GATHERED, roma feminist women from all over Europe and America in the first Congress of Roma Feminism organized by Asociación de Gitanas Feministas por la Diversidad (AGFD), a collective of roma activists committed to the struggle for the emancipation of women and the roma community, WE STATE:
That since the first international roma congress held in London in 1971, the United Nations recognized the roma flag symbolized by the blue sky and the green fields as a symbol of our transnational identity. Around this flag we raise our voice to claim that feminist roma are builders of peace. We dream of an intercultural society based on respect and dignity; a society raised above non-violence. Our goal is to contribute to building bridges between cultures through which mutual knowledge, recognition of differences, and social justice circulate.
We aspire to create a new world without patriarchy, with the liberation of roma, black, muslim, arab women from all corners of the earth, of all colors and religions, and all racialized women, so they can fully develop their rights as women and citizens.
We dream of a society without racial walls, of a world of respect and knowledge of cultural diversity, and we join hands to work together for a society in which there is never again suffering and pain for being different, for being diverse, for being roma.
WE MANIFEST our deepest indignation and repulse against the situation of institutional racism suffered by the roma people of the world: subjected to apartheid, poverty, segregation, exclusion from work and education, substandard housing and the most degrading shantytowns, and the oppression of a deeply racist and excluding society that denies basic rights of citizenship, that continuously, systematically, and structurally attacks our civil and social rights as Spanish and European citizens.
We raise our voice as citizens against the institutions, administrations, and organizations that perpetuate a racist and colonialist model of subordination and colonization over our bodies and identities.
We reveal and denounce the client networks that protect, sustain, and perpetuate systems of domination and oppression to profit from the poverty and misery of our people.
Our feminism is a feminism for the emancipation of women and for the emancipation of our people, in which men actively participate. We are proud to have among our ranks roma feminists who share our dreams, our desires, and accompany us in the fight for our rights.
From this historical moment onwards, feminist roma women are not invisible; our thinking and our cosmovision is unstoppable; our capability of resistance surpasses by far all the mechanisms of oppression that subjugate us. They can rob us of our right to education, they can rob us of our right to decent housing, they can rob us of our right to justice, and they can rob us of our right to decent work, but they cannot rob us of our self-esteem, our worth, and our dignity. They can manipulate the most vulnerable and dependent roma., they can invent new strategies of counter-revolution from the circles of power, but they will not be able to silence the powerful, strong, clean voices that will never stop denouncing the institutional racism these practices imply.