Basildon Council, central government and the police are facing widespread public outcry following scenes of police brutality at the eviction of Dale Farm Traveller site in Essex. Supporters and residents were subjected to several incidents of tasering, unprovoked batoning as well as brutal behaviour that resulted in the hospitalisation of both residents and supporters.
Resident Kathleen McCarthy, described scenes of “police brutality. I’ve seen residents with blood dripping down their face, and another who has been put in hospital by police batoning. The way in which the police are acting has shocked and outraged everyone here. We hope the world is watching.”
Events today were instigated by a police dawn raid on the site, which saw a legal plot being destroyed in clear breach of court order. This caused injury to several residents, many of whom had been seeking shelter in what was perceived to be a safe plot.
Ali Saunders, a Dale Farm supporter, said “this attack on the lives of Dale Farm families will fall upon the conscience of all of the British people. The taxpayer is being forced to pay £22m to fund this brutal operation that will leave 82 families with nowhere to sleep tonight. From the very start of this morning’s operation the police showed no regard for the safety and dignity of residents, or the proportionality of the force used. The way that Basildon Council conducted the eviction confirmed what had become clear throughout the legal process- Basildon sees Travellers as second class citizens who they want to chase out of the area.”
The Bishop of Chelmsford and local priest Father Dan Mason have released a statement condemning the ‘violent approach’ exemplified by police use of tazers and brutal batoning.
The Bishop of Chelmsford added “Let us also remember that this eviction does not solve the problem but moves it somewhere else. These families are going to have to sleep somewhere tonight”
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