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I have the Same Dream

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. 157 YEARS AGO, A GREAT MOLDOVAN PRINCE. in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, ABOLISHED THE SLAVERY OF OUR PEOPLE. . This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of ROMA slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred AND FIFTY years later, the ROM still is not free. One hundred AND FIFTY years later, the life of the ROM is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred AND FIFTY years later, the ROM lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred AND FIFTY years later, the ROM is still languishing in the corners of EUROPEAN society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our NATION wrote the magnificent words of the CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, they were signing a promissory note to which every ROMANI was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, ROMA men as well as NON-ROMA men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that EUROPE has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, EUROPE has given the ROMA people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind EUROPE of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nationS OF EUROPE to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the ROMA's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. 2013 is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the ROMA needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in EUROPE until the ROM is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the ROMANI community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the ROM is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the ROM’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "NO GYPSIES ALLOWED". We cannot be satisfied as long as a ROMA ALL OVER EUROPE SUFFER DISCRIMINATION and a ROM believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to THE ROMANI SETTLEMENTS, go back to MISKOLCS, go back to MITROVICA, SWINIA, TO SHUTKA, go back to THE CORNER OF THE STREET BEGGING, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of TATARSZENTGYORGY the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the COUNTRY of HUNGARY, a COUNTRY sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in MISKOLC, with its vicious racists, with its MAYOR having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in EUROPE little ROMANI boys and ROMANI girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "IN FERVENT RAPTURE WE ENTER THE HEAVENLY FIRE, THY SANCTUARY. YOUR MAGIC REUNITES, WHAT FASHION STRICTLY DIVIDED, ALL MEN WILL BECOME BROTHERS. WHERE YOUR GENTLE WING RESTS."

And if EUROPE is to be a great CONTINENT this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of ROMANIA

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of MONTENEGRO Let freedom ring from the heightening SLOVENIA, SLOVAKIA, CZECH REPUBLIC

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped ITALY, FRANCE

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of SERBIA AND BOSNIA

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of CROATIA

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of HUNGARY

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of EUROPE

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every COUNTRY and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, ROMA AND NON-ROMA , Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old ROMANI spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

- Lela Savic

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