Gypsies fear they could again be become scapegoats as the UK establishment prepares to crack the law-and-order whip over growing unrest and rioting around Britain.
The request by police to Home Secretary Teresa May for special funding to cover the planned Dale Farm eviction must be regarded as a test case of the Government’s intentions in this regard.
A decision is expected by next month on whether to spend 15m euro on an operation – already dubbed ethnic-cleansing by the opposition Labour Party – to drive a hundred families from their homes.
Against the harshed criticism of Labour councillors, Tory leader Tony Ball told Basildon Council this week that he would clear all unauthorized Travellers from the district by spring if the Government gives him the money.
Meanwhile, hundreds of students at Essex University participated in a Human Rights Week dedicated to furthering the cause of Roma across Europe, and particularly the Travellers at Dale Farm, situated some 60km from their campus.
Speaking at their Human Rights Day meeting on 10 December, which also marked the 44th anniversary of the Gypsy Council, Grattan Puxon said that while students protested cuts in higher education, Dale Farm residents like Gypsies all over the UK were fighting just to allow their children to complete primary education.
“We see now that we share a common cause with students, the homeless, and everyone else suffering from the present crackdown on the less well-off and the marginalized,” said Puxon.
Further meetings are planned in London, Chelmsford, Cambridge, Bristol and Brighton to sign up legal observers for Camp Constant, the support camp which will be set up at Dale Farm if Basildon signals it’s finally calling in the bailiffs, the bulldozers and riot police.
If you want to join or would like more information on Camp Constant and upcoming support meetings email firstname.lastname@example.org