Andrea Gilbert, IWW BAME officer
The Traveller community have been targeted with racist and traumatic abuse following a documentary by Channel 4 about “The truth about Traveller Crime.” The aim was to show the increase of crime within the community and how the neighbours felt about it. Instead it caused offence and brought negative abuse to the whole community rather than the minority involved in the crimes.The documentary received 4,500 complaints to the TV Watchdog Ofcom. See article here https://www.travellerstimes.org.uk/news/2020/04/racist-and-traumatic-traveller-reactions-ch4s-truth-about-traveller-crime
Workers from the Traveller community have said that the impacts of the documentary have been people losing jobs and their businesses, suffering racist abuse from their neighbours and being refused entry when out in the community. Travellers have played a role helping throughout the pandemic from Nurses to Teachers keeping our country going through these unprecedented times. See article here https://eachother.org.uk/traveller-groups-protest-ofcom-inaction-over-hateful-tv-show/
A fundraiser by Traveller Movement and Stop Funding Hate has been started to #StopTravellerhate. The aim of raising the funds is to train a network of activists to fight against the rise in anti-Traveller hate. The IWW BAME Officer supports the fundraiser and believes more awareness of the hate Travellers face is key to finding ways to challenge it when it happens. So far £5,122 has been raised out of £10,000. Please support if you can. See fundraiser here https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/stoptravellerhate
The IWW BAME officer condemns the documentary and the rise of racism towards the Traveller community at a time when we should all be pulling together to get through this pandemic. Following the documentary being aired a report came out finding an 11% increase in suicides within the community. This is linked with the rise in hate towards the community see herehttps://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/10/hate-targeted-at-gypsy-traveller-and-roma-linked-to-rise-in-suicides-report
The Traveller community will always have the support of the IWW. We are a community supporting union and will continue showing solidarity to those in need.
Header graphic includes parts of “Frame” by starline.