European Roma Movement
The Threat: RACIST TERROR
"THE MARCH OF 100,000"
We'll keep on celebrating
Roma escape from detention centre
"THE MARCH OF 100,000"
Romani National Day 2001
This year is special as it's the 30-year Jubilee of the lst World Romani Congress.
The Congress adopted the blue and green flag, embossed with the red Ashok Chakra, the Indian symbol of perpetual life, and decided that the opening day 8 April should become "Romani National Day."
In London, we have had a working group preparing our events for some months, as well as lending a hand in coordinating rallies and celebrations in some l50 towns and cities around the world.
Many of these are linking up for the "March of 100,000", under the banner of Ustiben 2001. The more militant tendency of the Ustiben (Rising) has arisen as a response to an appeal by Roma who have been ethnically-cleansed from Kosovo.
They are now scattered - some 80,000 in all - as refugess around Europe, indeed the globe.
Also from newly formed Roma organizations in South America, which have urged we all utilize Romani National Day for a world-wide manifestation in favour of Roma rights and recognition.
Taken up by the Roma Parliament, meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia (3-4 March) and by the Quito Conference, in Ecuador (13-14 March), the momentum for Romani nation recognition by the UN is to be carried forward to the World Anti-Racism Conference in Durban, South Africa, at the end of August.
Our main event for Romani National Day will be a rally in Parliament Square, led by Dr Jan Cibula, plenary president of the 2nd World Romani Congress.
We shall be remembering all the victims of racist attacks - of which there have been not a few in the UK - and paying our respects to Roma who lost their lives in the two World Wars.
Among the many events abroad are a rally outside the UN in New York, a march in Gent, Holland, a concert in Vienna City Hall, an assembly in Sydney, Australia, and major manifestations in Belgrade, Bucurest, Sofia, Skopje and other European capitals.
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