The Department for Communities and Local Government were yesterday given 28 days notice to vacate their central London premises amid mounting criticism of their recent behaviour. Travellers, Gypsies, Roma and supporters behind the move cited “persistent racially aggravated persecution… harassment, alarm, and distress amounting to anti-social behaviour and gross misconduct”.

The government department, led by Conservative Eric Pickles, and responsible for much-criticised changes to Traveller site provision in the recent Localism Act, refused to comment last night. Those serving the notice insisted they had completed a full ‘Equalities Impact Assessment’ that had “balanced the needs of Eric Pickles’ political career against the rights of travelling communities to a home”.

Pickles’ department have been given 28 days to vacate the premises, with those behind the notice insisting that if this is not observed, “direct action will commence no later than 1pm on the 19th October”. Speculation over the significance of the date has filled the department, with many pointing to the first anniversary of the Dale Farm eviction as a primary reason. A video was leaked last night of the notice being served and can be viewed below.

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We’re launching the ‘Fight for Sites’ campaign this autumn: a confrontational and much-needed challenge to local and national Government, bailiff companies and the Media, who together construct a cycle of homelessness, evictions and racism. On September 20th we’ll be having a public meeting, on October 19th a Mass Action to coincide with the first anniversary of the Dale Farm eviction. Click on the links below to find out more.

We also have an ‘Action Pack’ for all those interested in the issues and those who want to know more about the campaign.

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