Letter of December 1 st 2002 from Jacques Gaillot
The "traveling people" in France





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jamais s'installer The "traveling people" in France 
I heard the emergency call given by the Catholic chaplains regarding the gypsies; they have a close experience of the daily lives of these families. Courageously they protested against the repressive laws presently in preparation and directed towards the Gypsy people.

gens du voyage They suffered tremendously during the 1940-1945 war; they are undergoing again an unfair discrimination. They are scared because they feel that their own existence is in danger. Wherever they go, they are not welcome and they are not wanted. 
They are pressured to integrate themselves while they have this beautiful vocation of living without having a permanent home. They pass and they never stay. A fixed location would mean death for them.

Rather than to blame the local authorities who did not want to set up a "parking camp space" as specified by law, they are penalized for parking on private lands and then they are fined for that.

In this difficult situation the small Catholic community of the "traveling people" feel also humiliated by the silence of the bishops, a more unbearable silence since they need help and recognition.

enfant tsgiane Repression against the Gypsies also concerns us! When the law penalizes the weakest of citizens, we should be careful because it might be our turn tomorrow to be penalized.