Roma civil rights activist Aladàr Horvàth's call to Canada: Have empathy for the Roma

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Aladàr Horvàth, chair of the Roma Civil Rights Foundation in Hungary and a former member of the Hungarian Parliament, provides an overview of the history of the Roma people in Hungary and the social and political landscape in the country that has brought so many of them to Canada seeking refugee status in recent months.*

He identifies the hate speech prevalent in Hungarian media as central to the overall societal disdain for the Roma, and describes the hardships faced by locals resulting from routine police brutality, structural violence, and aggression from local governments. Context is provided around the practice of forced labour camps that separate families and destroy Roma communities.

Horvàth ends by urging the Canadian government not to recognize or support the Hungarian state until the right of the Roma people to be free from discrimination and persecution has been addressed.

 

* In the past four months Canada has seen a record flood of Roma refugee claimants arriving at Pearson International Airport, with an average of 17 Roma claimants having arrived each day in September and October 2011 and an unprecedented 91 Roma asylum-seekers landing in a single day on October 26th. Of the total 2519 Hungarian Roma refugee claims filed at Pearson between January and October 31st, over a third of claimants were children and under a third were women. In all of 2010, 1486 Hungarian Roma filed claims at Pearson.  (All statistics above obtained from the Canada Border Services Agency.)

--------------------------------
migrantmatters@riseup.net

 

The image above is of the screen print by Pete Yahnke Railand with the Just Seeds Artists' Collective, titled "Study."

 

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.