Residents have lost High Court ruling on forced eviction
"The UK signed and ratified the UN convention on the rights of the child. I am certain that the eviction of the Dale Farm Traveller families is illegal under international, mandatory, human rights conventions. I am appalled that such an eviction can be upheld by our government."
The residents of Dale Farm have lost their High Court ruling, meaning Basildon Council (Essex) now has the legal powers necessary to begin the eviction which could see 68 families, including over 100 children, homeless and the homes they currently live in demolished by bailiffs and the police at a cost of almost 18 million pounds.
Tony Ball, a Basildon councillor said that there are “no guarantees for alternative housing” for the evictees, meaning that the residents would be left with no other alternative than to disperse and live by the road side, which would be illegal.
The travelling community said that they would be willing to move to another Site, yet no feasible alternative has been provided by the council. The community have been offered some housing, yet not enough to house the whole community, which would mean tearing the community apart.
The travellers do own the Site which they live on; however do not have planning permission to build on one half of the Site which makes some of the building work and homes illegal due to planning regulations. It seems that the wishes of the travelling community on Dale Farm and the planning regulations being enforced by the council are culturally incompatible.
Actress Vanessa Redgrave has become involved in the anti-eviction campaign with the residents of Dale Farm and visited the Site on Tuesday. Ms Redgrave commented that, "The UK signed and ratified the UN convention on the rights of the child. I am certain that the eviction of the Dale Farm Traveller families is illegal under international, mandatory, human rights conventions. I am appalled that such an eviction can be upheld by our government."
A peaceful protest outside Dale Farm has been gathering in support of the Travellers; a group has been established urging people to stand in solidarity with the evictees. Please visit the "Friends and Supporters of Dale Farm" webpage to see how you can get involved.
Show Racism the Red Card are acutely aware of the racism that is directed towards people from Gypsy, Roma and Travelling communities. The press attention given to the situation at Dale Farm has opened up comments and blog spaces for a whole host of racist and abusive attitudes. The people of Dale Farm face the very real prospect of losing their homes and being torn apart from their families and community.
For more information on Show Racism the Red Card's work to combat racism towards GRT Communities, please see our "Out of Site" pack.