Stop Anti-Traveller Racism at Leeds Common PlaceTagged as: leeds racism social_struggles travellers
The Common Placeshould not be a space for racism.
Leeds has a large Traveller community, who like Travellers, Gypsies and Roma throughout Europe, get little or no respect. Despite being persecuted by the Nazis, and in spite of their recognised status under British race laws, they are still widely discriminated against and are subject to racial abuse and racist violence. They are perhaps the last group to be seen as a legitimate target for racist ‘humour’ and face increasing persecution both in the UK and across Europe.
To add to their many existing woes however, Leeds Travellers now face a new and perhaps unexpected foe - This Saturday, February 26th, The Common Place, Leeds supposed ‘radical’ social centre will be hosting ‘Gypsy Nightmare’ where the same sort of sneering middle-class idiots that previously organised ‘Chav’ nights, now invite you to come and take the piss out of an invented Gypsy ‘culture’ - Which has about as much to do with real Traveller culture as the Oxbridge boat race.
So we are told to expect a night of wild music performed by fake ‘Gypsies’ such as ‘DJ Shirley B**stard’ and ‘bizarre sideshows’ presented by ‘Madame Laycock’. To further take the piss guests are told to dress in their ‘wildest attire’ – presumably like ‘real’ Gypsies. Can’t you just imagine the sneering of art-school racists attempting to caricature people they clearly see as some sort of circus act?
The Common Place should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for accepting a racist event which seeks to demean and belittle a minority group who already suffer widespread persecution. The Bookings Collective should be forced to resign for their insensitivity and made to attend Racial Awareness classes and the organisers of the event should be banned from future use of the building.
Despite already receiving complaints from members of Leeds Traveller community and from other Common Place users, the event is still scheduled to go ahead. So we are going to have to teach the organizers something that forms a part of real Gypsy culture, the constant threat of eviction. We are calling on all anti-racists, antifascists, activists, Common Place members, Travellers, and anyone who is sickened by the sneering racism of this event to help stop it taking place. Please come and show your opposition to the event and stand in solidarity against racism in all its forms.
PICKET AGAINST ANTI-TRAVELLER RACISM AT THE COMMON PLACE
SATURDAY 26TH FEBRUARY 7.30PM
THE COMMON PLACE, WHARF STREET (OPPOSITE THE ‘DUCK & DRAKE’ PUB) CENTRAL LEEDS
‘Gypsy Nightmare’ contact: email@example.com
Common Place: 0845 345 7334 firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also complain to Leeds Racial Equality Council at: email@example.com
Please forward as widely as possible on lists, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.