Italian far-right minister wants persecution of Roma


This 2012 video is called An overview of a gypsy [Roma] camp located in the middle of a trash pile on the outskirts of Catania, Italy.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The Italian Minister of Internal Affairs Matteo Salvini wants to register how many Roma people live in the country. His intention is to expel Roma without valid papers. “We unfortunately have to keep Roma with Italian citizenship here”, he said on TV channel TeleLombardia. …

It is estimated that between 130,000 and 170,000 Roma live in Italy. About half are said to be Italian citizens. … Many Roma also complain that they are victims of discrimination in Italy.

Horrible history

Salvini is the leader of the anti-immigration party Lega and has long advocated special policies for Roma. For example, his party has suggested making it easier to separate Roma children from their families if they do not attend school. Salvini also said earlier that he wants to “bulldozer” Roma camps and he prefers to accuse the group of being criminals rather than working.

The proposal to count the Roma caused indignation in Italian media. Newspaper La Repubblica writes that Salvini causes a “shock” with his plan. …

Several opposition members say that Italy has a horrible history with censuses. They refer to the counts of Jews by the fascist regime of Mussolini, in the late 30’s of the last century.

Most of these Jews counted by Mussolini were later murdered in concentration camps like Auschwitz.

“The minister does not seem to know that an origin-based count is not allowed in Italy”, said the chairman of an advocacy group for Roma and Sinti. He says that it has long been shown how many people live in legal and illegal Roma camps. He also points out that most undocumented Roma are stateless and can therefore not be deported.

Salvini’s ‘Roma register’ marks a dangerous step towards fascism. How the left responds will be crucial to turning the tide against the racists: here.

Following his threat to expel “all 600,000” immigrants from Italy, Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini (Lega) now plans to register and count all Sinti and Roma living in the country. Such a move would be the prelude to mass, fascist-style repression: here.

The closure of Italian ports to civilian rescue ships by Lega Interior Minister Matteo Salvini goes hand in hand with the lies and slanders made against non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and their rescue ships. Politicians and journalists are attempting to isolate volunteer aid workers and turn popular opinion against them: here.

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Ukrainian nazis’ anti-Roma violence


This 2016 Euronews video is called Roma forced to flee violent mob in Ukraine village.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Friday, April 27, 2018

F 2nd: Ukraine Roma attacks

HUMAN rights groups are demanding an “urgent investigation” after Ukrainian far-right nationalists torched a Roma camp, throwing stones at women and children as they fled.

Members of the neonazi C14 group

In the C14 name, the C alludes to C18, the (originally English, later international) neonazi terror gang Combat 18. In which 18, the first and eighth letters in the alphabet, stands for ‘AH’=Adolf Hitler. The 14 in the C14 name stands for the ’14 words’, a racist neonazi slogan.

“wreaked havoc” in the capital Kiev’s Goloseevsky district, setting fire to 15 tents and forcing the Roma to leave.

They boasted about their actions on social media, claiming to have “disposed of the litter” and “safely burnt” the tents, describing their attacks as “convincing and legal arguments”.

Footage posted online showed the neonazis chasing a group of Roma, using gas canisters on women and children.

Amnesty International’s Ukrainian office director Oksana Pokalchuk said that a number of people were injured in the attack and she accused the fascist group of using “bladed weapons and possibly even firearms.”

A statement by the NGO claimed that police who arrived on the scene told the Roma that the camp was burning and advised them to leave Kiev as soon as possible.

Ukrainian authorities have been accused of turning a blind eye to rising neonazi attacks in the country. The C14 group are closely associated with the far-right Svoboda party and two of its members are suspected of involvement in the 2015 murder of journalist Oles Buzina.

Ms Pokalchuk said that, by continuing to ignore the actions of fascists, Ukrainian authorities give them a “feeling of impunity.”

“It is important to understand that anyone could become a target of such attacks — Roma, women, anti-corruption activists, Jews, the LGBT [community], as well as journalists, artists, students or writers”, she said.

A group of 57 US Congress members have asked Secretary of State John Sullivan to put pressure on Ukraine over “state-sponsored Holocaust denial” and “glorification of nazi collaborators, including Stepan Bandera.”

This video is on the 2018 C14 anti-Roma attack.

Members of the far-right Ukrainian paramilitary group C14 recently attacked a Roma camp in Kiev, forcing families and children to flee. The incident was just one of many assaults in Ukraine committed by right-wing groups against ethnic minorities and those opposed to the oligarchic government of Petro Poroshenko: here.

Violent anti-Semitism in Ukraine: here.

‘Moderate’ racist German politician hates Roma


This video says about itself:

German weekend football dominated by AfD chief’s ‘racist’ Boateng comment

30 May 2016

There is local pride in the Berlin district where [African-]German international footballer Jerome Boateng grew up.

But his and Germany’s performance on the pitch at the weekend were overshadowed by the furore following allegedly racist comments by the deputy chief of the right-wing AfD (Alternative for Germany) party.

The newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sontagszeitung claims that Alexander Gauland, 75, said that Germans thought he was a good footballer but did not want him as a neighbour.

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The German [right-wing] newspaper Welt am Sonntag says its has an email in which AfD party leader Alice Weidel describes Arabs, Sinti and Roma as “uncivilised people that we are swamped with”. The letter states that “enemies of the constitution [who govern us]” are doing that for the “systematic destruction of bourgeois society”.

The Merkel government is described as “nothing more than puppets of the Allies in World War II, who have the task of keeping the German people subjected by foreign infiltration inducing molecular civil war in urban areas.” The members of the government are called “pigs”. …

Weidel was relatively unknown until recently but became part of the party leadership after party president Frauke Petry was sidelined after a battle with the far right wing of the party. She is supposedly the liberal face of the AfD, which is pronouncedly anti-Islam.

The 100% neonazis in the AfD party were dissatisfied that under Ms Petry, the party was only 50% neonazi. So they replaced Petry with two party leaders: Alexander Gauland of the racist footballer Boateng comment, clearly further to the right than Petry, and supposedly ‘moderate’ Ms Weidel. Ms Weidel is supposedly moderate for being lesbian while the party platform is homophobic.

Now it turns out that to be a ‘moderate’ racist like Ms Weidel is a bit like being ‘moderately pregnant’.

Ms Weidel is an ex-investment banker and a member of the Friedrich A. von Hayek-Gesellschaft. This organisation was originally founded to promote the pro-Big Business ideas of Austrian economist Friedrich A. von Hayek. But, according to their former president, Ms Karen Horn, who resigned in protest, the organisation at first only attacked socialist and Keynesian economists, but then extended the attacks to ‘democracy, feminism, pluralism, homosexuality and atheism‘.

Not only Ms Weidel, but at least two other prominent AfD politicians are Friedrich A. von Hayek-Gesellschaft members. They are Peter Boehringer and Lady Beatrix von Storch, née Duchess of Oldenburg, the granddaughter of Hitler’s finance minister and convicted war criminal Count Schwerin von Krosigk.

Von Hayek’s Mont Pelerin society and other right-wing pressure groups: here.

Meet Alice Weidel, the Former Goldman Sachs Banker and Lesbian Leader of Germany’s Far-right. Since its founding in 2013, the euroskeptic AfD led by Weidel, has sparked concern and controversy in Germany, even going as far as a court case in which it was deemed legal for a comedian to refer to Weidel as a ‘Nazi slut’: here.

British Conservative anti-Roma racism


This video says about itself:

Hidden Sorrows – Persecution of Romanian Gypsies during the Holocaust

18 June 2014

A documentary about Romanian Roma (Gypsies) – featuring survivors describing their experiences during the Holocaust. The film also shows the lives of Roma today and current issues such as poverty and discrimination, traditions such as those displayed at weddings and funerals.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tory MP slammed for racism

Thursday 24th August 2017

TORY MP Douglas Ross was compared to US President Donald Trump yesterday after he attacked the travelling community in an online interview.

When asked what he would do if he was prime minister for the day, Mr Ross responded that he would impose “tougher enforcement against gypsy travellers.”

Scottish Greens justice spokesman John Finnie hit back at the bigoted remarks.

“Douglas Ross was given an open goal, be PM and sort anything you want,” the MSP said.

“He didn’t choose improving health, education or housing, he didn’t seek to eradicate poverty, work for a better planet or peace. Rather he chose to attack an already beleaguered minority, our gypsy travellers.

“Much like Donald Trump seemed emboldened the more outrageous he became, so do Scotland’s Conservatives, whose ranks boast racists and sectarian bigots.”

British Blairite MP Mann accused of anti-Roma racism: here.

PRESSURE is mounting on the Tories to sideline a councillor in Lancashire whose suspension for racism has been lifted for the sake of political advantage. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell demanded today that the Tories apologise and resuspend Rosemary Carroll after her reinstatement on Friday lunchtime enabled the Conservatives to take control of Pendle Borough Council. Ms Carroll was forced to stand down for three months after comparing Asians to dogs in a Facebook post last June: here.

Racist French Blairite Valls unwelcome in Macron’s party


This video says about itself:

7 October 2013

Hundreds of pupils in Paris took the day off school to protest on Thursday in retaliation for the deportation of foreign students. Showing solidarity with their peers, the pupils argue everyone has a right to education.

The protest follows the deportation of 15-year-old Roma student Leonarda Dibrani, who was expelled from France to Kosovo October 9.

The demonstration marks a backlash to Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls‘ comments in September, when he said most of the 20,000 Romas in France had no motivation for integrating into society and should be sent back to their countries of origin.

Blairite politician Manuels Valls in 2014 rose to Prime Minister; but now, he seems too fall.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Valls not welcome in Macron’s party

Today, 09:18

Manuel Valls is not welcome as a parliamentary candidate for En Marche!. The French former prime minister announced yesterday his move to the movement of the new president Macron, but the party does not want him. …

The rejection puts Valls in a difficult position. In an interview he said yesterday that his socialist party is dead. He will therefore not be able to return to that Socialist Party.

According to [NOS correspondent] Renout, you could say that Valls is now out on the street. “He closed the door to the socialist party, but Macron closed the door as well.”

This is not so surprising. When Macron started En Marche! Valls cynically predicted it would fail. Macron may still remember now, after Vallsweathervane-like flip-flopping Damascene conversion. In December 2016, Macron called Valls a ‘traitor’. See also here. And Valls’ government was very impopular, so Valls may drive voters away from Macron rather than attracting them.

28 June 2017: Former French Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls, quits Socialists, is humiliated by Macron, and faces Challenge over Electoral Fraud: here.

Musician Django Reinhardt, new film


This 12 January 2017 video is called Berlin: Etienne Comar ‘Django’ at the 2017 Festival.

Another video which used to be on YouTube used to say about itself:

9 February 2017

The Berlin International Film Festival opens on Feb. 9th with the premier of Etienne Comar’s “Django.” The biopic is set in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1943 and tells the story of Sinti jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.

By Bernd Reinhardt in Germany:

A film about the legendary guitarist: Django

4 March 2017

Finally, a feature film about the legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt!

The timelessness of his music makes one too easily forget that it emerged in a very real and troubled world—characterised by an enthusiasm for everything American in the 1920s and 1930s, by socialist aspirations, by the threats of French fascists, by mass strikes—a time when Paris was regarded as a Mecca for American jazz musicians, the period of the German occupation of France, the Resistance and the flood of refugees from the war across Europe.

Django, the debut film of Étienne Comar—who deals relatively loosely with Reinhardt’s biography—focuses on the year 1943, when the Nazis tried unsuccessfully to convince Django to undertake a tour of fascist Germany.

Reinhardt (Reda Kateb, whose father was an Algerian actor) is initially uncertain. He is drawn to the prospect of sold-out concert halls. He is also of the opinion that the war between rival groups of “Gadjos” (non-Gypsies) is none of his business. In the end, artistic considerations lie behind his rejection of the offer. The Nazis, who could not entirely block the spread of jazz in Germany, demand a “clean” jazz from Django, preferably without syncopation, without blues, played only in optimistic major tones and with very brief improvisations; in short, a completely neutered music. This is unacceptable to the artist.

A blonde admirer, Louise de Klerk (Cécile de France), advises him to flee, but the vain musician enjoys his reputation in Paris as the “King of Swing” (following the departure of a number of outstanding American musicians) and continues to rely on the protection of a jazz-loving Nazi officer. Only when the pressure increases and Manouche [Romani people in France] are sent to “work deployments” in Germany—as the deportations are officially called—does Django flee with his family to the French-Swiss border.

For the many Manouche and Sinti [Romani people of Central Europe] in Django, who speak exclusively in their language, Romanes, the film must have been an affair of the heart. Comar (who also co-wrote the screenplay, based on a 2013 novel by Alexis Salatko) dispenses with such banalities as presenting Roma as spontaneous anarchists who instinctively reject bourgeois society, or as representatives of a nature-based, alternative way of life. Roma families playing idyllically in a forest are suddenly confronted with Nazi machine guns. In the next scene we see Django Reinhardt, the acclaimed guitarist, in a magnificent concert hall. This is the tightrope that someone in his position walks.

The illiterate Django laps up the glamorous world of the rich and famous, and imitates Hollywood film star Clark Gable. On the Swiss border, however, the King of Swing becomes a defenseless refugee whose mother (Bimbam Merstein) fights for her son to play for a few francs in a pub in order to feed the family. When Django plays the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise,” the bar-keeper’s face lights up.

Occasionally Django is contemptuous of Gadjos, but the film refrains from condemning his audiences and refrains from clichés about “other” forms of culture. Rather it reveals the lack of perspective of an oppressed minority, which has internalized its suffering as fugitives and outsiders over many generations. On several occasions Django makes clear that the French police and military hounded Roma with the same ruthlessness as the Nazis. But we also witness Roma joining the Resistance.

Django lives in the middle of Paris. He is not indifferent to the opinion of Gadjos who also play in his band. What Django shared with “non-gypsies” of his generation was, above all, an enthusiasm for America and its music. The arrival of jazz in Europe was a major cultural event and something of a symbol of freedom. Already as a 13-year-old banjo player, Reinhardt listened enthusiastically to bands from the US. Unfortunately, the film makes barely any reference to this formative period that contributed to Reinhardt’s original musical path.

The film’s Django exudes a strong attachment to traditional gypsy music (the film features prominently at the start his well-known “gypsy” song “Black Eyes”—albeit in swing style). In fact, the real Django Reinhardt drew inspiration from many sources. He was interested in the music of Bartok and Debussy (the latter inspired many Hollywood composers), he went to the ballet and began to paint. Unlike many European contemporaries, he was able to swing as well as the best American jazz players and (according to legend) could personally replace a whole rhythm section. This is why so many of the US greats lined up to jam with him.

Reinhardt’s music is finely played in the film by the outstanding Stochelo Rosenberg Trio. Kateb plays the guitarist with the “poker face,” who, with bells attached to his ankles, could entice an entire concert hall of the “master race” into dancing to his tune. Even the hardline Nazis, who raise their glasses and quote the German poet Friedrich Rückert for a “free, a German Europe”, succumb to the power of his music and lose control for a short time.

Reinhardt undoubtedly undergoes a development in the film. At the outset he is very naive. On seeing Hitler in 1943 for the first time in a cinema, Django chortles at the “clown” on the screen. At the end of the film, however, Reinhardt’s “Requiem” is performed; a piece he composed for and devoted to all the Roma victims of the Second World War. His tonal language has changed and become more universal.

The score of the “Requiem” has been lost and only fragments remain. Nevertheless, the score based on the fragments composed by the Australian musician and composer Warren Ellis is deeply touching, in particular during the choral section (sung in Romanes). The notion that Django Reinhardt might have opened up different musical paths is fascinating and, one hopes, may encourage young Manouche and Sinti musicians to go further than the limits imposed by playing exclusively gypsy swing.

Django is to be welcomed for dealing with a neglected chapter of history—the persecution of Roma under the Nazis. At the same time, Comar shows the contradictory nature of his main character who pragmatically tries to survive “between the fronts.” His ignorance of social and political developments and not least his egoism render Reinhardt blind to the impending catastrophe. He is free only in music. In the film, he is able to make it to Switzerland with his family. In reality, Reinhardt’s situation was more desperate. Swiss officials refused him entry due to his status as a “gypsy.”