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Dale Farm Travellers (finally) Lose Bitter Eviction Battle

Posted on the 13 October 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost

Dale Farm travellers (finally) lose bitter eviction battle

Protests against the Dale Farm evictions. Photocredit: The Advocacy Project

Dale Farm is – or rather, was – the largest illegal Traveller’s site in the UK, which occupies – or rather, occupied – a large section of Essex near Basildon. Residents had been fighting an eviction order; now a High Court judge (Mr Justice Ouseley) has refused their application against it. Eviction can go ahead, with a whopping three separate judicial reviews being dismissed. Thus ends a ten year battle; though the travellers will appeal against the ruling. Basildon Council has “no set timetable”, according to The Independent, in removing the plots.

“We are disappointed. We are not surprised, but the fight goes on. We will be seeking permission to appeal”, said Candy Sheridan, vice-chair of the Gypsy Council, quoted on The Guardian.

According to The Guardian, the travellers had argued that the council had failed to take into account the distress caused by the move: but the judge said that that if this were so, “it would be because of decisions made by the residents not to comply.”  Simply by staying on the site they were “breaking criminal law.”

“The criminal law applies equally to all – Travellers and others alike”, said Ouseley, quoted in The Independent.

State violence? The Dale Farm blog was rather downbeat, for obvious reasons, calling for help to “support the families facing homelessness”, and for solidarity in the face of “state violence.”

About time too. Finally, crowed Clive Aslet on The Daily Mail’s Right Minds comment hub. A judge has “shown some bottle.” Whilst respecting travellers’ way of life – its “bohemian disregard for convention” – some of them can be “threatening and foul-mouthed”, and their “sanitary arrangements” leave a lot to be desired. But where will they go next? East Anglia will be “shaking in its shoes.” The police must make sure that the travellers go to a designated site, otherwise the travellers will rely on the Human Rights Act to squat elsewhere. It’s unfair for “ordinary village families” to have to put up with these people – the police should have shown some “creative intelligence” in dealing with the problem in the first place.

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