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June 05 2011


Das Wort „Sinti und Roma“ ist eine deutsche Erfindung. Fast überall in Europa wird „Rom“ – Mensch – als Oberbegriff verwendet, entstanden aus den Bürgerrechtsbewegungen der europäischen Roma in den siebziger Jahren. Das Wort ist vor allem ein politisches Konzept. Stéphane Laederich, Autor des Standardwerkes „The Rroma“ schreibt: „Die Familie ist das Zentrum im Leben eines Roms. Die erste Loyalität gilt immer den Verwandten.“ Man sei Angehöriger einer Großfamilie, dann eines Verbundes von Großfamilien, dann einer Sub-Ethnie – wie der Kalderara, der Lovara oder der Sinti. Zuletzt gelte die Identifikation allenfalls der Weltgemeinschaft der Roma.

Die meisten empfänden „Zigeuner“ als diskriminierend, sagt Herbert Heuß vom Zentralrat. „An dem Begriff hängt der Rassenhass der Hitler-Zeit und die vielen alten Vorurteile, über angeblichen Dreck, Kriminalität, Faulheit, dass alle nomadisch leben und am Lagerfeuer sitzen.“ 68 Prozent der Deutschen wollten nichts mit Sinti und Roma zu tun haben, zitiert Heuß aus einer älteren Umfrage, und das habe mit eben diesen Bildern zu tun.

Abseits der beiden Dachverbände wird weniger emotional diskutiert. Manuel Trollmann macht Öffentlichkeitsarbeit für den Sinti Verband Niedersachsen mit 5.000 Mitgliedern, in keinem der verstrittenen Dachverbände organisiert, „weil wir hier ganz praktische Arbeit machen.“ „Ich selbst habe kein Problem damit, wenn mich jemand Zigeuner nennt“, sagt Trollmann. „Es kommt darauf an, wie das gemeint ist – und es ist nicht grundsätzlich diskriminierend gemeint.“ Die Älteren in seiner Familie könnten das Wort aber in keinem Fall aushalten. „Wer mit dem eintätowierten Z im KZ leben musste, verbindet unfassbares Leid mit dem Wort.“ Trollmanns Großonkel – Johann Rukeli Trollmann – war 1933 Boxweltmeister im Halbschwergewicht. Weil er Sinto war, wurde ihm dieser Titel nach acht Tagen aberkannt, er starb 1944 im KZ. „Nach 600 Jahren Sinti-Geschichte in Deutschland ist mein Großonkel der erste, nach dem eine Straße benannt wurde“, sagt Manuel Trollmann.


Identität: Mehr als ein Streit um Worte — Vielleicht ist „Sinti und Roma“ doch keine gute Bezeichnung für jene, die ­„Zigeuner“ heißen wollen. Die Debatte zeigt, wie viel ­Politik im Namen steckt | - Miriam Bunjes - 2011-06-02

May 12 2011

Rescuing Malcolm X From His Calculated Myths | The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 2011-05-01


Still reinventing malcolm 3
Bob Adelman, Magnum Photos

Malcom X , 1962

Malcolm X bestrides the postwar age of decolonization alongside global icons like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. If King and Gandhi evoked nonviolence and disciplined civil disobedience as a shield to protect the world from imperial wars, racism, and rampant materialism, Malcolm wielded the specter of self-defense, violence, and revolution as a sword to permanently alter power relations between the global North and South. In an epoch contoured by revolutions that connected local political struggles to national and international upheavals, he self-consciously brokered links among Africa, the Middle East, and America, setting the stage for political, religious, and cultural reverberations that would continue past his lifetime.




Almost a half-century after his death in 1965, Malcolm X continues to capture the global political imagination. His denunciations of white racism to packed Harlem crowds remain searing images that capture a specific style of black radicalism while simultaneously serving as a template for political revolutions that go beyond race and established the Third World as a bracingly independent geopolitical force. His speeches, political activism, and religious beliefs achieved mythic proportions after his death, spurred by the huge success of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, written in collaboration with Alex Haley and published posthumously. It remains a classic memoir of the once wayward youth's transformation from juvenile delinquent and criminal into the Nation of Islam's fiery national spokesman and, following a messy divorce from the group that would ultimately lead to his death, a radical human-rights advocate and Pan-Africanist who candidly admitted that some of his past views had been politically shortsighted, even reckless.

Embraced by Black Power activists, hip-hop artists, socialists, and black nationalists, Malcolm's iconography had been successfully rehabilitated enough by the 1990s to merit a major motion picture, an official U.S. postage stamp, and mainstream identification as King's angry but eloquent counterpart. Recognition came at a high cost. Despite a plethora of popular and scholarly works—on Malcolm's political and religious views, his life as hipster and hustler, his embrace of Pan-African impulses, his break with the Nation of Islam—a definitive scholarly biography illuminating his singular importance as a dominant 20th-century historical figure remained absent. For personal, financial, and political reasons, his widow and subsequently his estate restricted access to important archival material until 2008. His former associates were loath to give interviews, and the Nation of Islam remained mostly silent about the circumstances surrounding his death. The FBI and the New York City Police Department closed off thousands of pages of surveillance and wiretapping records. Then too, the success of the Autobiography as a literary memoir narrowed the opening for a scholarly biography.

Historical scholarship has focused on Malcolm's words of fire, depicting him more as a brilliant speaker than a community organizer. His supple intellect, burgeoning political ambitions, and organizing prowess have garnered far less attention. As have details of his private life. And no single volume has attempted to craft a cohesive portrait that stands outside the Autobiography's considerable shadow. In that celebrated book, Malcolm X outlined his views on the importance of producing an accurate history: "I've had enough of somebody else's propaganda," he proclaimed.

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (Viking), by Manning Marable, a historian at Columbia University who died just days before publication of what is clearly his life's work, achieves the rare feat of rescuing a man from his own mythology with deep archival research and brilliant insight. Marable's untimely death adds a layer of poignancy to a biography that will stand as the most authoritative account of Malcolm's life that will be written for a long time.

Marable emerged as one of the leading scholars of black Marxism and radicalism in the early 1980s. The founding director of Columbia's Institute for Research in African American Studies and a prolific scholar, his work charted the black-freedom movement's domestic and global reverberations. In books like Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945-1990 (second edition, University Press of Mississippi, 1991), African and Caribbean Politics: From Kwame Nkrumah to the Granada Revolution (Verso, 1987), and The Great Wells of Democracy: The Meaning of Race in America (Basic Books, 2002), he deftly explored the way postwar black radicals helped transform American democracy in the service of a human-rights movement that transcended borders and boundaries.



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April 27 2011

Hungary: Hungarian-Roma Tensions Result in Clash in Gyöngyöspata

Last night four people were injured in a clash between ethnic Hungarian members of the far-right group Véderő and members of the Roma community in Gyöngyöspata. Tensions have been escalating in this northern Hungarian village since March. By last Friday, Véderő's show-off military training tipped the scales of the conflict against making peace between the local Roma and Hungarian communities.

Contradictory accounts have been published in the Hungarian media about how exactly the fight started - and neither of the communities has taken responsibility for the clash.

A roma girl cries after arriving back home following her evacuation from the hungarian village of gyongyospata. image by david ferenczy, copyright demotix (24/04/2011).

A Roma girl cries after arriving back home following her evacuation from the Hungarian village of Gyongyospata. Image by David Ferenczy, copyright Demotix (24/04/2011).

Gyöngyöspata Solidarity blog shared a translation of the news report [hu]. János Ladó of the Roma Civil Rights Foundation told the Hungarians had been provoking the Roma community all day and this topped with the clash:

[…] By the evening, in the middle of a birthday celebration, the provocation increased, and more and more gathered on both sides. The Roma called the police, first one patrol arrived, then more policemen.

While the crowd was gathering in the central areas of the town, some threw stones at the windows of one of the houses in the Roma neighbourhood, some 10 minutes walk from there, then assaulted a 14-year-old local Roma boy. A serious fight in the Roma neighbourhood followed; according to Ladó, some were seriously injured, he saw three. Police called for more police backup. This was also confirmed by representative of TASZ [HCLU- Hungarian Civil Liberties Union] who saw a group of police cars on the highway, on their way to Gyöngyöspata. […]

Gábor Vona, the leader of the far-right Jobbik party in the Hungarian Parliament, criticized the way in which the Minister of the Interior, Sándor Pintér, responded to the situation in northern Hungary, calling for the minister's resignation because he hadn't been able to protect the Hungarian citizens from the Roma who “keep the whole village, mostly the elderly, in constant terror.”

Egyenlítő blog reported that Mr. Vona also invited PM Viktor Orbán for a dialogue about the Hungarian-Roma relations. The blogger drew quite a radical conclusion in his post [hu]:

[…] The problem is just that along with verbal slaps there are more and more real conflicts [happening]. In the meantime, the government makes some constitution, some media law, [and] educates Europe. […] Nicely [getting] back to the [1930s]. And, sadly, every sign says the [1940s] will be following them again.

Or there's another opportunity: in two weeks from now, the security of our country could highly increase if Mr. Orbán and Mr. Pintér resigned.

April 24 2011

Hungary: For Gyöngyöspata's Roma, Evacuation - or an Easter Excursion?

A village without a mayor

Northern Hungary has recently become the center of rising conflicts between the Roma and the Hungarian communities. In Gyöngyöspata, for example, paramilitary organizations were marching a month ago, claiming they were members of a neighborhood watch, even though their far-right stance was obvious.

On April 19, this video (HUN) was posted by a Roma news site So Si? (HUN), covering the rumors spreading in the Roma community of Gyöngyöspata about a paramilitary organization's plans to hold a training camp in the village. On the same day came the news of the resignation of the local mayor.

Piroslap blog, referring to a news agency, wrote (HUN) that the mayor had explained his decision to resign by health reasons. About the training camp, Piroslap wrote this:

[…] Now the group Véderő wants to hold a military camp at the settlement. On their website they define themselves as [a group] operating far from politics but on the national side, and after the elimination of conscription they would like to offer martial type of training to those who like this kind of education but wouldn't want to be professional soldiers. […]

The Roma have left

By Friday, April 22, some 300 Roma have left Gyöngyöspata, allegedly because they were afraid of the vigilante group arriving at the village for training. According to news reports, the departure of the Roma women and children was organized by the Hungarian Red Cross and Richard Field, an American businessman who had already expressed his concerns about the situation of the Roma in Hungary and even started an NGO to support them.

The Hungarian media used the word ‘evacuation' for what happened, whereas government officials claimed this wasn't an evacuation: according to them, the Roma had been taken on an Easter holiday trip for the weekend. Péter Szijjártó, the spokesman for the Prime Minister, and the Minister of the Interior Sándor Pintér offered this explanation for what had happened.

This video (HUN) shows the Minister of the Interior at a press conference held in Gyöngyöspata on Friday. He said:

They [the members of the paramilitary group] took away the happiness which was offered by the charitable organization Red Cross. The national board of the Red Cross invited the women and children from the Gyöngyöspata families for an Easter excursion.

Gellért Rajcsányi of Mandiner wrote (HUN):

[…] Because of the threats, the Roma are afraid of atrocities. A leader for the action said the [Roma] men all stayed in the village trying to protect their valuables left at home. They are expecting members of the Parliament, representatives of embassies and international human right activists to arrive by Friday afternoon. According to János Farkas, the deputy of the Roma Hungarian Civil Rights Movement, the Red Cross contributed in moving out the people who were accommodated in different camps. A representative of the Red Cross told dpa [a German press agency] that this was the first time since World War II when the organization evacuated citizens threatened by a paramilitary group in Hungary. […]

Also on Friday, the Minister of the Interior announced that the government had designed a “decree to penalise civil guard activities conducted without prior approval by the police or feigning a right to act as a keeper of public order.”

By Friday afternoon, the police dismissed the paramilitary training of Véderő. According to news reports, the leader of the group Tamás Eszes was detained. Far-right news site re-published (HUN) these reports, adding an important piece of information: Tamás Eszes is a man who was disqualified from the Hungarian Guard. (Other sources wrote that Mr. Eszes would run for the mayor position now that Gyöngyöspata has no mayor.)

Gellért Rajcsányi wrote that the biggest responsibility is that of the government:

[…] We've been keeping the state for millennia to maintain the outside and inside security. The improvident promise (HUN) of making order in two weeks in those points of the country that looked hopeless was unavailing. We know it's impossible to meet close-to-perfect public security even in two-years time but at least there would be signs if we were heading that way! But today, on Good Friday, we have reached another touch bottom. Hungarian citizens fearing for their property and going about in bodily fear are longing for the presence of paramilitary organizations; [meanwhile] other citizens fearing for their property and going about in bodily fear are expecting the solution from leaders of civil rights movements and the Red Cross. The devil is raised in Gyöngyspata. In the international news [broadcasts] there will, hopefully, be good footage with crying children and vigilantes wearing uniforms among the news about Libya and Cote d'Ivoire. […]

Political action?

Photographer Levente Hernádi expressed his doubts (HUN) over whether there was no interest in motivating the events. He pointed out that the result of the events have been articles like this one on a Hungarian news site (HUN), illustrated with photos about the Roma leaving the village, members of Véderő, the Roma who stayed in the village and a Roma child. The article is a full report about the Roma who left Gyöngyöspata for the weekend and who applied for refugee status in the United States and Canada because of their threatened situation:

[… ] I think Gyöngyöspata was an extremely well-prepared play taking advantage of the always crying and ambiguously speaking Roma and of the national front that always acts nationalistic. It just had to be started and the rest went by itself.

Maximum respect to the one who [does stories] like this one […].

By Sunday, the Roma women and children were back in the village.

April 22 2011


Ungarn: Regierung dementiert "Evakuierung" von Roma | - 2011-04-22

Die ungarische Regierung und das Rote Kreuz haben heute eine „Evakuierung“ der Roma-Frauen und -Kinder aus dem nordungarischen Ort Gyöngyöspata dementiert. Es handle sich um einen „Osterurlaub“, nicht um eine „aus plötzlicher Notwendigkeit vollzogene Aussiedlung“, sagte der Sprecher von Premier Viktor Orban, Peter Szijjarto, laut der Nachrichtenagentur MTI. Auch Erik Selymes, der Direktor des ungarischen Roten Kreuzes, erklärte, das Ferienlager sei bereits zuvor geplant gewesen.

Im Gegensatz dazu betonte der Chef der Roma-Gemeinde, Janos Farkas, gegenüber der Nachrichtenagentur AFP, dass die 277 Frauen und Kinder das rund 81 Kilometer nordöstlich von Budapest gelegene Dorf sehr wohl wegen eines „Ausbildungslagers“ der rechtsradikalen Vedero-Miliz verlassen hätten. Diese will in Gyöngyöspata am Wochenende ein Trainingslager für „militärische Grundkenntnisse“ abhalten.

Nach Angaben des Roten Kreuzes wurden 172 Betroffene in das Ferienlager Csilleberc am Stadtrand von Budapest gebracht. Rund 100 weitere wurden in das ostungarische Szolnok gefahren.

Vedero, Hungary Far Right Group, Causes Roma Mass Evacuation With Training Camp

GYONGYOSPATA, Hungary — The Hungarian Red Cross evacuated hundreds of Roma women and children from their homes Friday because they were frightened of a far-right vigilante group that was setting up a training camp near their village.

The 277 evacuees from the village of Gyongyospata were taken by bus to other parts of Hungary because the local Roma are concerned about potential confrontations with members of Vedero, or Defense Force.

Read More..
Reposted fromsigalonhuffpost sigalonhuffpost

November 07 2010


Foto: Christian Ditsch,, c

Roma sind Europa

Die Bilder der abgeschobenen Roma aus Frankreich sorgen allerorts für Aufsehen. Auch in Deutschland drohen Abschiebungen – bisher ohne große Empörung. Eine taz-Beilage von Aktion Sühnezeichen, unterstützt von der Amadeu Antonio Stiftung, klärt auf.

Dass die Mauer in Berlin aufging, war ein Glück, von dem die Deutschen dachten, es beträfe nur sie selbst. Doch da waren die Migranten, denen das deutsche Schicksal mit einem Mal näher kam, als ihnen lieb war. Und dann kamen die Roma – aus Rumänien und Jugoslawien. Sie sind Europa und wurden überall brutal verfolgt. Gleich nach der Maueröffnung landeten sie am Bahnhof Lichtenberg, wo Skinheads und Polizisten sie mit Stöcken erwarteten. Damit sie bleiben konnten, haben wir dabei geholfen, dass sie sich selbst organisieren, Schulen besuchen, erfolgreich arbeiten können. Die nun so „Integrierten“ abzuschieben ins Ungewisse ist moralisch, politisch, wirtschaftlich und nicht zuletzt menschlich ein Desaster. Die Roma abzuschieben heißt: Europa abzuschieben und mit ihm seinen Reichtum und seine Geschichte.

Von Anetta Kahane

Das pdf zur Beilage zum Download

Das Schicksal von Johann Trollmann

Zero Tolerance für Roma

Was ist Antiziganismus?

02mydafsoup-01 - European Roma Rights Centre | CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS Roma Rights 2/2011

Roma and Politics: A chance for change?

4 November 2010

The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) is accepting original articles and other submissions (book reviews, interviews with key figures and conference reports) for its Roma Rights journal from a broad range of disciplines addressing the topic: Roma and Politics: A chance for change?

Participatory democracy is one of the fundamental principles of Europe, as promulgated by European institutions. This concept suggests that a citizen’s active involvement in the decision-making process should go beyond merely voting in the elections. A participatory democracy should create opportunities for citizens to meaningfully contribute to decision-making and broaden the range of people who have access to such opportunities. Only through making participatory democracy a reality can a society go beyond representative democracy where voting is the main form of influencing decision-making and most power is vested in the parliament and government. In a participatory democracy all groups and individuals have opportunities to reflect their particular concerns, issues, problems and solutions.


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