Press release: Joint Residents and Supporters’ press conference at Dale Farm, Essex CM11 2YJ, 11 am, Friday 2 September

Media Release: Joint Residents and Supporters’ press conference at Dale Farm, Essex CM11 2YJ, 11 am, Friday 2 September

The last remaining legal barrier to the eviction of 86 families from their homes at Dale Farm has now fallen. The emergency injunction sought by the residents’ legal team, which would have delayed the planned eviction, has been refused. At any time, Basildon Council could deploy the firm of bailiffs they have instructed to forcibly remove hundreds, including infirm elderly, young children and nursing mothers, from the site where they have lived for as long as ten years.
After visiting Dale Farm on Tuesday, Bishop Thomas McMahon and Bishop Stephen Cottrell of the Diocese of Chelmsford said in a statement, ‘if elderly and infirm people were shown on TV being forced out of their homes, we wouldn’t think we were watching something happening in England, but that is what will happen here.’
The Bishops have offered their services to help mediate the dispute, and the residents of Dale Farm have accepted. So far, Basildon Council has not responded. Dale Farm Solidarity calls on Tony Ball, the leader of Basildon Council, to accept this offer and avoid the spectre of forced eviction. 

Dale Farm is home to the largest Traveller community in the UK, a former scrapyard which was purchased by the community thirty years ago. The residents of Dale Farm have pledged to leave if alternate sites can be found, and two planning applications have been lodged which are due to be heard in October. Government inspectors have noted that Basildon has a “dire shortage” of Gypsy and Traveller sites, and have placed pressure on the Council to provide 62 pitches. Because no alternative sites have been approved, families will be forced to stay at Dale Farm or become homeless.

Despite this, Basildon Council intends to cut water and electricity supplies to Dale Farm after of the eviction notice period expires. Amnesty International have condemned the move, which will leave sick, elderly, young and pregnant residents without access to water or electricity. The Council is choosing to continue with its plans to spend £18million on the eviction, and plans to blockade Dale Farm, closing the road to all but named residents.

Camp Constant, the resistance and solidarity camp set up by supporters last weekend with the help of residents, continues to welcome well-wishers from as far away as Sweden and Scotland. The camp is the focus of work to organise human rights monitoring of police and bailiffs.

-The full statement from the Bishops of Chelmsford is here: http://dioceseofbrentwood.net/news/ViewPost.aspx?ID=548

-Updated press pack available at https://dalefarm.wordpress.com/press/

-Interview, comment and photos available from savedalefarm@gmail.com, tel: 07583761462

-For directions to get to Dale Farm, see https://dalefarm.wordpress.com/contact/

-For the Amnesty International press release about the Dale Farm eviction, see: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR45/013/2011/en/0faf8cdd-f5a1-4024-af41-5a26f21d51a5/eur450132011en.html

-The £18 million cost of the eviction includes £10 million for policing- £6 million of which was granted by the Home Office

1 September 2011

Please note: At the request of residents, members of the press are asked to restrict their visits to the hours of 11am-12pm and 3pm-4pm, unless by prior appointment. To make an appointment, call 07583 761462.

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