Dale Farm Solidarity statement on Basildon’s botching of the eviction

Basildon Council must take this time to fulfil its responsibility to find and approve a legal and culturally suitable site for the Dale Farm community. Dale Farm residents and supporters urge Basildon to take up the offer made by the Homes and Communities Agency for land and funding in the Basildon area. It is imperative that the Council engages in a meaningful and appropriate way with residents in fulfilling the injunction. A leaked source has revealed that the Council intends to communicate with the residents via email. The Council is aware of the fact that due to limited opportunities for schooling for most Travellers, a large proportion of the Dale Farm residents are illiterate, and have virtually no access to email. Once again, Basildon Council is putting its overeagerness to evict Dale Farm over following due process.

It’s clear that Tony Balls’ obsession with bulldozing Dale Farm has got in the way of common sense. Basildon Council’s incompetence stems directly from their intolerance of the Traveller community, and their refusal to work with the residents to locate alternative sites. They were so determined to drive the Dale Farm community from the Basildon area, that they didn’t follow the rules and procedures that they claim to hold in such high esteem. The judge expressed the widely held concern that the eviction would go beyond what was lawful.

We urge Basildon Council to take this opportunity to negotiate an alternative site for the Dale Farm community that is legal and culturally appropriate. On the date of yesterday’s attempted eviction, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance noted the “rising tide” of intolerance and bigotry against Travellers, Roma and Gypsies, and have advised that providing adequate sites is crucial to avoiding racism. They urged local government to give legal status to sites “once the situation has been tolerated for a long period of time by the public authorities.” We hope Basildon will achieve a sense of perspective.

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43 Responses to Dale Farm Solidarity statement on Basildon’s botching of the eviction

  1. UK:OK says:

    Trade Unions support Dale Farm travellers. We stand together to defend the UK Human Rights record upon which millions of good trade unionists´ jobs depend now and forever.
    CONDEM member Tony Ball is wrecking the good reputation of the UK as OK as far as human rights are concerned. Tony Ball is a disaster for my business which is to promote the UK, as UK:OK of course. How can i possibly do that and bring in the millions of tourists and billions of pounds in foreign direct investment to create the millions of jobs we NEED in the UK when I have Mr. CONDEM Ball smashing up our human rights record. The treatment of the Dale farm travellers has been terrible, these are decent folk trying to look after themselves without claiming any housing benefits and so they need to be left alone in their own caravans on THEIR OWN LAND. They have not built brick and mortar houses so they are not contravening ANY planning regulations. This whole sad episode shows that the CONDEM regime is a disaster for the UK and Mr Ball is simply that: a wrecking ball, wrecking my business and the UK human rights record. Hello Mr. Milliband: stand up for the travellers, the gypsies and the unemployed and the trade unionists because a dictator on the other side of the channel did the same things as Mr. Cameron is in 2011 he was doing in 1931. Read up on world history, especially British and German history. Be on the right side of history: stand with Churchill agaist the CONDEM not properly elected REGIME and lets have UK regime change. With UK regime change we will all have a bright future in the UK:OK !

  2. intriguedandcurious says:

    There’s an awful lot of wittering about the rule of law and compliance, or lack thereof, with such on this site and indeed on the comments section of other internet sites reporting on this issue.
    As an interested observer, I question just how much many of the people commenting know about their own legal system.
    In my view, it is the law that is flawed in this instance – and both parties are desperately doing what they can to secure their own resolution. My personal view is that human rights supercede planning regulations – and that is what this comes down to: two parties, one of whom has a duty to act where planning regulations are breached and is happy to do such but who also has a duty to provide adequate, culturally appropriate accommodation and is not happy to do so, the other who has a need for said adequate, culturally appropriate accomodation which, in the absence of the first party’s provision of such, have no alternative option but to breach planning regulations.

    The law is not always right. Everyone is equal before the law not just where planning matters are concerned but where human rights are concerned too.

    I do wish more people would engage their brains and comment with intelligence instead of petty presumptuous prejudice.

    More importantly, and the reason I have posted today, is that surely Basildon Council’s decision to clear the site at the costs suggested, making many families homeless, can be considered a decision so unreasonable that no other reasonable public authority would consider imposing such a decision – what happened to Wednesbury Unreasonableness, that important bastion of English administrative law? It is neither reasonable nor, indeed, proportionate to spend X million on making families homeless – it simply is not, no matter what the families are alleged to have done.

  3. inspectorgadget says:

    Your comments policy says:

    Commentators who repeatedly violate the policy will be prevented from commenting.

    Do you feel the same about people who repeatedly violate planning policy?

  4. Well good to see that all the support of the gypsy council uk all the activitiests at dale farm have put the plight of the irish travelers on the world stage & through their campaigners & intolerantce they have stared to get their voice heard & dale farm is one of many cases across the uk the are now starting to be reckonised and insisting. That their human rights are upheld like other travelers & gypsies do & nobody expects thing to change over night but instead that people respect each others rights what as alarmed me most is the that ppl cant see the difference between planning law & human rights law the right are already on soap boxs saying can we talk about slave or fly tipping 1st now that is a matter of criminal law would they say to a black family can we talk about drugs &gun crime then we will look at your human rights and some where to live or a muslim community got to sort out terrorism. Before we can address your human rights so plz understanding on both sides but if ppl dont like whats happening look to your councils who have failed in the duty to address the problems that face the traveling communitys as set out by government after spending millions on reports white papers & setting out government guide lines thats why your judges when a lot off applications fail see that your local councils have failed in providing for this ethnic group /race that lives in your fine country costing even more of your tax money so plz everyone it is time for change thank you for your time

  5. I guess that all those who feel that the Dale Farm residents should be able to build what they want on land because they own it – regardless of the planning laws – will be fully behind the current Government proposals to relax planning laws, which many organisations, such as the National Trust and Campaign to Protect Rural England, fear will lead to developers getting a freer hand to develop – regardless of local opinion.

    If you win the fight at Dale Farm I expect to see you all to rush over to Newmarket and defend the right of Edward Stanley, the Earl of Derby, who inherited 160-acre Hatchfield Farm, on the edge of Newmarket to build 1,200 houses on the greenfield site and advise him to simply ignore the planning process and the voices of protest from local residents because it is his land and he should have the right to do what he wants with it.

    You can’t have one rule for one section of the community and another for a different section – and knowing how fair, even-handed and anti-discriminatory you all are I am sure you understand the principles at stake here.

    Yeah – right!

  6. thats0not0me says:

    So you want the Council to abide by the injunctions instructions, but to avoid doing so yourself? Not hypocritical at all (rolleyes)

  7. Grayling says:

    Arus, I agree with all of your comments. You are fair and your thoughts are clearly laid out, very eloquently too.

  8. Grayling says:

    Are we allowed to discuss the recent slaves found and released from the Dale Farm site?

  9. I’m disturbed at the amount of ignorant muck being spread here. I’m also disturbed by the amount of deleted text. “If you have no money, you don’t drive around in brand new cars do you….” They don’t drive around in jags or porches and none of the cars I saw when I was there were new. As well as this, there appears to be some kind of delusion that people who live in caravans have homes in Ireland, which is a bizarre statement to make. Many have never been to Ireland, having lived in this country for generations and if they had homes in ireland, they’d probably be living in them. Many of them actually have jobs and pay income tax as well as tax on their cars. There’s a lot of comments made in complete ignorance of the situation; The forced homelessness of over 400 people in a time of growing homelessness and governmental cuts. £18 million has been put aside to reclaim land that has absolutely no use whatsoever (Least of all as part of a green belt- a laughable idea), except to the people who moved in when it was a scrapyard and made it their home. The detractors should all face eviction at least once before they foam at the mouth with self deluded superiority.

    • Arus says:

      I do agree with a lot that you say.
      But in my view the most promenant fact is this:

      When these families on the plot facing eviction moved there, they knew they were living there illegally.

      I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but that kinda kills any sympathy I had for them.

      The law is the law, and even tho it seems that they pick and choose when to enforce it, when enforced it should be abided by.

      Its like saying that you shouldnt pay for that speeding ticket that you recieved, as you have been speeding there for years and the camera has never had film in it.
      Well, it does now!

    • Fred says:

      Nobody drives round in a porche. Thats something affixed to the front of your house (as long as you have the right planning permission that is).

      Its very easy to see the vehicles that are inside dale farm from the hundreds of photos now littering the internet, and they cleraly arent running round in £300 bangers from the motor auctions thats for certain.

      I defy any single one of the the supporters posting on this website to get ANY traveller to show them a P60 declaring their earnings and tax paid in ANY single year. You spout as fact that many of these people pay income tax, yet I defy you to prove this point in any way what so ever.

      Feel free to google “dale farm residents secret homes” – and its not just the comic that is the daily mail that reports this issue. There are many within that site at Dale Farm that are plain lying about their having alternative homes… FACT.

      Though of course this will also probably be deleted by the “moderator” as the points above are very easy for anyone to research, and disproves many supporters arguments, so it will never be allowed to stand.

    • steve says:

      Could you please enlighten us – In what capacity were you when you were at Dale Farm ?

      You state – “none of the cars I saw when I was there were new” which indicates you have visited the site. Are you a Camp Constant supporter ?

      • Arus says:

        Read properly:

        ‘Its very easy to see the vehicles that are inside dale farm from the hundreds of photos now littering the internet’

  10. barry says:

    I don’t agree with taking down opposing view points, let them have their say, they are merely asleep, they know not what they do!… Now if travellers are stealing electricity they can be dealt with under common law! They do not need to be evicted to do that!… But like someone else said, you do not know they are stealing it!… People say they are living their illegally! How can you live illegally? Now you have to live a certain way to be considered legal? Lol… What a load of rubbish!… All these so called authorities would be called tyrants else where! Oh but because we can vote in new tyrants it’s called democracy? People also complain that travellers get special treatment, the old if i did that chestnut comes up!… They get special treatment because they know and demand their rights! If you want to stay uneducated and not know your rights you can hardly blame the travellers for your short comings! The trouble is people are too quick to believe that the so called authorities have power over you! Well let me tell you something, you give that power away! All human beings are created equal! No one has power over me!… I am not a traveller, but i admire their life style! I respect their choices! As should everyone else! If you want to believe everything the lying government says that’s cool, but please respect the fact that i do not!

    • Fred says:

      The authorities have a right to approve or reject a planning application. They consider these applications and offer neighbours the opportunity to voice any concerns. They then decide if you can or cannot build what you want on the land you own.

      In this case the residents of Dale Farm have ignored this fact and decided that they will build their homes there regardless of the decision of the planning authorities.

      As an example, if you wanted to build an extension to your home, covering the entire garden, and totally not in keeping with the surrounding buildings, do you think you should have the right to do that regardless of the affect this would have on your neighbours, or the visual impact this would cause? If you believe you should have the right to do that, then I suppose there is no point debating the issue of Dale Farm with you.

    • Arus says:

      ‘People say they are living their illegally! How can you live illegally? Now you have to live a certain way to be considered legal? Lol… What a load of rubbish!… ‘

      There are these things called laws. Dont be so literal. The fact that they are alive is not a legal issue, but the way that they are living is.
      Well half of them anyway!
      (NB by this I mean living on a protion of the site that the knew damn well was illegal 10 years ago).

      In your world, if someone broke into your home and decided to live there, would that be ok, as it is their way of life? No!

  11. steve says:

    Good game this – we put comments up – and the moderator removes them – Candy Sheridan must have found something else to do in her spare time.

  12. Arus says:

    Just a thought,
    If I was evicted from my home for failing to pay mortgage, or if I had done some illegal extensions..

    Would the council have to re-home me?
    Would they, or infact should they care?

    • They may regard you as ‘intentionally homeless’ and on that basis decide that they had no requirement to house you. Your only option would be to rent privately but if you were unemployed you may find this very difficult, as many landlords will not accept people on benefit and even if you are working the chances are that having failed to pay your mortgage [for what ever reason] and had your home repossessed this will have impacted on your credit rating and so any credit check would come back negative – leading again to private landlords not wanting to rent to you.

  13. piet poet says:

    congrats!! totally!

  14. Webby says:

    Why should the council work with the travellers to re-site them. They are living there illegally as it is. They call themselves travellers. In which case, they need to travel, and as far away from Basildon as possible, preferably back to Ireland where the majority have homes. They claim to have no money, no jobs and no homes, yet we all know that isn’t the case. If you have no money, you don’t drive around in brand new cars do you….

    • Fred says:

      Indeed – the moderation of this site now says it all. Dont want to even entertain or discuss anyone elses viewpoint. Not willing to accept that they can possibly be in the wrong. Just like the travellers cant accept the judgement of the planning authorities, the modertaors here cant accept that some people simply do not agree with the travellers point.

    • Arus says:

      That is something I have always wondered.
      I look out of my window and see a 59 red Focus, and a Merc.
      If they have no money then how the hell did they get that!

  15. barry says:

    johnathon… The corrupt government hardly plays fair! So why the hell should the travellers?… Personally i find it disgusting that people can not live the lives they choose to live! They aren’t hurting anybody by living there!… Why does everyone hate them for merely wanting to live? Oh because you want them to live like you! Why the hell should they! I support them fully! Infact is there a way i can get in touch with anyone at the site? I’d very much like to offer my support! Perhaps i’ll even come down! I live in coventry, i don’t really have the money, but i want to show my support! What moral high ground does the corrupt criminal government have? It’s laughable!

    • b says:

      Quote “They aren’t hurting anybody by living there!”

      Really? So who is paying for the electricity and gas to the site? Who is funding the healthcare and school systems that they are using?
      They buy gas in canisters. They get mains electricity, but I don’t know whether the electricity companies bill them. You probably don’t know either. You assume none of them pay income tax or national insurance, which is almost certainly untrue. And anyway, paying income tax or national insurance isn’t a requirement for an individual to use the NHS or schools, and never has been. As for “damaging the local economy and society”, your words are running far ahead of your cogitation. You write as if people building homes on their land is some kind of anti-social vandalism!

    • b says:

      Don’t you get it – the NHS is free at the point of demand. Ambulance drivers don’t ask to see a person’s tax statement if they get run over. And that’s how it bloody well should be.

    • Webby says:

      I love how the moderator is deleting anything anti-Traveller….whats the point in having a view

    • Fred says:

      I take it the moderators are removing anything that is not supportive toward the travellers now. You do know the role of a moderator I take it?

      You seem willing to leave slanderous and other remarks from delusional supporters, but remove even the most reasoned arguments against the case – and you accuse the media of not reporting correctly – you really are laughable.

    • Arus says:

      Apparently your argument is invalid!

    • thats0not0me says:

      So because some of the government are corrupt you decide that all of them are? I thought that travellers were against prejudice or tarring a whole group with one brush because of the minoritys actions? Hypocritical no?

      This is being fought as a PR campaign, not by backing up the many claims made by Mrs McCarthy – it would appear because she cannot backup her claims with evidence to support them.

  16. Zoey says:

    Basildon Council must take this time to fulfil its responsibility to find and approve a legal and culturally suitable site for the Dale Farm community.

    Like hell they have to provide anything to you bums! When are you going to get it through that thick muck you call a brain – you have places to go….so go! Why should hard worker tax payers always have to provide for benefit breding scroungers who hide behind the word ‘traveller’.

    • johnnyham1 says:

      wow a lof of tax payers sounding off re how their tax is spent by gov. ppl’s stupidity and ignorance levels amaze me. My personal take
      Everyone’s tax goes straight to the bankers, that don’t need any money,
      a little thought should clarify this, gov borrowing pays for the hospitals and the schools, etc. This should make sense to everyone. We hear it everyday from our elected rep’s. This money is paid back via our taxes. Pretty straight forward. And logical.

      oh and if there were no travellers or no unemployment or other benefits to help during times of distress, EVERYONE would be still taxed the same, and possibly the monies burnt in a gov fire.
      We don’t pay tax to help others the reasons money is taken is to create the illusion that it is money that holds value.
      Why does gov borrow (what is borrowed needs to be returned), when as the most powerful body in the land it can easily create it’s own currency, and have no interest to pay to anyone,
      We as a nation pay £232,000 per minute, according to Owen Patterson, tory NI sec, on question time. Let the travellers in peace, As a tax payer I think the focus on us all ought to be how much is generated via the tax system, and how it is used.

  17. Adie wickford says:

    In reply to B
    The judgement is a temp reprieve until 11:30 Friday when Basildon council will put there case.
    to quote Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart “Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart granted the injunction at London’s High Court on the basis there was a realistic apprehension that the measures to be taken – while genuinely believed in by the council – “may go further” than the terms of the enforcement notices.

    He said: “Having regard to the fact there is no fixed date for starting these – but they are imminent – I do not see that any serious injustice will be caused if the actual implementation of any measures will not take place before the end of this week.”

    The judge said residents were to take reasonable steps to permit council officials on site to discuss arrangements with individuals, to discourage any further student protest and to procure the dismantling of barricades.

    He told Candy Sheridan, vice-chair of the Gypsy Council of North Norfolk, resident Mary Sheridan, volunteer Stuart Carruthers and the council’s barrister Reuben Taylor: “It is in nobody’s interests that we have a riot on this site.

    “There’s got to be a bit of give and take over a limited timeframe to see if the problems can be dealt with in an orderly rather than disruptive way.”

    He told the Dale Farm representatives: “I appreciate it is a deeply unpleasant situation but unfortunately this is a road which is reaching its end and there is sadly no mileage in prolonging the agony.”

    Now tell me does that seem like the eviction will not go ahead just seems like the Judge is making sure Basildon Council I.E Central Government are not going to come out of this in a bad light.

    Oh by the way I will be in oak lane Friday Sat and Sun to wave them all goodbye

    • b says:

      Thanks for this, Adie. I know that’s how it’s been reported. But the judge’s comments seem to have been mixed up with what he’s actually ordered. This is rubbish journalism. The following sentence in particular is ambiguous, twice over:

      The judge said residents were to take reasonable steps to permit council officials on site to discuss arrangements with individuals, to discourage any further student protest and to procure the dismantling of barricades.

      Is this the judge ordering something or stating what he’s been told? It’s not clear. Orders usually are.

      Second, who is supposed here to discourage any further student protest – the residents or the council officials? That’s not clear either.

      I think it is extremely unlikely that a judge has ordered residents to discourage any further protest. People are allowed to protest. Major spin is being applied here.

      If we see the actual text of the order, we will find out what the judge has actually ordered – and what he hasn’t.

      Please, Grattan or someone, sort this out.

  18. b says:

    Another thing, Grattan – assuming you haven’t been banned from publishing the injunction, then you’re perfectly free to publish the exact words that it says, if you want to. Here on this website, if you want.

    Why not do so? It might make it more difficult for the media to let the Council get away with their lies.

  19. b says:

    Yes, the Council do seem very ‘eager’ indeed. They’re frothing at the mouth with hatred.

    According to the Independent, a spokesNazi for the Council said that should the council overturn the injunction, travellers will be liable for all costs incurred by the delay.

    His hatred was clearly showing. Liability for costs is up to the judge, not the Council. The editors at the Independent should know that.

    Mr SpokesNazi then said: “The terms of the injunction state that the travellers and supporters should take all reasonable steps to remove the barricades.”

    He doesn’t seem to know what an injunction is. I don’t believe the judge has said that travellers and supporters should “take all reasonable steps to remove the barricades”.

    Is this in the injunction or not? If it isn’t, you should publicly accuse the Council of lying.

    And ask – just why are they straining at the leash so much, with no care for the truth?

    Grattan – on the email issue – a word of advice – just fax the Court and say you won’t accept service of documents by email.

    If anyone wants to serve documents on you, let them serve them in person. Say they can send someone to dangle them over the gate on the end of the stick. Make the bastards look as ridiculous as possible.

    The Council gets its orders from central government, and there is an obvious media agenda. Keep your heads high and try to throw as many spanners in the works as you can.

    You’re doing well so far. Keep it up, mate.

    • Fred says:

      Quote: “Make the bastards look as ridiculous as possible.

      The Council gets its orders from central government, and there is an obvious media agenda. Keep your heads high and try to throw as many spanners in the works as you can.”

      And you accuse the council of frothing at the mouth with hate… You really are a laughable fellow aren’t you.

    • Barleylands Man says:

      Bit difficult to hand the notices to people when the barracade is still up.

    • c.phillips says:

      the council dont hate them, they just want to see an end to this its been going on for 10 years. it is taking money from services that need it, the people of Basildon are suffering because of these free loaders. they have broken the law and if they are allowed to stay then it will open the flood gate for ubanisation of the green belt. i have a field which i will build on if they are allowed to stay, and i will site the travellers as a president !

  20. I find this whole situation absolutly shocking.
    The gypsy spokesperson was on the news yesterday saying how can the council justify the cost of these evictions, and with your delaying tactics the cost has just risen.

    So let me just ask this question. If the high court rules against the council, then basildon council will back off and stick to the letter of the law.
    If the high court rules against the travellers, will they put their hands up and say fair enough, and move on without more grief.. I think not.

    If these travellers want to use the law, then they MUST live by it also

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