 10 million Roma, believed to have descended from groups that left the Indian sub-continent towards the end of the first millennium AD, live in the European Union's 27 member nations. They have been the victims of repetitive persecutions in Europe, particularly during World War II, when they became victims of the Holocaust.

The latest murders in Hungary sparked a political scandal last week when it was revealed that even the police failed to take the crimes seriously, ascribing the deaths to a house fire. This contradicted witness reports of gunfire and petrol bombs, and the discovery of blood and shotgun cartridges around the house.

The Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsany, opened an official investigation after two forensic specialists from a Budapest university performed autopsies on the victims and strongly criticised as unprofessional the initial medical examination. The two police first on the scene now face disciplinary proceedings.

The Herald visited a community of 30 Roma families who live in a slum-like cluster of grim timber sheds and shacks in a paddock serviced by muddy, unsealed roads near the village of Kerepes, about 24 kilometres east of Budapest. An old man sitting on his bicycle said the original group had moved to the area in 1940. The adults were guarded and fearful because just days had passed since 2000 people attended the funeral of the father and his little boy. However a young teenager, Gyorgy Orsos, smiled and tried to explain his family's plight.

Our interpreter, Lajos, said the people wanted us to know that they are "very poor and that their life is very hard".

"They have no gas; it is very cold in the winter. They cut down the wood of the forest. This boy says that he wants to leave this place … Everyone wants to leave this place, but they do not know how, and they have no money."

An elderly woman, Olah Jozsefne, said she lived on 51,000 Hungarian forint ($336) a month but her prescription medicines cost 30,000 forint a month. "Sometimes she cannot even buy bread," the interpreter said.

Hungary, which received a £16.4 billion bail-out from the International Monetary Fund last year, has called for more help as its deficit balloons and foreign investment dries up.

Thousands of families have been caught by ballooning mortgage payments as up to 60 per cent of loans are with Austrian and Swiss banks in foreign currencies and the Hungarian forint is in free fall. Pensions have already been slashed, as have public sector wages.

The European Commission has signalled increasing concern about the rise in attacks against minorities.

"I am very worried by these incidents. In some member states, it seems that the Roma have become the target of organised racist violence - fed by political populism, hate speech and media hype," said the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Vladimir Spidla.

Friday, March 13, 2009


I just watched the movie Man on Wire, the story of Phillip Petite tight roping across the Twin Towers in New York, Aug. 1974.

While I enjoyed the movie, it in no way captured either the exhilaration of Phillip's spectacular walk, suspended in air between the towers, nor his spirit which comes through on all his radio interviews.

I wonder what would have happened to Phillip and his cohorts if this had been after the passage of draconian homeland security laws. They would be disappeared in prisons somewhere.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


An advocacy group, the Kosovo Medical Emergency Group (KMEG) has been working to highlight the appalling neglect of Roma, Ashkali and "Egyptian" internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kosovo.

We will shortly be releasing a highly-researched Dossier of Evidence concerning the long-term ill-treatment of the occupants of IDP camps placed on toxic land by United Nations agencies, and abandoned for many years, while their children absorbed extremely high levels of lead and other dangerous heavy metals, attacking their vital organs. In spite of numerous calls to close the camps and treat the families for their high level of poisoning, some camps remain and the families left untreated after almost ten years. To date, 80 deaths have been recorded from the camps.

The Dossier will accompany a Call to Key International Decision-Makers to conduct an Immediate Emergency Evacuation to a developed western country and Proper Medical Treatment for the approximately 150 families. It includes a Statement of the Wishes of the Families, signed by their camp leaders.

What makes these families' situation UNIQUE is that they are victims of an ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, after NATO intervention, during which NATO forces stood by at the scene without taking action to prevent it. Their subsequent poisoning and severe health problems were caused directly by the actions of United Nations agencies who knowingly placed them in camps on the most highly toxic land in the whole of former Yugloslavia, comprising heavily contaminated industrial waste from the former Trepča lead mines.

We are writing to you in ensuring that this receives the greatest possible media attention.
A copy of the Dossier will be made available at the appropriate time on our website. WITH YOUR HELP, WE WILL SAVE THESE CHILDREN IN KOSOVO.
With best regards,
Bernard Sullivan


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Without exception, the solution of all government and social agencies to "the Gypsy Problem" is integration.
Most Rroma/Sinti do not see integration as liberation. Historically we have adapted rather than assimilate.
Now more than ever, the push towards integration seems ludicrous.
Instead of striving for integration into this decaying social and economic system, we should be reclaiming and reactivating our traditional skills. These days recycle/repair businesses are thriving, like shoe repair and second hand shops. We have always survived best in an alternative "sub" economy.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Happy International (Working) Women's Day.

There's a wonderful collage of women on the following flickr page.

Molly Kool, known as Captain Molly, died this week.

"Captain Molly", 93, who in the 1930's and 40's plied the Bay of Fundy as the first woman in North America to be a licensed ship's captain, died on Wed. in Bangor Maine".

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Budapest, 6 March 2009

I’m a Roma Woman, I’m a European Woman, I’m a Woman

The Romedia Foundation, a Budapest-based civil organization (, and Amnesty International ( initiated a video campaign on Roma women with the support of Duna Television ( and the Decade of Roma Inclusion (

The 4-minute spot, produced for International Women’s Day 2009, features flashes of the personal history of five Roma human rights activists from all over Europe along with footage from Roma settlements across the continent. In these times of crisis, as social cohesion is greatly endangered by the multiplication of acts of extreme violence against Roma in Hungary and elsewhere, the campaign exhorts the public to respect Roma in all their complexity.

Friday, March 6, 2009


On 5 March 1963, Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, and Hawkshaw Hawkins died in a plane crash near Camden, Tenn. Randy Hughes, pilot and Cline's manager also died in the crash.
Country music has never been the same.


The following link will connect you with the entire transcript of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights High Commissioner on National Minorities',
Assessment of the Human Rights situation of Roma and Sinti In Italy.

Sorry, it's a cut and paste.

An important point to remember is that this report was compiled in July of 2008. There has been an increase in violent attacks and government sanctioned actions against the Roma/Sinti in Italy since that time.

Please access the ODIHR - HCNM report at the following link, as posted on ODIHR's Roma and Sinti webpage:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Well what do you think of this. Things aren't bad enough for Gypsies worldwide, here are people who make their money portraying us as "nomadic kleptomaniacs".
And check out how much this costs.

We're organizing a letter writing campaign in protest.
Here's their address.

Teatro ZinZanni
222 Mercer Street

"Chaos ensues when a caravan of gypsies crash the party in Teatro ZinZanni's newest production. Club ZinZanni's owner Ricky (Canada's Joe DePaul) is lovesick, and so leaves his maitre d' Victor (France's Charly Castor) to straighten out the mess that naturally arises when nomadic kleptomaniacs are running loose on your property and having torrid affairs with your co-workers. Things get more complicated when Victor's former flame Zara the gypsy queen (Seattle's Duffy Bishop) shows up. Hands down, Bishop is the best part of the show, her husky voice and explosive delivery reminiscent of the late Janis Joplin. Not once during the three-hour show did the gypsy queencumrock star lose her fiery spark."

Interestingly, the article I published just prior to this one is about a business in Tennessee that's having a clothing drive to help Gypsy children in Bulgaria.
Wonder how much Teatro ZinZanni is chipping in.


Wow, this is some pleasant and unexpected news.
Cheered me up.

From the Tennessee Journalist
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

By Heather Sutton

published: March 03 2009 05:07 PM updated:: March 03 2009 08:02 PM

A popular downtown bar and restaurant will host a clothing drive and fund raiser Friday benefiting Roma children living in Bulgaria.

Sapphire, located at 428 S. Gay St. in Downtown Knxville, will host the event to assist the Roma people, the largest minority population in Europe. Sapphire is asking for donations of new or slightly used winter clothing for children up to age 16, including hats, gloves, sweaters, coats, scarves and shoes. Donations will be accepted anytime between now and March 6.

The event is coordinated by former UT student and Sapphire bartender Stephanie Davis. Davis, 26, said a trip to Bulgaria last September really opened her eyes to the poor living conditions in Roma ghettos.

"I had the opportunity to visit a Roma neighborhood, which was the most devastating thing I've ever seen - no plumbing, no electricity, inadequate shelter, no trash pick up."

Davis decided to step in after receiving emails from two friends serving in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria asking for her help.

"My friends told me that the kids were lacking shoes and coats, so not only were they suffering in freezing temperatures, their lack of clothes was restricting them from attending Bulgarian schools," Davis said. "Donating clothes seems like such a simple and easy thing to do in order to facilitate a child's educational opportunity." Stephanie Davis"Donating clothes seems like such a simple and easy thing to do in order to facilitate a child's educational opportunity."

The donations will be sent to the Peace Corps volunteers, one in Dupnitsa and the other in Pishtogovo. They will each distribute the donations to children and families they work with in those neighborhoods. Monetary donations will be used to offset shipping costs.

The event is open to all ages from 7 until 10 p.m., at which time Sapphire converts to a 21 and up bar. A clothing donation will replace the $10 cover charge.


Hungary buries two Roma killed by hate
ReutersPublished: March 3, 2009 http://www.iht. com/articles/ 2009/03/03/ europe/03roma. phpTATARSZENTGYORGY, Hungary: Thousands of people, mostly Roma, joined the funeral procession Tuesday of a young boy and his father who were shot dead last week in the latest in a series of attacks on Roma in Hungary.
A crowd of about 5,000, which also included politicians from parliamentary parties and civil rights activists, gathered around the graves of the two victims in the village of Tatarszentgyorgy, 65 kilometers, or 40 miles, southeast of Budapest.
Black-clad mourners wept and when the coffin was lowered into the grave in the small hillside cemetery, the world-famous 100-member Gypsy Symphony Orchestra started to play.
"We seek the forgiveness of the mourning family and...our Gypsy brethren whom for 500 years we have owed an embrace," the Hungarian Methodist pastor Gabor Ivanyi, who is not Roma, said as he addressed the gathering. "We are a deeply moved and ashamed people."
The killings last Monday were the latest in a series of more than a dozen attacks on Roma in Hungary in which seven people have died over the past year.
President Laszlo Solyom of Hungary said Saturday that the economic crisis had created an urgent need for Hungary and other east European countries to show more understanding for Roma.It was not known whether the attack was racially motivated and the police have so far failed to find the perpetrators, but Roma community leaders said it bore similarities to other attacks on Roma in other parts of the country.
The boy, who police say was 5 years old, and his father Robert Csorba were shot and killed as they were trying to escape their house, which had been set on fire. Two other children were injured in the blaze.
The Roma community is Hungary's largest minority, making up 5 to 7 percent of the population of 10 million.
There is a growing resentment against the Roma, also known as gypsies, as the economic crisis deepens and jobs are lost. The Roma often remain on the margins, lacking jobs and proper education and living in deep poverty. Critics say they take advantage of the welfare state.
The strengthening of the far-right over the past two years, which fights what it says is a rise in "Roma crime," has also contributed to an increase in antagonism, activists say.
The village of Tatarszentgyorgy, which has about 1,900 residents, has been shocked by the attack.
"We still cannot comprehend what happened and this sentiment rules in the entire village," a Roma couple said.
Peter Ignacz, 50, who arrived from Szolnok in the east of Hungary with around 30 members of his family and is also of Roma origin, said the Roma do not get any protection.
"This is totally outrageous," he said, "and to be honest, Roma people are afraid."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Gypsy vaccination scheme starts
By Guy Dinmore in Rome

Published: March 2 2009 01:32 | Last updated: March 2 2009 01:32

Italy’s Red Cross has launched its biggest vaccination programme since the second world war, with the goal of immunising several thousand gypsy children living in camps around Rome.

The operation began at Casilino 900, a camp on the eastern outskirts of the capital that is believed to be one of the largest gypsy settlements in Europe. Some two dozen doctors were among 200 Red Cross volunteers that included clowns to provide entertainment in one of the big tents erected for the exercise.

A Council of Europe report to be released soon is expected to be highly critical of the squalid conditions in the camps, and particularly the treatment of children born in Italy but denied citizenship.

Casilino 900, its shacks and caravans the home for some decades for gypsies from the former Yugoslavia, is under threat of closure. It was one of many camps raided by police and regular army units recently in search of suspected criminals and those without proper documentation. Casilino 900 residents said about 40 men were detained last week.

This sense of fear and uncertainty, explained one woman, was a reason some families had not brought forward their children for vaccination. By mid-afternoon on Saturday about 160 children – accompanied by their mothers – had been vaccinated, with about 100 still not seen by the doctors.

An earlier Red Cross campaign commissioned by mayors to carry out a voluntary census of gypsy camps in Italy’s three biggest cities – Rome, Milan and Naples – ran into similar problems, with residents afraid that the headcount would be a prelude to mass expulsions. Such fears grew in recent weeks when police and army, using their own lists, entered camps and took away suspects.

Mr Alemanno’s plans, while still lacking in detail – including proposed sites for the new camps – have been generally welcomed by Romans who see the gypsy settlements as a health and security hazard.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Fw: [Romano Liloro] In Memoriam - Light a candle!

--- On Mon, 3/2/09, Roma Virtual Network <> wrote:
From: Roma Virtual Network <>
Subject: [Romano Liloro] In Memoriam - Light a candle!
Cc: "MOHÁCSI Viktória" <>
Date: Monday, March 2, 2009, 6:45 AM

Dear All,
As you may know, a brutal arson attack took place on February 23 in the village of Tatárszentgyörgy, Hungary, 
about 40 kilometers from the capital Budapest in which a Roma man and his five-year-old son were shot dead
as they were trying to escape from their burning house. This attack was the 17th in a series of violent crimes in
Hungary that have targeted Roma in the past year, including fire bombings of Roma homes. As with the earlier
attacks, so far no suspects have been identified or detained.
Tomorrow, on March 3rd, will be the burial of the victims in the village of Tatárszentgyörgy.
Should any of you have the posibility to attend the funeral service, it will start at 1 P.M.
If not, a candle lit at that time will be an important sign of sympathy and solidarity.
Condolence: Light a candle!
Best regards
Viktória Mohácsi, MEP
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)
SZDSZ-The Hungarian Liberal Party
European Parliament
60, rue Wiertz, ASP 09G213
B-1047 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 284 76 28
Fax: +32 (0)2 284 96 28

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