Italy to fingerprint all Roma?

The neo fascist Roberto Maroni, Italy's interior minister from the neo fascist anti-immigrant Northern League party, coalition partner in neocon Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's conservative government, (member in chief of our not so willing anymore coalition of the willing) has a nifty proposal to fight street crime in Italy - -  a census, including the fingerprinting, of every Roma aka "gypsy" in Italy, man, woman and child.  According to Maroni, this will serve "to avoid phenomena such as begging".

Of course, Maroni has taken no action to defend the Roma community  from unwarranted attacks, including those in Naples that forced the evacuation of Roma "after attackers set huts on fire and angry residents in neighboring areas protested against the alleged attempt by a Gypsy woman to kidnap a baby".  Nor did he intervene in response when Roman authorities illegally "raided a camp to check for proper papers".

So, two generations after the fall of Italy's  Nazi/fascist dictatorship, W's Italian allies are "protecting" the  Roma community, not by defending them from government intrusion or popular violence and blood libels, but by registering and fingerprinting the entire Roma community, man, woman and child.  

Thank God we live in America!  A country with strong Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment protections!  With a Congressional leadership that would never allow any American government to violate its citizens' privacy rights or protections from cruel and unusual punishment, in which Muslims would never be disrespected or harassed or citizens thrown into Gitmo without habeas corpus protection  . . . never mind.  But let's all laugh at the Italians. We're so much better than them!

"Italian official proposes fingerprinting Gypsies"
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25432128/

Tags: Eighth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Gypsy, Italy, Northern League, Roberto Maroni, Roma, Silvio Berlusconi (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

First they came for the Muslims,

and I said nothing, because I wasn't Muslim . . .

by kosnomore 2008-06-29 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Italy to fingerprint all Roma?

The Roma should be able to live safe and free lives.  While they certainly have some.....odd....quirks (young, young "women" forced into marriages for example) I do not support treating them as some kind of underclass.

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-06-29 08:26AM | 0 recs
You do realize Billy Blythe,

Bill Clinton's biological polygamist father (and his mom's first "husband", although the marriage was invalid) (he was later adopted and given the name of her next husband, Clinton) was a "traveler", i.e., a British "gypsy".   Travelers migrated to the American south in the 1900's, working rural areas.  As such, Clinton really does have a claim to be the first "non white" president, not metaphorically as stated in the 90's.

by kosnomore 2008-06-29 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Italy to fingerprint all Roma?

What is happening in Italy is very worrying. We should be glad we live in the USA with all our freedom.

Basically in Italy today is econmically in a very very bad shape. This country is getting poorer and living standard are dropping so what do people do? Well a lot of frustration is being taken out the Roma's.

To be fair. Having lived in Milan for a year I seen at first hand.
The way the Roma behave. They simply refuse to adhere to civilised behaviour. Their living conditions are atrious, but they partly prefer it that way. They are scorned.

However the right wing Berlusconi controlled media has whipped up a frenzy amongst Italians of overblown crime hysteria blaming it o migrants.
So people believe this and act accordingly. There is fear of crime where there is nothing to fear.

I never felt unsafe in all the time i was there and I lived in a immigrant part of Milan (near the Viale Certosa). Immigrants are simply trying to make a living there despite very bad odds against them.

The blame for this mass hysteria in Italy lies at the right wing controlled media depictions of immigrants.

by Makey 2008-06-29 08:35AM | 0 recs
"They simply refuse to adhere to civilised
behaviour"
Not to pick, but they are civilised.  But, they adhere to the rules of THEIR civilisation, not OURS.
And, their civilisation has been warped by  centuries of living on the margins, hated, feared and without any rights (in most Eastern European countries, rape of a Roma woman was not legally actionable as rape, but rather deemed a method for diluting their blood and turning them "white".  In response to this, Roma society developed rules which required the segregation and isolation of women - - atrocious if you're a woman in 2008, but understandable as a rule which developed to protect your daughters and wives and mothers).  
The lesson - - if you don't like the behavior of folks that society has screwed over, then don't let society screw people over.
by kosnomore 2008-06-29 08:54AM | 0 recs
Roma in Europe

The Roma situation in Eastern and Central Europe is quite complicated (and is becoming more so as Roma, like other citizens of Hungary, Poland, Romania, etc. take advantage of being EU citizens and move West).

But part of the whole 'clash' of civilizations problem has roots in communism. Many of the communist governments 'relocated' Roma from the country to the city. For centuries the Roma mainly lived a kind of roaming/migrant life, mainly staying on the outskirts of cities or in the country. They tended to coexist pretty well with other ethnicities, although there have always been clashes.

As part of the (also complicated) communist push for full employment, whole Roma communities were forced to move to cities like Budapest, Bucharest, Bratislava, etc., but they were never 'taught' how to live in such close quarters or what was 'expected' of them as co-residents within a particular city. 9-5 jobs, city 'manners,' and so on.

This clash is still going on - the racism in Budapest and elsewhere is breathtaking - and in places like Hungary, they have years of dealing with the situation (there are actually some very good and effective Roma advocacy groups), but in Italy and other places, the native population has no concept of what the Roma 'lifestyle' means.

This is going to be a long, ongoing situation for many years with potential for some pretty bad action. Questions of cultural relativism (they are civilized by their standards; no, they're not at all civilized) are going to be pushed to breaking points.

Sorry this post offers no solutions. This is one of the EU's most pressing, but least noticed issues.

by vadasz 2008-06-29 10:19AM | 0 recs

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