Supporters of Traveller Community Confront Eviction with Protest Camp

On August 27th, days before an ultimatum given to Travellers at Dale Farm in Essex expires, supporters will gather to confront the impending eviction. They will be setting up a base, called Camp Constant, from which they will protest the eviction and organise human rights monitoring of police and bailiffs. Supporters are coming to the camp from as far away as Sweden, and some are planning to engage in civil disobedience to resist the eviction, which will make the 100 families homeless. Families at Dale Farm have been given until August 31st to abandon their homes or face bulldozing. The protest camp is welcoming supporters to come for the weekend for workshops and cultural celebrations, and will remain at Dale Farm throughout the eviction.

Dale Farm is home to the largest Traveller community of it’s kind in the
UK, and sits atop a former scrapyard which was purchased by the community thirty years ago.

Basildon Council intends to cut water and electricity supplies from Dale
Farm after of the eviction notice period expires. Amnesty International have condemned this as it will leave sick, elderly, young, and pregnant residents without access to water or electricity. Because no alternative sites have been accepted by the Council, families will be forced to either stay at Dale Farm with no water or electricity, or become homeless. Government inspectors have noted that Basildon has a “dire shortage” of Traveller sites, and have placed pressure on the Council to provide 62 pitches. Despite this pressure, the Council is choosing to continue with its plans to spend £18million on the eviction while failing to provide appropriate alternative housing for evicted families.

Basildon Council also appears poised to blockade Dale Farm, and have issued a notice saying that roads leading to the Dale Farm site will be closed to all but residents, and that footpaths will be a “no-stop zone”. “Residents are feeling under siege, with children asking how many more nights they are going to be able to sleep in their beds,” said Natalie Fox, who supports the Travellers.

Although the residents of Dale Farm legally own the former scrapyard where they live, they have proposed several alternative sites to the Council, which have been consistently rejected. Two new sites have been proposed and are awaiting planning permission in October. “Why is this eviction steamrolling ahead when a peaceful solution is within sight,” added Fox.

“The support camp has been set up to protest the fact that Basildon Council is choosing to go ahead with this eviction despite significant human rights violations. When we can find £18 million to make people homeless, but can’t find money to fund schools and communities, something terrible has gone wrong,” said Yoshka Pundrik, a member of Dale Farm Solidarity, who is helping set up Camp Constant.

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14 Responses to Supporters of Traveller Community Confront Eviction with Protest Camp

  1. Jonathan says:

    Dear all, a campaign against the evictions has been started on a new website called Digital Democracy and you can support it by following this link:

    http://www.digitaldemocracy.org.uk/debate/debate.php?id=3967

    Please add you support then pass it onto to others if you care about this issue.

    • Aidso says:

      Digital Democracy, eh? Is that the sort of democracy that applies when it suits you but is inhumane when it doesn’t? Catch yourself on ffs.

  2. Aidso says:

    I’m afraid that whilst ‘About time too’ has made his points in an unfortunately aggressive way his main point (if I understand it correctly) is spot on. And that is why if these so-called ‘travellers’ are breaking the law then it’s a no-brainer. Have none of you liberal types stopped to consider that your version of ‘humanity’ entails opening the door to widespread abuse of the law, specifically Planning law, on the basis that it
    suits you. You can’t have it both ways. This
    group have themselves trailed this matters
    through several courts. Of course if the court
    had found in their favour they’d be shouting it
    loudly. But ONLY because the court had the
    audacity to kick out the (latest) appeal we’re told that there will be hell to pay. What utter hypocritical nonsense. They can’t get the benefit of developing this illegal site for years. It’s not as if today’s judgement is news to them. And as for you contributors shocked & horrified by this travesty, put your hands up by offering this group of ‘travellers’ the fields beside your house for their sites. I’m Irish & god knows we’ve suffered our share of discrimination down the years. This is NOT discrimination. Wake up. It’s lawbreaking. The highest court in the land has decreed that no Convention Rights have been breached. What more do you want?

  3. Steve Russell says:

    @Abouttimetoo – you are a very arrogant and abusive person. Anonymity is not an excuse for abusiveness. I can assure you that dirt bikes, noise and fly-tipping are not restricted to traveller communities.

    Does it not strike you as ironic that the ConDem government is trying to force people to live a prescribed lifestyle at the same time as setting themselves up to make a fast buck by relaxing planning laws applied to greenbelt land?

    Get over yourself and try appreciating the benefits of a diverse society.

    • Aidso says:

      Hey Steve
      I was just wondering how comfortably your ‘diverse society’ theory sits with the news today that 24 vulnerable people have been rescued from an Irish traveller site in Bedfordshire. I’m prepared to give the arrested irish travellers the benefit of the doubt. ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ and all that. But let’s call a spade a spade…this looks horrendous. So I was just wondering when we can expect to see you and your associates setting up a committee in support of the travellers ethnic rights on this one although I’m gonna guess that the ECHR doesn’t actually allow so called ethnic minorities to enslave vulnerable individuals.

      • aidso says:

        Hey, Stevo, where are you? Maybe you’re in Bedfordshire looking after the Human Rights of the charming O’Connor family, four of whom have today being charged with slavery offences. Now, of course I’m not saying that all ‘travellers’ (Trade Descriptions should be called in on that one) are slave drivers. But are these potential law breakers due a ‘break’ from the law in the same way that you and your colleagues believe that the Dale Farm ‘travellers’ are exempt?

  4. fedupwiththefascists says:

    About Time Too is obviously a daily mail reading type who lives nowhere near the crays hill site. keep your hateful comments to yourself.

  5. About time too says:

    It’s about time too,For far too long these people have run roughshod over the places they ‘inhabit’ This eviction would apply to anyone building on greenbelt land,Not just travelers,You only have to look around these sites to see the mess and filth they dump in the surrounding countryside.These sites are supposed to be used to rest between traveling,not to be inhabited permanently,This is where the friction between the ‘clans’ starts,because you get one clan laying claim to the site.These people aren’t going to be homeless,They’re travelers,their homes are their caravans,They aren’t even from this country,they’re from Ireland,Why don’t they travel round Ireland?see how long they’d last there.At the end of the day they should make up their mind WHAT they are,If they’re travelers,get traveling and stop trying to build permanent homes on greenbelt land.It’s time to start making these people pay for what it costs to evict them,they pay no taxes,No council taxes they should be booted out of the country,

  6. Jean Johnson says:

    The battle to defend Dale Farm will not be the last of its ilk. As soon as the Government
    was elected, the Tories said that one of their main policies would be to”sort out” the Gypsies.
    I believe that it is necessary that a National Group/Campaign be initiated to act as a focus to draw in support when other Gypsy groups are similalrly targeted.

  7. Fred McCormick says:

    I’m at the other end of the country and can’t offer anything beyond moral support. But what Basildon Council are doing is brutal and inhumane and it flies in the face of logic. If this was any other social or ethnic group, they would not be treated like this. Why can people not accept that travellers are human beings with feelings and emotions and failings just like the rest of us?

    • About time too says:

      Not in your backyard eh?,If you had a neighbour who lived in filth,came in at all hrs of the day and night with their vans,trucks,Dirtbikes and caused a nuisance your council would serve them with an asbo and hopefully evict them,But these aren’t your neighbours are they eh?

  8. Penny Wright says:

    i cannot comprehend the inhumanity and zealous determined cruelty of Basildon council. To brutally destroy an established residential community, render the children without homes, schools. its just incomprehensible. shame on basildon council. not in our name!

    • About time too says:

      They’re travelers stupid,They live in caravans,That’s why they’re travelers,They don’t go to school because they don’t want to live the way we live,Which is why so many are illiterate,They’re travelers so why would they want to build permanent places to live on a site meant for temporary stopovers?Maybe we should let them camp in your back garden eh?Inhumane ?Why?If they were illegally parked on the highway they’d be moved along,Why?Because they would be committing an offense and so they are committing an offense living on greenbelt land without planning permission,I would be prosecuted if I did it,why should the law treat them any different just because they play the racial equality card?If you’re going to support a cause at least educate yourself to the facts.

  9. Jeanine says:

    HI PEOPLE, I THINK WHAT IS HAPPENING TO YOU TRAVELLERS IS BEYOND BELIEF,
    I KNOW ITS PROBABLY A LITTLE LATE IN THE DAY, OR MAYBE NOT.
    JOHN HARRIS, Free Man On The Land. (Google Him)
    http://www.tpuc.org DO VISIT THIS WEB SITE, ITS AMAZING STUFF

    GOOD LUCK & REMEMBER… ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY from Jeanine

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