London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was determined to improve the quality of life of Gypsies and Travellers at an event celebrating Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month at London’s City Hall.
At an event on 14th June to celebrate the rich culture and heritage of Gypsies, Roma, Traveller and Showmen communities in London, the Mayor met with members of the community and organisations representing them, including London Gypsies and Travellers.
In his speech the Mayor recognised the long – and continuing – history of prejudice, discrimination and persecution endured by Gypsy, Roma and Irish Traveller communities. “It’s still clear we have a long way to go to stamp out this scourge once and for all,” he said, adding that his administration was taking a zero tolerance approach to hate crimes.
“We’re also standing up for you and your communities,” he said. “We are supporting some of the excellent organisations here today to make a real difference to the lives of Gypsy, Roma and Irish Traveller Londoners. By working together like this, I’m confident that we can improve the quality of life of your communities and break down some of the barriers and negative stereotypes that sadly still exist.”
This is the second year in a row that City Hall has hosted a celebration of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month. LGT helped organise the event alongside the Mayor’s office and other Gypsy, Roma and Traveller organisations. Mena Mongan, LGT’s Community Engagement Officer, spoke about the need for the community – especially young people – to stand up, be proud of who they are and challenge discrimination.
There were presentations of work from the Traveller Movement and the Roma Support Group, a short film from the Gypsy Roma and Traveller Police Association, and a celebration of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller culture with live music, circus acts and dance.
Pictured: Members of the community and LGT representatives with London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan at the event