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The Department for Communities and Local Government received a visit last week by members of the travelling community and were handed a 28 days notice to leave their London base. The department have until 1pm on 19th October to vacate their building near Victoria Station.
The 'eveiction' proceedings were in response to the behaviour of the Government department which has been a little less than welcoming to the travelling community. A short video of the action can be seen here.
The department, led by Eric Pickles the secretary of state for Communities and Local Government, is responsible for the localism bill of 2011. The act supposedly devolves more power to local authorities though in reality only the richer areas (and those that adhere to tough Tory measures) see any real benefit – leaving those poorer, struggling communities out on a limb. Unsurprisingly the act is also designed to attack traveller communities – restricting planning permission and allowing nimbys to vote them out of an area.
Families from the Dale Farm site are still struggling after being made homeless during last year’s forceful eviction. They have nowhere to go and have been left by the road side, living in abysmal conditions with no running water, limited electricity and sewage problems. They are still living on the Dale Farm site but with all the plots they occupied before destroyed during the eviction they are parked bumper to bumper along the farm road in tight conditions. Basildon council are again trying to evict them from this land they have permission to park on. The families are challenging this in court.
19th October coincides with the first anniversary of the Dale Farm eviction. A mass action has been called for on the same day in support of Travellers Rights by the Fight for Sites campaign. The assembly point is at Victoria Train station, London at 1pm. Those wishing to get involved can visit travellersolidarity.org
Gratton the German Activist who was tasered during the Dale Farm Eviction finally had his electronic tag removed.
It made global headlines but after an extremely expensive violent and destructive eviction what's happened to the travellers at Dale Farm?
Yes it's Christmas again and apparently the season of good will to all, unless you are a Traveller. For instead of celebrating the winter solstice and preparing for the Christmas festivities like the rest of the nation; travellers In Brighton, and around the country, are preparing to up sticks and find somewhere else to put their homes, as many sites face eviction only days before xmas.
The Cigarrones travellers’ site is one of several communities which have sprung up near Orgiva in Andalucía, Spain, in recent decades. Coming to the southern tip of Europe to escape the repression against travellers in Britain and elsewhere, they have carved out a life of avin’ it autonomous anarchy – despite increasing attention from tinpot local authorities who act like Franco is still in. Since 1997 the site has held the annual Dragon Festival - now arguably one of the most significant free festivals in Europe – but this is also under attack. Here is a brief history written by a resident of Cigarrones:
Last Thursday (20th) after a month long struggle of battles and barricades, the Dale Farm residents and Camp Constant supporters walked off the site, leaving their homes to the bailiffs’ tools of destruction.