ON TRAVELLER SUICIDE – A CASE OF SOCIAL MURDER

The suicide rate in the Traveller community is six times higher than in the general population and seven times higher among young Traveller men. Keep in mind that these are multiples of an already unacceptably high rate among the general population.

In the last week alone three young Travellers took their lives. The epidemic is affecting children as young as 14. The entire Traveller community is reeling from it – they need our solidarity.

Solidarity can take the form of asking the question of responsibility. Who or what is responsible for so many Travellers wanting to end their life before they have even really begun it?

Suicide is a diverse phenomenon and each individual suicide has their own story and their own reasons.

However, in the case of the now long-standing suicide epidemic among Travellers it is obvious however that social & political factors – endemic discrimination & oppression & exclusion – play the determining role.

So many Travellers find that life is not worth living because so much institutional effort goes into telling them they are worthless & making sure that for them life is not worth living.

The suicide epidemic is therefore a kind of SOCIAL MURDERING

Who is guilty of this killing spree?

Who are the SERIAL KILLERS OF THE TRAVELLER COMMUNITY?

The county council’s who keep Travellers living in filthy conditions for decades on end DESPITE having tens of millions in funds to spend on Traveller Acommodation.

The School’s who find means to exclude Traveller children and treat them like dirt when they do allow them in.

The right-wing politicians who use anti-Traveller racism as a vote-getter.

The resident’s committees who campaign against Traveller Acommodation.

The mass media outlets who amplify racist politicians and who continously print negative & stereotyped stories about Travellers.

The individuals who harass, intimidate, slander, & bully Travellers online & offline.

The blood of thousands of Travellers is on the hands of all the above and it is a stain that will never wash off.

Please make an extra effort to stand up to anti-Traveller racism whenever & wherever you come across it – you might be saving a young life if you do!

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