Fifty years International Romani Union

Foto Jens Stelius Lundberg

The year 2021 marks 50 years since the establishment of the International Romani Union (IRU) which came out of the World Gypsy Congress – yes, that was its original name though everyone today tries to deny it – held in an obscure location just outside of London (UK) in April 1971.

It has been 50 years, and what has been achieved as regards the advancement of the Romani People? The true and honest answer has to be just one word and that is NOTHING, with the exception that some people have turned the operation into a nice little earner for themselves.

In fact, aside from those problems, the IRU has been split into about three competing and opposing parts simply because certain people could not longer hold the reign and were unwilling to relinquish power (over the People). All of those groups now claim to be the one and only with a seat at the UN’s table.

This seat at the table is no seat at all but just an observer status at ECOSOC and nothing more. And, as far as the UN is concerned, in the words of one official this author spoke with some twenty plus years ago asking his as to a more favorable status, and those are his words though maybe slightly paraphrased: “The Gypsies are lucky to have even gotten this status. There will be no better one given.”

But, nevertheless, those IRU folks keep jumping up and down every time they mention this “seat at the table”. They either are so naïve that they don’t understand that this status means almost nothing for us as a Nation or they know and deliberately try to convince the People that this has great meaning.

Where is the IRU when there are pogroms? Where is the IRU with regards to Amare Chave ending up on the streets, suffering hunger and cold, and so on?  Where is the IRU with regards to doing something really useful to alleviate the poverty in the settlements and to work on more decent housing for Amare Chel? Well, the answer is they are in each and every situation conspicuous by their absence. But then again you can’t possibly rock the boat when you want to be able to mix with the “great and the good” and be invited to their banquets and keep getting a nice income from them.

Now the talk is about celebrating this anniversary and the achievements. But what is there to celebrate as there are no real positive and tangible results for Amare Chel anywhere, with the exception of the baros running the show.

They call the thing a Union but it is not a Union of the People but only an association of associations. Individual Rom have no voice in this Union. Only their “representatives” in the various countries and then, generally, only those that are the “officially recognized” ones, and many of those organizations are not even headed by Rom (and in the word Rom I am including all groups whatever they call themselves) but by Gadje “activists” who like to decide what we, the People, need and want.

Michael Smith
Tatchipen Media

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