FOR THE POLITICAL LIBERATION OF THE ROMA PEOPLE: 12 POINTS PROGRAMME
These twelve points aims to represent a turning point in the character of the political demands of the Roma people against a racist society. We do not perceive ourselves as the protagonists of something new, but as part of the collective rebirth of the Roma consciousness that clearly rediscovers its greatest and only enemy: anti-Roma racism. At the same time, we do not fight this battle alone, rather, alongside with other racialized human communities in the fight against racism, an institutional matter that involves collectively questioning specific power relations:
1. END THE GHETTOS, BUILD UP COMMUNITIES:
The ghetto is a way to lock our people up and plunge them into violence, dispossession and poverty. In spite of this, our people survive with dignity alongside other sister communities on the periphery of modern cities. We denounce the racist engineering that leads to the ghetto as a device for confining racialized communities.
2. STOP POLICE VIOLENCE
We denounce the detention, surveillance and police aggression based on the so-called “ethnic” profiles that affect our people in a very particular way and that is, even from the institutions, an open secret. The police detain assault and humiliate our people on a daily basis, just as they do with our brothers and sisters in other communities. In this regard, we, the members of Kale Amenge urge that every case of police brutality against our People under the idea of ‘racial order’ is considered an act of racist ideology whose objective is none other than to discipline/control us.
3. AN END TO SCHOOL SEGREGATION
Throughout Spain, as well as in the rest of the European continent, young Roma are confined to schools and other educational institutions in which they receive the message that they are inferior, that their “culture” is problematic; they are put in establishments in which they receive a deficient education, they are inoculated with the idea that they should be integrated and at the same time they are denied this possibility, destroying their self-esteem and value. We call for the urgency of creating and directing our own spaces for community education where our children can feel proud of whom they are.
4. AGAINST RACISM IN THE WORK´S FIELD
Since the beginning of modernity, our families have been forced to abandon their traditional trades and sell their labor force as wage-earners and docile instruments of neo-liberal capitalism. At the same time, governments are consciously hindering areas of work such as the flea market in order to favor big business by pushing hundreds of humble people un poverty line. If a Roma person wants to access the conventional labor market, he or she will be discriminated against on the basis of his or her surname, features and worldview.
5. END JUDICIAL HARASSMENT
The Spanish state does not have significant studies on the reality of racism in the criminal justice system, but this is another open secret. The over-representation of Roma people and other racialized communities in the Spanish prisons suggests a proportionally stricter, harsher and unfair treatment based on race. Within the prisons, Romani prisoners are treated in a denigrating way, according to the administrations, any investigation or control. Such is the case of our brother Manuel Fernández Jiménez, who died in strange circumstances. In this view, we call for an urgent end to legal racism.
6. NO TO ANTI-ROMA SOCIAL POLICIES
Through the industry of non-governmental organization, social workers and assistants, Romani families are blackmailed, manipulated and forced to establish relations of dependence with the State that mistreats, domestics and depoliticizes them. We do not doubt that in this area there are honest people, but, we refer to power structures that have to be dismantled and that go beyond the good will of respectful individuals. We define anti-Roma racism as a problem of the States and not as a problem of the Roma’, therefore our fight must be political and not commercial.
7. ANTI-ROMA RACISM DESTROYS PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH
Medical studies assure it: Roma people live 10 to 15 years less than white people. Racism affects not only the ethical fiber of a society; it affects the health of the racialized communities. Racism takes the lives of racialized people, subjecting them to high levels of anxiety, frustration, depression, despair and uncertainty.
8. STOP ANTI-ROMA AND RACIST MEDIA AND GYPSYLORISTS
The Roma people do not need any more biased studies on their identity by academics to justify European programs or departments of ethnic studies. The Romani people do not need shows, morbid or exotic entertainment programs that profit from the public scorn and social humiliation of our people. The Romani people need to confront anti-Roma racism. Often, gypsylorism has become a tool of control and power. The dominant conceptualization of Anti-Roma racism as a cultural descriptor, rather than a set of political relations, has meant that the current image of Roma is the contemporary heir to the Roma legacy, an identity historically manufactured by academics, “experts”, and bureaucrats. So, if you have an interest in our people, we urge you to center your interest in analyzing the relation of the States with our people. We, the members of Kale Amenge, call on the importance of centering our own experiences with the Gadje world on our fight against the anti-Roma racism.
9. STOP RACIST DEPORTATIONS
Anti-Roma racism has one of its most violent faces in the implementation of anti-migration policies established by a large number of European governments, regardless of their political colour. These policies destroyed our families, condemn us to poverty and make us vulnerable to attacks from the most reactionary elements of European society.
10. REMAIN VIGILANT AGAINST POLITICAL INSTRUMENTALIZATION
All political parties show a false interest in our people. They all seek the Roma vote through dishonest, racist and patronizing campaigns, especially where the Roma population is important. At the same time, all political parties are interested in instrumentalizing and using as pets some members of our community. We do not settle for crumbs or the traditional carrot that distracts the donkey. We negotiate, but we do not give in. Kale Amenge denounces the “colorism” and political instrumentalization of our people and appeals to the need to build an autonomous political struggle.
11. RECOGNITION, REPARATION AND RESTORATION
To recognize our history is not only to recognize Flamenco and the cultural contribution of the Roma people, but to make visible, at the institutional, educational and social levels, the attempts of extermination that have been carried out against Roma people over the last five centuries and to recognize that these crimes are responsible for the privilege that white people experience today and the situation of disadvantage and social exclusion that our people suffer. This necessarily implies initiating a policy of historical reparation and compensation that, beyond mere recognition, begins to generate the conditions that allow the structural difference that benefits the descendants of the executioners to be ended and that compensates the descendants of the victims of this history that for us is still present.
12. AUTONOMY, COMMUNITY AND POLITICAL HONESTY – THE PATH OF ROMA EMANCIPATION
We demand an end to the usurpation of the Roma political space, hijacked by integrationist organizations incapable of confronting state racism, and we call for the collective construction of a Roma political subject that truly represents and defends the political interests of our people, based on political honesty and romanipen – unity and without falling into the networks set up by the present racist state itself.