Press Release-“Roma-Ember Against Racism” 20/21 June 2014, Alte Kaserne Zürich

20/21 June 2014, Alte Kaserne Zürich First International Roma Festival in Zürich

On 20 and 21 June, the first International Roma Festival will take place in Zürich, Switzerland. With concerts and a discussion on stage, our aim is to strike out on a new course. A course of solidarity with persecuted Roma all over Europe, and a course against racism that also occurs in Switzerland. In the past, many European countries have issued of lot of laws and orders against Roma. In France, this has led to forced evictions of Romanian Roma and in numerous cantons and cities in Switzerland, official bans on begging have been posted. In Italy, pogrom-like persecutions took place and in Hungary, Roma have even been killed in open violence. In many parts of Europe, Roma, Sinti and Yenish sail against an intensified racist wind of discrimination – millions keep on being outlawed as “zigeuner”. For minorities labeled like this, the harm is more serious than “only” a social stigma. It means first and foremost that they are consistently put at a disadvantage. In almost all European countries, Roma have poorer access to education, healthcare and the job market. They have a higher infant mortality and a shorter life expectance than the average population.
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