Traveller Solidarity Meeting; 11am, Saturday 5th November in Whitechapel

The Traveller Solidarity Movement after Dale Farm: Where Next?

A meeting of debate and strategy.

11am Saturday 5th November

3rd Floor Cityside House, 40 Adler St, London E1 1EE.
Near Aldgate East and Whitechapel tube st. (District Line, Hammersmith & City)
Buses: 205 (from Paddington), 15, 25, 67, 115, 135, 205, 254, D3.

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1 Response to Traveller Solidarity Meeting; 11am, Saturday 5th November in Whitechapel

  1. ycprojects says:

    The eviction and clearing of the Dale Farm should be contested + compensation for the damages should be claimed. This could both happen legally and also on the internet.

    There are key points which the Basildon County Council is missing:
    -Not a civil dispute between the Council and a single person or a family, but a dispute between a substantial population group and the council. Estimate about 400 people.
    -Travellers have been encouraged actually to buy this land. Then politics changed after 2000.
    -Problems have never been outlined in public, only for instance mentioning “Irish criminals”. While removal of criminals could be justified if they have gained titles of prosecution, eviction of a whole population group with the argumentation that there are “Irish criminals” among them, is not professional conduct
    -The council often mentions it wants to upkeep the law. Actually local planning “laws” are largely influenced or even drafted by Councils. “Law” is also misleading because it is not criminal law, but civil order local regulations. The travellers do not occupy the land illegally. They own it.
    -It is also interesting to examine if the Council should have granted the planning applications, and if the refusal eventually itself was illegal.

    The Council should stop all eviction/occupation/clearing immediately. It should examine the planning application on case by case basis and approve them. Dale Farm clearly is a recognizeable and meaningful independent population group, not a single individual or a single family. Recognizeable population group may have a right to build residential structures on land they own.

    Generic refusal of planning applications are potential illegal- they may prevent this particular population groups from maintaining community.

    Eventual problems with criminals must be addressed in an appreciate manner. For instance if Dale Farm expands further let say 3000 travellers, the Council has the obligation to install infrastructure (for instance a police station).

    The argumentation of green belt protection is only used as a formal reason. There are many industrial structures and also residential buildings in close range. Experience has shown previously cleared areas will turn into uncontrolled dump sites.

    It is also interesting to observe here at Dale Farm travellers, so called Gypsy or “Pikey”, seem to have abandoned their lifestyle of travelling around and have for instance built semi-permanent houses. The argumentation that lifestyles maintained here have been abandoned elsewhere for a century also is incorrect.

    It is acceptable for the Council to stop further expansion for the time being.However the evictions/clearings are not acceptable, and probably illegal.

    My call is not simply to stop and accept the incidents as inevitable. The incidents have gained worldwide media coverage. People involved should start to maintain blogs and websites on their own, and re-examine all available information. There is no reason to limit a blog or website only to the Dale Farm evictions- any other topic can be added to archieve more coverage.

    Basildon County Council also should publish more detailed information so the public can understand what they mean if they write “Irish criminals”. Criminals are everywhere, not limited to income or population group, and linking them to a travellers settlement could be discrimination.

    The Council also should start thinking about the damage they have done, and they might become asked to compensate for the damages.

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