The 6th consecutive annual Roma Pride is Sunday October 2nd! Roma Pride will gather Roma and non-Roma activists and individuals together in 14 European countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. To see what Roma Pride events will be in the different countries, click the markers on the map below or follow us on social media! We will follow all the events and keep you up to date.
This year, the focus was also on Lety, the former Roma concentration camp in the Czech Republic that is now a pig farm. Below you can find a summary of the events that have already taken place, as well as information on our #DignityForLety campaign!
This annual event mobilizing the European civil society – coordinated by the EGAM (European Grassroots Antiracist Movement) and nationally organized by Roma and antiracist NGOs – aims to address anti-Roma discrimination and racism to challenge stereotypes and prejudices and to promote the Romani cultures, histories and traditions.
Summary of Events Around Europe
Austria – Romano Centro
The inauguration of a park took place in Vienna on the 22nd of October. The Ilija-Jovanovic Park commemorates Ilija Jovanovic, one of the founders of Romano Centro. During the inauguration, information about the case of Lety was given. To read more, click here.
Bulgaria – Amalipe and the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee
From the 2nd of October a range of events took place around Bulgaria. In Elin Pelin a football tournament was held to promote inclusion, and in Strazhitsa there were events in a schoolyard where children where taught about tolerance and inclusion. You can see a selection of photos below or click here to see all of them.
Czech Republic – Konexe, The Evangelical Church The Evangelical Church and the HUSITA community centre
In the Czech Republic, Roma Pride 2016 was celebrated with a range of activities, such as a march, dancing and acrobatics. You can see a selection of pictures below or all pictures here.
In Estonia, a roundtable was held between leaders of Roma organisations and organisations working on the history and memory of the Baltic states in order to plan future action which can take place within the Roma Pride frame.
France – SOS Racisme
On the 3rd of October SOS Racisme hosted a conference entitled “School and Roma – an accepted discrimination?”. Representatives from SOS Racisme and Collectif Romeurope du Val Maubée presented the different levels of difficulties of Roma accessing education, from getting enrolled to discrimination on the school bus, as well as structural discrimination. EGAM was present and live tweeted the event.
Germany – Jung Roma Aktiv
On the 23rd of October, Roma Pride was marked in Germany by Jung Roma Aktif. Workshops took place to educate on Roma discrimination and the case of Lety. Pictures will come soon.
Hungary – We Belong Here
On the 15th of October, thousands of activists took to the streets in Budapest to celebrate the Roma Pride 2016. The movement joined together Roma and non Roma communities to emphasise the need for better and more equal opportunities, including access to education and the labour market. See more about the day’s event here, and click here for more pictures.
Italy – Roma Onlus and SOS Razzismo Puglia
On the 2nd of October, Roma Onlus and SOS Razzismo Puglia hosted a traditional horse fair to celebrate Roma Pride 2016. You can find three statements on the topic of discrimination of the Roma people in Italian below the pictures of the event.
Ireland – Pavee Point
Roma Pride will be celebrated in Dublin.
Macedonia – National Roma Centrum
In Macedonia, the campaign “Go beyond prejudice, meet the Roma” was launched. The campaign aims to reduce stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination in the education system and also to promote equality of Roma culture, history and traditions in cooperation with primary and secondary schools in Kumanovo. The events started on the 30th of September and are still ongoing. An exhibition of drawings on the theme “How much do you know Roma” made by pupils from primary and secondary schools is prepared and will be on display on the happening where certificates of participation will be awarded and officially a creative video will be promoted with the participants in the activities of Roma Pride campaign ENOUGH! “Go beyond prejudice, meet the Roma”. To read more, click here.
Moldova – Roma National Center
Roma Pride will take place in Moldova
Montenegro – Civic Alliance
In Montenegro, the Civic Alliance marked Roma Pride in Podgorica. As part of the European events related to the Roma Pride day, the Civic Alliance decided to adapt to the current circumstances and conditions existing in Montenegro. Thus, they organized education sessions for Roma people imprisoned in Montenegrin prisons.
Netherlands – VSRWN
On the 2nd and 3rd of October, VSRWN organised a round table with Dutch deputies and MEPs, as well as an exhibition on Lety and Roma discrimination.
Romania – Romani Criss
In Romania, Roma Pride was marked by Romani Criss in Bucurest. Within the frame of RP, school interventions in high schools were carried out to teach youth about Roma in Romania and the case of Lety, the Roma concentration camp in the Czech Republic. Images coming soon.
Serbia – Civil Rights Defenders
The Civil Rights Defenders’ Serbian section will mark Roma Pride.
Ukraine – Chiricli
In Ukraine, there will be a radio show hosted by Chiricli about Roma Pride.
The “Dignity for Lety!” campaign
In 2015, a European call aiming to remove an industrial pig farm standing on the site of a former WWII concentration camp destined to Roma people in Lety, Czech Republic was gathered more than 200 signatories from parliamentarians, European civil society, intellectuals, artists, mayors, antiracist and human rights activists from more than 30 countries worldwide.
This campaign is linked to Roma Pride as the presence of this pig farm echoes the current violence against Roma people and the lack of knowledge about the history of the Roma genocide.
In 2016, the campaign continues with an Open letter to the Czech Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister regarding statements made about Lety, which you can read here. Andrej Babis, the deputy Prime Minister, called Lety a “work camp”. Following this racist statement, he went to the site of Lety and promised to include the removal of the pig farm in the 2018 budget.
“Dignity for Lety” will continue during Roma Pride 2016 and beyond.
Open Letter to the President of the European Commission
EGAM wrote an open letter to the President of the European Commission demanding the removal of the pig farm from the former Roma concentration camp site, Lety. The letter was signed by 82 parliamentarians from across Europe, both ministers from national and the European parliament. The letter is being published around the day of Roma Pride 2016, and you can find the English version here and the French version here.
"Il devient absolument urgent de mettre un terme à cette injustice. Il y a un manque de connaissances et de recherches. Il faut donc promouvoir le recueil de témoignages, mais aussi construire des mémoriaux, organiser des expositions..." - @BenjaminAbtan