BUILDING ROMA POLITICAL AUTONOMY
We can only start by recalling our ancestors, the ones who resisted, those who were ambushed by the kings, the ones that did not leave, those who lost their ears, the ones who were hanged, those who were enslaved, the ones who were whipped, those who were left to die in a cell, those who took the courage to rebel… denied even their right to exist, our ancestor persisted in existing and so we do (re)exist.
In an identity self-aflrmation ritual, our non-Roma neighbors have labeled us as cowards or dare devils; libertine or passive women subjected to the macho; honourless, always violent, thieves, suspicious, irrationals, uncivilized…
Today, Europe openly claims its antigypsyism, calling for ethnic clean- sing or even extermination; but neither our people, nor our values or our culture are the problem, as they have never been. lt is urgent to point out the roots of the problem, and also its color, that is why not only we will not talk about the so called Roma issue, but from now on, with greater accuracy, we will talk about the Gadje issue, in essence, the white problem, thereby exercising our legitimacy to call and define the world accor- ding to the conditions of our lives and the terms of our aspirations.
In this critical moment for Romani people in Europe, we pay homage to our ancestors legacy, claiming our dignity as human beings, our integrity as people and our will for autonomy; we question the Gadje power, the white privilege and we demand our right and proclaim our determination to continue being what we have always been, without fears or hesitancies, but with that ancestral pride that our predeces- sors provided us as heritage.
We question the civilizing project that the European modernity has been trying to impose to us and we call for the union of the Romani people to create autonomous spaces which will defy the state’s administratlon without any complicity, from an independent and decolonial perspective, pointing out the roots of the problem: the white colonist epistemology, its power relations and subordination.
We confront political problem with political weapons, we confront the power with power; against a society which stigmatizes us, excludes us, oppresses us and marginalizes us to strengthen its privileges, ouering contrived integration discourses which are poisoned with submission and assimilation; we choose the Roma autonomy and self-organization as a way for emancipation against the state’s anti gipsyísm that has been branded with bloodshed and fire in this country’s history.
We are not here to be tolerated; neither to legitlimize policies for inte- gration that maintain the status quo of injustice and inequality, nor to negotiate patches that hide the perversity which this country has been forging for more than 600 years. As our name, Kale amenge, says: we are here for our people, we are here to raise our voices, to demand the historical reparation that our people deser- ve, and we are here to contribute to the Roma collective emancipation .
the terms of our aspirations.