Dear IRR News subscriber,
IRR News focuses this week on the Europe-wide plight of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers. In September, a homeless Roma man from Romania, living in Sweden, died after a fire broke out at his tent camp. In the previous months, the location of Sweden’s temporary Roma camps had been disseminated online. Liz Fekete warns that the outbreak of anti-Roma violence across Europe shows that the Roma are the first victims of fascism – again. While, in post-Holocaust Europe, scientific racism is no longer acceptable, fascism’s social hygiene component lingers in modern attitudes towards the Roma, so often denigrated for their ‘criminal’ culture and ‘deviant’ lifestyle.
In Britain, the coalition government’s record of care has been poor. A Europe-wide directive obligates the UK to work towards provision for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers. But as is revealed by a new report, produced by a civil society monitoring group made up of scholars and Gypsy and Traveller advocacy groups, the government has failed to do so – further, it has made conditions for these groups even more intolerable. Meanwhile, the Department for Communities and Local Government has opened a consultation on a proposal to remove the protected status of some members of the Gypsy and Traveller community – and the planning protections that accompany it. Gypsy and Traveller organisations deplore the proposal to define a portion of Gypsies and Travellers out of the government’s duty of care when it comes to site provision.
We also publish John Grayson’s analysis of the main parties’ policies on immigration and asylum, in which he picks apart the misleading and self-congratulatory mantra that offering sanctuary for asylum seekers has ‘always been the British way’. Chris Searle reviews a new book, Cuguano Against Slavery, which brings to life the history of eighteenth century anti-slavery agitation. And our fortnightly calendar, a resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlights key events in the UK and Europe.
Finally, the IRR’s journal Race & Class is hosting a meeting on 27 November on: ‘The business of immigration enforcement: the role of the voluntary sector’, with Imogen Tyler and Frances Webber. There are only a few places left. You can book a place by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
IRR News team