Open letter to the Minister of the emloyment, social policies and economic development mr. Luigi Di Maio and to the Minister of interior mr. Matteo Salvini from roma and sinti associations.
in the last few days, our communities feel more fear than before.
This fear is the same fear many Italians faced in history. Let us remember that Italians have been suffering a similar treatment in the United States of America. In 1891 in New Orleans, eleven Italians victims of the biggest lynching in American history. Racial hatred directed at newly arrived immigrants from Italy created a climate in which the lynching was justified, in the eyes of politicians. Italians in America were vilified as “lazy beggars” and “violent criminals.” Theodore Roosevelt, later to become president, described the lynching as a “rather good thing.” In this atmosphere, Italians suffered greatly for a long time. Today, we suffer in Italy in the same way and feel the same kind of fear.
Some people in Italian society might feel angry for seeing that the situation of Roma is not being solved. Trust us, we 130 000 Roma and Sinti feel the same anger for the same reason. However, we are not to be blamed because we have done everything in our power to improve the situation on the ground. For many years we have been warning that governments did not care enough about real problems affecting us and spent Italian and European tax payers money in developing a wrong approach to the situation. We also warned that interning Roma in camps is not the solution, but so far we have not been given any credible alternatives.
We know Italy faces pressing problems that many of our fellow citizens care more about like corruption, organized crime, dysfunction of public institutions and the rising number of feminicides. We know 5 million Italians are living in poverty to the present day. We know our country is confronted to large-scale unemployment and lack of public housing opportunities. Many of these people are Roma, but the vast majority are not.
Solving these issues will make the lives of Italians better. You established the government that you call “the government of the change”. Blaming and attacking the Roma and Sinti communities will not solve these problems and will not bring any positive change as the racial hatred and lynching of Italians in America did not solve anything and did not bring any positive change.
We are asking you for an urgent meeting with all Roma associations, members of the Roma Forum established by National Office Against the Racial Discrimination (UNAR) in the accordance to the National Strategy for Roma Inclusion. We would like to express our views about what we could consider real solutions for Roma.
As until now, we have been absolutely determined to take our share of responsibility for finding solutions for the benefit of Italy and its citizens of Roma and Sinti origin. The question is whether you share this determination and if you are open to work for the real positive change so people don’t feel fear and anger, but courage and hope to bring about better lives for all Italians.
Looking forward to hear from you
Dijana Pavlovic – Alleanza Romanì
Santino Spinelli – Associazione Them Romanò
Radames Gabrielli- Associazione Nevo Drom
Fabio Suffre – Associazione Sucar Drom
Gennaro Spinelli – Associazione FutuRom
Giulia Di Rocco – Associazione Amici di Zefferino, Associazione Romanì Kriss
Saska Jovanovic – Associazione Romnì Onlus
Ion Dumitru – ROWNI Roma Women Network Italy
Remzija Chuna – Associazione Rom e Romnia Europea
Giorgio Bezzecchi –Cooperativa Romano Drom, Associazione Museo del Viaggio Fabrizio de Andrè
Daniela De Rentiis – Accademia d’Arte Romanì
Samir Alija – Associazione New Romalen
Ernesto Grandini – Associazione Sinti di Prato
Aldo Levak – Associazione Romano Glaso
Arabela Staicu – Associazione Liberi
Paolo Cagna Ninchi – Associazione Upre Roma