Gypsies and Travellers from all over the UK will be holding a rally on Parliament Square on Saturday 21st May to challenge new housing and planning laws that both redefine our ethnic identity and that seek to deny us a culturally appropriate home, and to make a stand for Gypsy and Traveller pride and empowerment and against racism and prejudice.
The rally, called ‘Dosta, Grinta, Enough!’*, will begin at 1pm in Parliament Square, concluding with four organizers handing in a signed petition with over 5000 signatures into Downing street at 4pm.
The petition, created by the rally organizers and hosted by 38 degrees, protests against new planning laws that are being introduced that redefine “gypsy status” to only classify those of us who ‘travel’ for work purposes, removing any cultural or ethnic dimension.
The new laws will also effectively end the slow but steady increase in private Traveller site developments in the face of a dire national shortage of pitches for Gypsies and Travellers.
This demonstration is lead and organized by Gypsy and Travellers with support from many of the Gypsy and Traveller NGO’s, who say they will also be sending delegates to the rally.
A spokesperson for the Gypsy/Traveller rally organizers said:
“These new laws will will limit the development of new Gypsy and Traveller sites and potentially threaten those of us living on existing public or private legal Traveller sites”.
“Many of us will be forced back into the road either because we will be made homeless, or in order to ‘prove’ our ethnic identity and heritage to retain our homes”.
“The rally is a people’s march welcome to all of those who support our cause, with community speakers, singers and should be a fun day out for all the family.”