21st March

Gypsies still dream of equality

If you click on the mp3 player under this lines you can hear the Spanish version of this message recorded by Juan de Dios Ramírez-Heredia

For us gypsies, every day of the year is the 21st of March. Every day we’re reminded that barriers separating us from the equal treatment we deserve as Spanish and European citizens still exist today in the 21st century. It’s no minor issue. Our future depends on it, and because of this we know that commemorating today is of vital importance.

Every year we take advantage of this day to denounce all the atrocities that devastated us in countries all over the world. Endemic poverty, forced exclusion, segregated education, racist attacks, a big, dark etc that is known by the public, the authorities and by gypsies themselves.

However, this year we want to use this day to dream and give a positive light to this adversity for once, as it’s so common between us. We’re dreaming that this could be a great day to announce that gypsies no longer feel discriminated against. That our people are totally accepted and we enjoy equality without precedent. That all the public policies that are carried out in various environments have succeeded and the deplorable statistics for unemployment for our young gypsies haven’t doubled.

Today we want to keep dreaming openly and freely, recognising that all of these sturggles we’ve fought for for so long are now obsolete, because no gypsy on the planet suffers in conditions of extreme misery and poverty anymore.

Our children won’t be condemned to study in schools for children with learning difficulties as in some Eastern European countries and will have equality and opportunities to develop as people. Gypsy women will not suffer from forced sterilisation, or undesired abortions due to a lack of quality medical attention.

And we keep dreaming today on the international day against racism.

In the neighbourhoods that the vast majority of gypsies live in, the health conditions will be the same as in the rest of the city. That we will have the same budget for our schools and public spaces. That there will be no more damp and cracks in our houses because the government will want us to live in dignified conditions. And when we want to rent a property, we won’t have problems because of our skin colour. When we go to a job interview we won't be discriminated because our surname is Jiménez, Heredia, Santiago, or Maya.

Today is the international day against racism and because of this all the people that don’t know us and think badly of us will want us as their neighbours, and the CIS statistics will refute that we’re the least valued community of all.

In France they won’t want to evict us and destroy our houses, in the Czech Republic there won’t be protests against our people and organisations. In Spain the media won’t continue to make us look like clowns on television and we won't be treated worse than animals on social media. In Greece the neonazis won’t continually intimidate us because in our dreams there are no neonazis, nor discriminatory policies, nor is there sensationalist media. Nor are there slums nor poverty nor hunger.

Because in our dreams there is no racism.  



This Spanish - English translation was done by the translator Robyn Emily Darbyshire for the PerMondo initiative that involves providing free translations for NGOs. PerMondo is sponsored and run by the translation agency Mondo Agit.