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Home / Resources / News / Roma in Rome : Our Vote is not For Sale

Roma in Rome : Our Vote is not For Sale

Translation: Rebecca HiltonThe day set out to mark the International Dayof the Roma and Sinti People, as recognised by the UN since 1979, cannot be truly be regarded as a “Bahtalo Roman dives” or “good day of the Roma people”.  In Rome, controversy and disputes surround the decision of some “Roman Roma” to fully express their right to European citizenship and participate in the elections being held in the capital to choose the mayoral candidate of the center in the upcoming elections on 24 and 25 May. At European Alternatives, we are continuously involved with issues concerning the human rights of Roma, Sinti and other traveling people in Europe, and as supporters of the each individual’s right to full and conscious expression of citizenship we therefore stand by the statements made by ARCI Soliderietà, our partner organisation in Italy,  who have a direct commitment to the protection of these minorities, not only through this international day but extensively throughout the year.Rome, 8 April 2013


Today is the International Day of the Roma and Sinti People. In London on 8 April, 1971 the International Romani Union was founded, with the official act relating to participation in the public life of the Roma community. Rather than celebrate however, we are forced to denounce yet another racist rant dispensed with the usual excuse of legalitarianism. What is both saddening and worrying about this is that the attack has come from a leader of the Democratic Party, the largest Italian center-left party, whereby he has accused those Roma who have participated in the primaries for the selection of the next candidate for mayor of Rome of cronyism and put forth similar accusations of vote buying. Cristiana Alicata has made ??a serious mistake and should apologise for this. First of all the Roma community, like all Italian and foreign citizens, possess rights of citizenship that it would be conducive to promote and enhance, instead of simply stifling through these prejudices and unfounded accusations. His words from yesterday devalue all the work done by those who have fought over the years for the affirmation of the right of participation for all, starting with a people who have been the victim of five years of junta Alemanno and that, through an act of active citizenship, yesterday gave its contribution to start a process of change.

With regard to this information; it is making the news because it has sparked controversy and because it is offers a “strong” journalistic affirmation and it brings back the reassuring image of the cheating Roma ;  inherently unfair, greedy, evoking old uncomfortable ghosts. Still we are unable to comprehend  how they tested the main national news to contribute to this nonsense with such systematic intolerance, while remaining silent on the many, serious acts of discrimination that the Roma have been  victims of in Rome recently.

To say, then, “The usual queues of Roma”, is a genuinely racist statement.  As well as being a dismissive racist statements therein lies a betrayal, a sad reversal of ethics.   Alicata seems to not like this. We rather like to see people lined up to vote, to express a point of view, to try to influence the political life of a city. We like it very much; it is an achievement of civilization.

Arci Solidarietà Onlus