Wednesday, October 21, 2009


That condemns roughly 10,000 Roma to a life of daily threat, harassment, and a life of fear in a segregated community.

Roma rights Organization Chachipe states:

“Contrary to what is said by the German authorities the situation of Roma in Kosovo has not improved drastically. Roma continue to be victims of widespread discrimination and violations of their human rights.”

In 2002 I stayed with a Roma family in Kosovo. They lived in ramshackle houses with out- houses and water from a communal pump. Some lived on toxic dumps, where children were born deformed, all children tested extremely high on blood levels of lead. Parents were afraid to send their children to school. Roma who sat on the backseats while some of us Westerners drove through towns, ducked so as not to be recognized and attacked. There was fear of attacks during the night. There was very little food, lack of firewood for the cold winters. Gasoline was purchased on the black market in one-liter wine bottles.

As always Gypsies do the best with what they’ve got: The inside of their shacks were clean and cozy, their children unfed but well looked after, as is their custom, they were protective of their guests

Having grown up in Europe during the war, I know for a fact that attitudes in Europe change slowly, if at all. The resurgence of racism 60 years after the holocaust seems prove that the same hatred has kept on smoldering under promises of modern-day democracies. Activist over here in the U.S., human rights activists from all over the world,

have to unite to prevent this new version of a previous genocide. Kosovo would be a good start to keep an unrelenting vigil, because when I was there, NATO soldiers seemed to look the other way.

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