Against racism in Slovakia

The Forum for Human Rights (FORUM) in cooperation with the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) filed a lawsuit against the city of Martin which presents a harsh picture of systemic exploitation and oppression. The lawsuit seeks to address the dire situation of Roma families who find themselves in dangerous proximity to a landfill on the outskirts of Martin.

The history of the “Bambuska” community is a clear example of capitalist indifference to the position of marginalised groups. In the late 1990s, the municipality organised the forced relocation of Roma families to the segregated community of Bambusky, an area deliberately set up just a few metres from a hazardous waste dump. This blatant disregard for their safety is a manifestation of capitalist indifference to human rights and dignity.

By filing a complaint with the District Court in Martin, FORUM and the ERRC are challenging the inhumane practices of the municipality. Roma families living in Bambusky have endured life in the shadow of the dump for more than two decades, exposed to health risks, unsanitary conditions and environmental threats. This situation is not only unsustainable but also fundamentally discriminatory and reflects a broader pattern of systemic oppression.

The Bambusky Community Centre, among other things, provides local residents with social counselling, assistance in exercising their rights and legally protected interests, help in preparing for school attendance and school lessons, and accompaniment of children to and from school. Photo: Facebook Bambusky Community Centre

Alexandra Dubová, director of FORUM, points out that the authorities have known about this serious situation for years and have not taken any meaningful steps to address it. The negligence of the local government points to the structural nature of this injustice which further emphasises the need for systemic change. FORUM’s pursuit of justice is not just a fight against individual cases of discrimination, but a call to dismantle the system that enables and perpetuates such inequalities.

The location of the Roma community near the landfill is a clear example of the ruling class’s lack of concern for the lives of working class and marginalised groups. The vulnerability of the community to unsafe conditions and the lack of basic services such as water and electricity highlight that the capitalist system prioritises profit over the well-being of the people.

In the words of Đorđe Jovanović, chair of the ERRC, this type of discrimination is a reflection of a broader anti-Roma attitude in society. It is essential to recognise that the unjustifiable treatment of the Roma community in Bambusky is not an isolated phenomenon, but is part of recurrent cases of segregation and exposure of Roma communities to dangerous environments across Europe.

The fight for justice in Bambusky goes beyond the courtroom. It is a struggle against a capitalist paradigm that perpetuates environmental racism and systemic discrimination. The call by FORUM and the ERRC for unsegregated, decent housing and the elimination of landfill is an important step towards overcoming the system that perpetuates inequality.

Let us stand in solidarity with local communities in their struggle against capitalist oppression and systematic discrimination. Let us join the struggle for justice, equality and the dismantling of the structures that perpetuate oppression.



Jakub Rendvanský, chairman of LYFS Center

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