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Contesting (in)security: Reflections on the role of solidarity in the everyday lives of Roma in Scotland
The status of EU migrants, and more especially the already disadvantaged minority groups among them, remains uncertain despite the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union in March 2019 looming ever closer. Roma, Europe’s largest and most persecuted minority group, are particularly at risk across an increasingly hostile and unwelcoming Britain. In this paper I will draw on my ongoing ethnographic fieldwork with Brexit as a backdrop, to explore the ways in which the three main facets of citizenship (rights, duties, and participation) are experienced in the daily lives of Roma people living in Glasgow. Moreover, I will reflect on the role and influence of acts of solidarity as a strategy to obtain security in an increasingly uncertain and insecure context. I aim to reflect on Roma as active agents in their pursuit of security through solidarity with other Roma and non-Roma in a localised, every day context. This occurs on different levels of claims making, including larger demonstrations of solidarity such as International Roma Day celebrations, and the more mundane practices in everyday life such as using a local drop-in centre. In doing so, I will explore the ways in which feelings and acts of solidarity influence and shape Roma’s everyday experiences of (in)security.