RE: meanwhile, in a rich country...

From: Bill (
Date: Wed Dec 06 2000 - 14:10:37 PST

Yesterday I heard a story about Gypsies in Wisconsin, from a supervisor in
the Department of Corrections with whom I was having lunch. We were in
Racine, a lovely post-industrial city of multi-colored brick and the palest
white people trying to adjust to the idea, if not yet the reality of, many
new brown and poor neighbors, at a nice restaurant overlooking an enormous
empty marina and the cold lake as big as an ocean. She was showing me her
program, how they deal with offenders in the community. There are a lot of
Gypsies in Wisconsin, she said, but most people don't even know that, they
are very well organized. It was minute that, in her mind, the Gypsies were a
sort of new mafia. I did not find out exactly what kind of business they are
in, but I got the idea that it had something to do with fraud. After that
she told me about Yugoslavian gangsters in Kenosha -- nobody wants to be a
probation agent in Kenosha. The Yugoslavians are apparently quite dangerous,
but that is all she could tell me about them. After that I was taken to a
COP house where an Armenian probation agent told me about her high-risk
clients, who are not allowed to associate with known gang members or she
revokes them. Many of them have killed people and many will be shot in the
near future. But nobody dies of exposure in Racine, despite the bitter cold.

> in those set of articles bill, did you see the one about the romani
> guy who was chucked out of the 'tribe' for marrying a non romani? so
> he can't get his van fixed seeing as now he has no support network,
> and he and his wife live in his broken down van on the street in
> cambridge. they can't afford to get it fixed cause they have no
> money. so he goes out on the rounds every day, looking up others who
> are dossed in toilet blocks, bus shelters and bike sheds just to
> check they're ok, specially seeing as one guy he says came to
> cambridge for the winter having heard that the council provided
> emergency shelter at night for the homeless. but he was wrong,
> becasue this year they can't do that seeing as the govt has decided
> to withdraw funds becasue there are registered _charities_ for that,
> and anyway, not so many homeless in cambridge, officially, so the
> council reckons...and so this guy died of exposure last week. he was
> old and a drunk though, that's what the romani guy said, still he
> shouldn't have died of cold. some people he says, just disappear, and
> others hide from the council workers, and even from him, seeing as
> they're scared they'll lose their special hidey holes if they come
> out or admit to being there....
> this guy says that that he and his wife who is sick anyway, might
> even be eligible for some financial help - if they had a permanent
> address.
> i guess they shoulda all worked harder.
> no, no, 'smarter' not 'harder'.
> boy, managerial types have all the answers.

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