Tuesday, May 4, 2010
THE TOLERANCE WEBZINE
Roberto Malini's Point of View Italy
Florence's actions against the Roma people
By Roberto MaliniFlorence (Italy) -
This morning Police Headquarters and the local authorities decided to step up the measures against the Roma people as part of a security plan created after two murders took place in the city during criminal activities. Despite Roma citizens being extraneous to these two episodes, the authorities have singled them out as the prime subjects for their repressive measures, which include camp clearances with no offer of alternative housing.
The Roma families who live in unauthorized camps in the Florence area are a marginalized majority, whose protection should be guaranteed by European law. They have a right to social assistance programmes, insertion in the world of labour, schooling and access to subsidized housing, as requested over and over again by our own association and other NGOs who are in contact with the heads of these communities. We are talking about people living in conditions of extreme hardship who are in Italy in search of work, and who do not pose a threat to public safety. On the contrary, they are subjected to social exclusion and constant threats for racist and ethnic reasons.
The City of Florence is in the grip of unjustified prejudice, and is clearly violating the directives of the European Parliament and Council, 2004/38/CE concerning free movement within the EU and 2003/43CE on non-discrimination.
The local authorities are violating the Resolutions of the European Parliament dated April 28, 2005 on the situation of the Roma people within the European Union; the resolution dated June 1, 2006 on the situation of the Roma women in the EU; November 15, 2007 concerning the application of directive 2004/38/CE; January 31, 2008 on a European strategy for the Roma people; July 10, 2008 on the ethnic profiling in Italy; March 11, 2009 on the social situation of the Roma people in the EU; and March 25, 2010 concerning the Second European Summit on Roma inclusion. We are talking about serious violations that may well lead to Florence and Italy facing heavy penalties and sanctions on an international level, as well as placing them in a position that will arouse indignation and criticism from civilized countries.
The decisions taken on May 1st by the Florentine authorities have forced us to notify the European Commission, the European Council and the Council for Human Rights as to what is happening in Florence in the hope that they will take action against Italy for its violations of human rights.
Our press release has been censored by all the Italian newspapers and TV channels: by those of the Right, because the Roma people are being targeted by the ethnic policies of the majority; and those of the Left, because Florence is a city administered by the Democratic Party and its allies. The fact that the Italian media has decided not to stop informing people of the abuses committed against the Roma and “illegal” immigrants poses a threat to the future of our democracy and freedom of expression. There is no mention in the media of the ethnic purges taking place, or the warnings given to Italy by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Council and humanitarian organizations because of its ethnic policies”.
May 3, 2010
Posted by Morgan at 5:03 PM