Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

News Shorts & Other Busyness

Gypsy Women “Turned Mad” by Bill

Squall 7, Summer 1994, pg. 8.

The low profile of Romany and Gypsy groups in campaigning against the Criminal Justice Bill is about to be turned around by the formation of a new group, the National Association of Gypsy Women (NAGW). Sylvia Dunn, the 65 year-old gypsy who has founded the group said:

“Women are phoning me all the time for details (about the Bill). They’re fed up because the men haven’t been doing enough. As long as they’ve got a cup of tea and can go to the pub they’re happy. We’re stronger than them, and although it’s too late to stop the Bill we are going to do all we can to make it difficult for the police to implement it.”

With a political determination the whole nation could do with heeding, Sylvia Dunn continued:

“We are the ones left behind looking after the children and the trailers when the police turn up. We are used to confronting authority.

Most women are on a temporary list of a GP for six months, but if they don’t know where they are going to be from one day to the next who can they register with? It will be hard on pregnant women. Eighty percent of adults can’t read or write but 80% of the children can. If the families are being moved on all the time we will have another illiterate generation.

(The Government) think that getting us into houses will be the end of us. They had better think again. We are not going into houses. Why break up families by putting our men into prison, and our children into care? We are being criminalised for being gypsies. It’s ethnic cleansing. It will turn women mad.”

Related Articles
For more articles about the Criminal Justice Act and Public Order Act 1994 - covering the build-up, the resistance, the consequences, plus commentary of discussions in the House of Commons about it click here.