Forty years on from New Cross, the need to build a mass anti-racist, anti-imperialist movement is still paramount. No justice, no peace!
Today, April 8th, Roma communities around the world celebrate International Roma Day. Roma people continue to face unrepentant marginalisation and widespread institutional racism from the European ruling classes.
In France, Roma communities have been targeted for deportation by the Sarkozy administration and later by so-called “socialist” interior minister Manuel Valls, during the Hollande era. Italy fares no better: the now infamous Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right Lega organisation, has repeatedly called for a “mass cleansing” and has stirred up a moral panic around the supposed incompatibility of Roma and Italian cultures. Further east, Romania, home to somewhere between 600,000 and 2 million Roma, continues to evade its duty to acknowledge the centuries of Roma slavery and their impact on the ongoing marginalisation they experience today. Just as well in Britain, they are often criminalised and subjected to strict immigration controls.
The institutional antiziganism of the ruling classes sustains Roma oppression by cementing notions of criminality or cultural incompatibility related to Roma people in the public mind through its racist policies and discourse. As a consequence, all throughout Europe, public opinion is deeply antagonistic to Roma communities, who face disproportionate levels of racist attacks.
The fact that this marginalisation is allowed to continue is inexcusable. Roma people are by and large one of the most vulnerable social groups in Europe, despite being its largest ethnic minority, and their oppression today follows centuries of pogroms, forced sterilisation, slavery, and racist persecution that culminated in the Porajmos, or the Nazi-led genocide of Roma people in the context of the Holocaust. Today, they are vulnerable to environmental racism, immigration controls, police violence, and lack of access to housing, healthcare, and education.
We, Red Fightback, stand in unconditional solidarity with the Roma community in their struggle for dignity and human rights. We cannot achieve liberation for one unless we have achieved liberation for all. Bahtalo Romano Dive!