“We want decent houses!”, “Houses for everybody!” and “Stop the forced evictions!” shouted the Roma gathered to protest in the centre of Cluj-Napoca. The protest was initiated and supported by the activists from Amnesty International in partnership with Amare Phrala, European Alternatives, Desire Foundation and The Group for Social Action with the occasion of “World Habitat Day”.
The protest had in its centre the Roma evicted during last winter and moved to the city's outskirts, close to a dumping ground, where they received some modular houses from the City Hall. The representatives of the City Hall always said that the eviction of Roma respected the Romanian legislation and the Roma received “proper” houses.
Wearing shirts with the message “Stop the forced evictions!” the Roma and the other participants protested against the discriminatory Romanian legislation, convinced that evictions are illegal and immoral because they go against fundamental human rights and stimulate racial segregation. The representatives of the associations that organised the protest demand the introduction in the Romanian laws of articles that should go against forced evictions.
During the protest the activists were circulating a petition and everybody was invited to sign it. The petition was addressed to the Ministry of Regional Development, Elena Udrea, and promotes the modification of the actual housing legislation in Romania as the local authorities are free to evict families and communities, without the right to defence.
Daniel Peslari, European Alternatives Cluj Napoca