Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Save The Roma/Gypsy Children Of Kosovo

I was told by Roma in Kosovo, that their families had been settled in
houses, in villages for centuries there. They had jobs, they had small
business. They lost everything including many loved ones during NATO's
"humanitarian" bombings during the last Kosovo war. This in turn, with
UN troops looking the other way, was followed by the Kosovo Liberation
Army's and triumphant Albanians' vengeful campaigns of rape, torture,
random assassinations of Roma believed to have sided with the Serbs. The
surviving Roma were either expelled or forced to live on lead polluted

One who I am honored to call my friend, Paul Polansky, a poet and tried
and true friend of Kosovar Roma, told me children are born with bleeding
gums and stunted growth on those dumps. He took several of them to
Germany for observation and possible help. Many other Kosovar Roma had
sought refuge in Germany. Roma children were born and raised there. Now
they are being forced to return to Kosovo, into an environment of
hatred, possible torture and death.

The Roma are like us. They love their children. Back them up by raising

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Political Invisibility Vs. A New Type Of Leader For Europe’s Gypsy/ Roma People

There are between 12 and 16 million Roma living in Europe. Increased
persecution coupled with an absence of legal protection and the most
basic human rights are pushing Europe's Gypsy people to protect
themselves the way they have for over 600 years – they withdraw into
invisibility. Their life-expectancy is low, the general health of many
is often poor, their children are discriminated in school or are not
obtaining formal education at all. They are murdered by fire-bombs in
their sleep, women and children openly attacked in the streets, and
newspapers, radios and television stations rarely direct attention to
Europe's latest episode of a holocaust that never really left.

It seems that Roma are waking up to the fact that a new type of leader
is needed for their people, one who unites, at least to the outside, the
many separate tribes. He has to be Roma, for Gypsies can only be lead by
one of their own. One who builds bridges across the ancient divide
between Roma and the majority population and starts chipping away at the
many misconceptions held rigidly by both sides. A leader like Martin
Luther King comes to mind, a man of faith and dedication, who believed
in using civil disobedience and other peaceful means to cross the racial
divide here in the States. I have known such Roma men: Mateo
Maximoff, a Russian Gypsy, living in Paris. He was a man of religion, an
evangelical pastor. He had reached across the divide, was backed by
friends on both sides. Gypsies then, up to 1999, the year of his death,
were doing relatively well in France. He was and still is well known by
Roma here in the United States. There are Roma like him right here in
the States, just as there must be in Europe too, Roma men of faith,
dedicated and selfless. Change has to happen, and it has to happen now.

Monday, July 12, 2010


[Roma Virtual Network (]
July 5, 2010

"There is a real desire in France to silence all stories dealing with
violations of Roma rights, and so very few are aware of what is about to
take place this week, in a small shanty town called Hanul, located in
St.Denis"………that's near Paris,France.


Anybody remember the holocaust, porraimos (the devouring) as the Gypsies
call it? Well that's exactly how that started. No press. After that 80
million Germans looked the other way. Only when the American press
finally picked up the story, by which time millions of innocent people
had been murdered, did the world do something about it.

How many lessons does it take, for some fundamentals to finally sink in?
What you do or let happen to others, will in the end catch up with you.
Germany paid dearly, and was only able to get up from her knees, when
America pulled her back up.

The Gypsies are Europe's most vulnerable and, yes, innocent minority.
Maybe they steal when they're hungry, not different from any other
hungry mouth, but they have never been killers. They are our human
brothers and sisters, part of our human family, stand up and speak out
for their rights. It will create a world in which all of us can thrive.