Throughout all our work, we challenge the discrimination Gypsies and Travellers routinely experience. There are day-to-day cases – in the media, politics, decision-making and popular culture – of the community being misrepresented and maligned. Through campaigning, private discussions, official complaints and working with the media, we aim to address this – when members of the community often feel powerless to do so themselves.
When I’m married I want my children to have the same lifestyle I have. But if the new planning law comes in they won’t. The law doesn’t make sense because I am a Traveller if I travel around or don’t travel. I’m still a Traveller up or down. I’ll always be a Traveller. It’s my culture.
Promoting equality, inclusion and rights
We aim to strengthen the voice of London’s Gypsies and Travellers, helping them gain the recognition, inclusion and equality which are their human rights. We do this through community-led campaigns and policy work, working with decision-makers in London and nationally to ensure the voice of Gypsies and Travellers is heard.
We work with parliamentary groups and lobby politicians. London and national elections provide the opportunity for LGT to put forward demands and recommendations on accommodation, employment, health and education. For example, local elections in May 2018 provided the opportunity to ask London councillors and mayors to stand up against prejudice and support our anti-discrimination campaigns.
We work with the community to encourage their involvement in elections and campaigning. In particular, we encourage participation in the London Gypsy and Traveller Forum – an open meeting of community activists, support organisations, professionals and elected representatives held every quarter at London City Hall. Here Gypsies and Travellers can discuss the issues of concern to them and make their opinions known to decision-makers.
Recently we have supported Gypsies and Travellers to:
- fight government proposals for a new definition of Gypsies and Travellers which will make it virtually impossible to gain planning permission for sites;
- put their point of view to the London Mayor and other GLA politicians as they campaign for London authorities to address the accommodation crisis for Gypsies and Travellers;
- mount a postcard campaign calling on the Mayor to strengthen the new London Plan so that London boroughs are held accountable if they don’t provide pitches for Gypsies and Travellers;
- participate in oral hearings on the London Plan;
- mount a legal challenge to injunction orders preventing Gypspies and Travellers from stopping on open spaces.
More information about these is available in our news section.