I live in San Francisco and am a gypsy (not a Roma but an American-bred nomad) and it's a terrible problem here, the violent midnight raids, the confiscation of our property, our children nearly taken because of our "nomadic propensities" & put under legal (though thank God, not physical) custody of CPS, the constant threats of arrest (it is a "crime" and every street has signs posted "Habitation of a Vehicle Prohibited - punishable by fines/arrest").
A few nights ago, about midnight, while parked in a nice neighborhood, our RV received a broken window and when my husband went outside, 5 men attacked him and tried to come inside the RV after me - there was a crowd at the bus stop nearby but nobody came to help us - we beat them off, just my husband and I (me using only a broom!) but I have been afraid ever since BECAUSE THE POLICE REFUSED TO COME.
However, they showed up the next morning to "warn" us the area wasn't safe for our "kind". I am an American, two of my 5 children are Marines (one fighting Afghanistan today) and we are good people. Doesn't matter because we are gypsies. Human litter to be swept up. That's what the police here call it, when they do raids, they call it a "sweep". And San Francisco is so proud of being the epicenter of bleeding heart liberalism, tolerant of all, etc. etc. etc. Not if you are a gypsy.
If you'd like to know more I have a blog where I describe the police seizing our schoolbus/home in 2006 in an entry called The Half Life of Fear.
Aug. 20, 2010