The Romani people are probably the most hit by the wave of xenophobia which is inundating our country. The forced dismantling of unauthorized campsites often carried out at night leaving whole families homeless. no longer hits the headlines. Such action has become common among local authorities believing they are supported by the populace who often express relief and satisfaction at the work of the bulldozers. The Romani people are torn up like weeds and their rights and the rights of their children trampled on. European institutions and human rights organizations like Amnesty International have often protested at this blatant violation of rights but in Italy few people seem to care.
As Protestant Christians we want to do what we can to overcome prejudice and to support the rights to protection of the least. To do so we want to begin by getting to know them, hearing their stories, honouring their experience, becoming spokespeople for those whose voice in our country is not heard. To promote this venture which we hope will reach people in and outside of the churches, the Italian Baptist Union is organizing the following action (more details will be provided shortly) .
A Romani People Friendship Camper
15th-20th June, 2010
The Italian Baptist Union, together with other groups and associations is organizing a Camper trip which will visit six towns in order to
– enable the Protestant churches to get to know the Romani people present locally;
– support human and civil rights;
– promote Romani culture
– recognize successful projects of integration
– Overcome prejudice.
The camper trip, the first of its kind, will stop off at the following cities: Venice (15/6), Turin (16/6), Florence (17/6); Rome (18/6); Naples (19/6); Bari (20/6).
The initiative supported by the Department of Refugees and Migrants of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy takes place as part of the European Churches’ Year for Migrants and has an inclusive and interconfessional nature.
Every stop has been organized locally.
The Italian Baptist Union supports the Peace March and the petition launched by AI on the 11th March to suspend and review the “ Nomad Plan” set up by the City and prefect of Rome which plans the closure of 100 camps in the city of Rome alone. The “Nomad Plan” is the first of its kind to be developed after the granting of special powers by the Prime Minister in May 2008 to deal with what was then called the “Nomad emergency”. For further information and to sign the online petition connect to the site: www.iopretendodignita.it/appellorom