In Usti we were invited to join a group of activists, NE RASISMU!, from Usti and Prague that are concentrating on Roma racism, anti-ciganism, and antifascism, to learn about the situation tere from the people directly involoved.
We met the group at one of the biggest ‘ghettos’ in Czech Republic; Predlice in the city of Usti nad Labem. Due to privatization of housing, systematic discrimination and also generally very bad living conditions of Roma people there, the actual situation can be seen as the beginning of humanitarian crisis.
The group met us with instruments, circus props and footballs, in preparation for the day’s action that we were invited to join, a children’s play day at one of the popular ‘playgrounds’. The play ground was littered with rubbish and few facillities, apart from the clear CCTV cameras pointing into the park.
The children, who ranged from 6 to 16 listened and played attentively as we tried to teach variations of rounders and baseball. They were clearly grateful that we had decided to spend the day with them, however tokenistic it might have felt at the time for some.