ATD Fourth World Press Release August 23, 2010

Roma, Travelers, poor families: faced with the orchestration of mistrust, fear and control, ATD Fourth World calls for a civic leap

In Montpellier, Saint-Etienne and elsewhere, ATD Fourth World activists tell us how Roma families are harassed by the police. “Every morning, early in the morning, the municipal sprinkler dislodges Roma families from the square. And as one activist from the network said: “They have become invisible, that’s what everyone wanted”. It is a feeling of great sadness that inhabits us: “this is persecution”. “

The ATD Fourth World Movement is being built day by day with people forced into extreme poverty. All experience humiliation, fear, contempt and many know what it is to be kicked out everywhere. Many hide, keep silent and live in great precariousness, with the fear that their children will have to go through the same ordeals as their parents. The latest government announcements trivialize discrimination and increase fear.

- They aim to drive out the Roma when those who, like us, are by their side, know that it is only at European level that we will invent the answers to their expectations.
- They strengthen the control of Travelers while, among them, the poorest can no longer have to live illegally. Many have no place to live, the greatest difficulties in educating their children and find it increasingly difficult to be able to work.
- They want to strengthen the penalties for parents of delinquent children or school dropouts, designating them as solely responsible.

The ATD Fourth World Movement recalls that such measures only reinforce discrimination, fear of someone who is different, and suspicion of the most disadvantaged.

To face it, he calls on our fellow citizens to take a civic leap.
- Many of us repeat our rejection of discrimination and hatred and our desire to favor dialogue, meeting and unity.
- Many of us repeat our desire for human rights to be respected for all those who live in our country.
- Let us repeat to the Government and to the President of the Republic that they must strengthen the unity of our country instead of advocating division and cleavages.

For these reasons, the ATD Fourth World Movement calls on its members and all human rights defenders to participate in the September 4 demonstrations initiated by the Human Rights League. (cf. http://nonalapolitiquedupilori.org/)

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