Socialist Worker

Gypsy, Roma, Traveller protest is set for 7 July in London

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2760

The police bill attacks Travellers

The police bill attacks Travellers (Pic: Guy Smallman)


A summer of campaigning against new anti-Traveller laws kicks off with a rally in Parliament Square, in London, on 7 July.

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller campaigners are organising to resist the racist provisions in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

They will gather at 1pm in Parliament Square to launch a Summer of Discontent against the Bill and its intention to outlaw nomadic Gypsy and Traveller culture.

Drive 2 Survive co-chair Sherrie Smith said, “The Police Bill is the single biggest threat to the traditional way of life of Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers in our lifetime.

“If passed it will entirely eradicate nomadic life, give police the power to seize Gypsy and Traveller homes, fine Gypsies and Travellers up to £2,500 and imprison those needing to follow a nomadic way of life because of a lack of safe legal stopping places.

“This would not be tolerated by any other ethnic group and we will not stand for our culture being targeted in this way.”

Irish Traveller activist Chris McDonagh added, “As nomadic people that have roamed the lands we have lived on for our whole recorded history, to suddenly be told our way of life has no place in society is totally wrong and hurtful.

“We all live in a country that is supposedly proud of its acceptance and equality for all ethnicities and minorities, but we now see this is a lie. We are people and we deserve to exist.”

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