On Sunday at noon, an array of nationalities assembled at the Black Lion Gate in Kensington Gardens to begin the 8 April movement. They were joined in solidarity across Europe and the globe, from Toronto to Tirana, from Belgrade to Buenos Aires, in celebration of Roma Nation Day. A picnic was held in the London park, where music was played and speeches were made. Yet the time celebrating together in the bright of the spring afternoon seemed brief. For the past nine hundred years, to remain settled and content in one shared space together, has been the plight of the Roma people.
Within two hours, the assembly began to journey through Hyde Park, alongside Roma flags and carrying banners asking to, “End the Roma Apartheid.” Bulgarian politician Toma Nikolaeff and author Grattan Puxon of Travelers Solidarity led the march to the embassies of the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Iraq to deliver letters to the Ambassadors, in concern of the Roma people residing in those homelands. Delivered to the Bulgarian embassy, a letter states the political and economic crisis under which their people are subjected to suffering; it reads,
“[…] Our people are poor, driven to beggary. Deserted country, because the majority is forced to seek asylum abroad. All this because our country is robbed by incompetent rulers. For more great regret ethnic peace in the country was blown up like never before. Bulgarian citizens of Roma origin are subjected to systematic intimidation, harassment, persecution, and widespread discrimination. At the same time Left activists, who [were prosecuted on] contrived and trumped-up charges. Currently the intellectual life of the Roma in our country is freezing. Roma leaders are in exile, in prison, on parole, or consequential.”
The letter goes on to call for the Bulgarian authorities to take urgent and adequate measures for the prevention and reduction of discrimination against Roma in Bulgaria. They ask the authorities to stop the apartheid against their countrymen and to respect their human rights and fundamental freedoms. They ask the government to take urgent measures adequate for equal integration of Roma in Bulgarian society.
The desire for freedom arises by an inborn condition that is inherent to every human, sex, creed, religion, and ethnicity notwithstanding. That is for as long as our life span allows, this condition constantly compels us to freely think; in a restless pursuit of peace and happiness. To be denied the right to perform this act of human purpose creates untold suffering in the hearts and lives of those oppressed.
It is difficult to understand why in the political, social and personal realms of the world that a call for freedom from threat to life, security and well being, to ask for protection for those human rights, can be translated into being a threat to the happiness and freedom of another. This dichotomous discord has been playing out on in the theater of human history as the longest running show of hatred. This discord is the cause of marginalisation of human life, the irrational measuring of worth against worth of entities, which in reality, are identical in value and can never be truly divided.
It is for all to know that 8 April Movement comprise of a people who have the ability to come together, blind to differences. Who walk unified to call at the closed doors of the overwhelming power structures, and in the most dignified manner, ask for the creation of ethnic peace to take precedence over the human destruction by division and rulership set before them. These people are the stars on the stage of human history. This is the show that costs no money to attend and everyone can take a leading role and perform glorious to an audience worldwide.