CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Remember the Gypsey and Roma victims

23 January, 2020

• AS we prepare to mark another Holocaust Memorial Day, we should also remember the Gypsies and Roma who were among the millions of innocent victims murdered in the Final Solution, and who are among the communities we mourn on this day.

Every June is GRTHM – Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Month – in the UK, but this year, there is an urgent reason to remember and take action now to support these communities.

Unfortunately prejudice against Travelling and Gypsy communities is common in the UK, and the government promised to give police new powers against them during the election campaign.

The government has announced a consultation on the proposed legislation. One of the changes involves trespass becoming a criminal offence; another gives police greater power of discretion and judgment.

These changes are discriminatory towards Travelling communities and the criminalisation of trespass is, in the short-term a threat to the right to protest; and in the longer term, a threat to us all, as the police would be able to use these new powers freely against anyone.

The consultation closes on March 4, so please Google it and respond. Anti-Gypsy prejudice is one of the last few respectable forms of bigotry, and it shows the continuing importance and relevance of Holocaust Memorial Day.

GARETH MURPHY
Bellina Mews, NW5

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