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Going Down A Storm

Drive 2 Survive co-chair Sherrie Smith has contributed to a powerful podcast examining why prejudice towards Gypsies and Travellers is on the rise.

We often think of ‘progress’ as an enemy of ‘prejudice’, but when it comes to prejudice towards Gypsy, Roma and Travellers, the opposite is true. YouGov polling shows a decline in British society’s attitudes towards their nomadic members, as the UN flags a rise in hate speech and violence towards the ethnic minority across Europe.

Why is this happening? Is it down to changes in reality, or simply changes in perception?

We speak to activists and actors about the role of politics and pop culture in creating an increasingly hostile environment, and unveil the masked mental health crisis that is endemic among Traveller youths. Mikey Walsh - author (and protagonist) of ‘Gypsy Boy’ - joins us to talk about the news media’s complicity in creating a society clouded more in fiction than fact.

We look at headlines on ‘Traveller crime’ and opinion pieces in mainstream papers pleading to phase out the ethnic minority.

Many thanks to Rachel Trafford for help producing this episode.

The episode is hosted by Mathilda Mallinson (@mathildamall) and Helena Wadia (@helenawadia), with research by Izzie Addison.


Charlotte James, Community Health and Wellbeing Coordinator, LeedsGateTom Manders, actor, writer and producerJonathan Lee, European Roma Rights Centre @ERRCtweets @errcinstaLeeds Gypsy & Traveller Exchange @leedsGATELondon Gypsies and Travellers @LondonGypsyTrav @londongypsytravellerSherrie Smith @SherrieRomanyMikey Walsh @thatbloodymikey

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