Bratislava: Around 250 Roma Protest to Parliament

Around 250 ethnic Roma and supporters congregated in front of Presidential Palace this afternoon, before marching up to Parliament in a protest organised by independent civil activist Alojz Hlina.

Many Roma live in squalid conditions (c) Margoz

Hlina has activated the Roma to stand up and be counted and force the government to take a more serious approach to Roma issues by listening to them also. The planned protest was overseen by the police but was peaceful with no incidents, so the water cannon and mounted police were redundant.

Some protesters travelled from as far as Eastern Slovakia for the short protest, heading back to the train station soon after reaching parliament. The motto that was being used was “We want work, not benefits!”

Initially Hlina hoped there would be around a thousand protesters, but alleged scaremongering phone calls etc. might have reduced the final number. the protesters were stopped short of parliament as the police herded them into a barricaded area. The Roma protesters made their voice heard, but hard to say with what result as the Roma issue remains unresolved throughout Europe.

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