Violence against Roma: concern has been voiced after a Roma camp has come under a suspected far-right attack. The incident comes in the light of increasing social tensions in Italy,
A Molotov bomb was reportedly thrown from a slowly moving Fiat Punto that drove past the Sinti village in San Giorgio a Colonica a Prato near Florence, in Italy.
The bomb set the entrance to the village on fire. Though luckily no one was injured, the fire caused significant material damage, including the destruction of a village worker’s truck.
The regular camp in San Giorgio a Colonica first came into prominence back in March 2019 during the European and administrative electoral campaign in Prato.
Verbal attacks on the camp were denounced by the community and associations of Prato for “inciting racial hatred”.
Rights campaigners say that, since then, the Sinti community living in the village, authorised by the municipality of Prato, “have systematically suffered hostile actions.”
In a statement they said, “They are followers of Christian Evangelical religion – and have had no previous history of skirmishes with police or local officials.”
Noel Maggini of the movement Khetane, Roma and Sinti for Italy said, “Every time these atrocities happen, it reminds us of the hatred and hostility our communities face. It can’t be ignored. People are scared right now.”
“We’ve asked the police to carry out a serious investigation to identify those who are responsible and to protect this community in the meantime so as to prevent further attacks.”
“We are also calling on all political parties to participate in the protest being held on Saturday 25 September from 5pm onwards with representatives of the Prato and Italian communities together with associations from the prefecture of Prato to village.”
“Why haven’t the politicians condemned this attack?” questions Zeljko Jovanovic, Director, Roma Initiatives Office.
“We urge all political parties to publicly condemn this vile, criminal and racist act and express solidarity with the families who are the victims of this attack.
“While Europe sees a lurch towards the far-right from across Germany to Italy, we implore European and local policymakers to be vigilant against increasing nationalism and right-wing extremism, which inevitably leads to aggression and violence against Sinti and Roma and other minorities”
Image: © Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6545600