Activists rally in European cities to support Roma

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Associated Press

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Updated Sunday, Oct 7 at 8:36 AM

PARIS (AP) — Anti-racism activists, Gypsy musicians and others have gathered in European cities to protest violence and discrimination against Roma and celebrate their culture.

Dozens of people participated in the "Roma Pride" event on Paris' Left Bank on Saturday. Organizer Benjamin Abtan said a march was held in central Prague, and there were conferences in cities from Bulgaria to Denmark.

He said "we are a demanding a Europe-wide fight against racism and discrimination" and "to celebrate the diversity of Gypsy culture, which is an integral part of European culture."

The events come amid tensions in France over what to do about makeshift camps of Roma in cities nationwide. Police routinely clear out the camps. Residents in the southern city of Marseille recently burned down a Roma camp after blaming them for burglaries.

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