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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.
Once again Brighton Traveller Liaison team have also chosen to evict their local travellers. The current site in Sheepcote Valley on and around the BMX track, houses over 60 live-in vehicles and is a nice mix of travellers from all groups, traditional and new, transient and orbital all co-existing with the local settled population and the many dog walkers that also use the area.
Obviously this unsanctioned use of the land (again) could not be tolerated, especially so soon after the last injunction against travellers dwelling on this land ran out and the court handed the council back possession last week.
The Council not wanting to appear Scrooge-like have stated that travellers are being evicted for their own benefit. Apparently the land is quite toxic and may pose a danger to their health if they remain. Warning of the risks from methane and carbon-dioxide gas and also ground toxicity from Benzo(a)pyrene and the “worrying amount of lead” one wonders whatever possessed the council to build a kids BMX track on this old landfill site.
Bailiffs have been booked for Monday 19th December. Obviously an opportunity to give them an undeserved Christmas bonus for the sterling job they have done this year: moving travellers on only to evict them a month later from land on the opposite hillside. To prevent a re-occurrence of the last time travellers lived on Whitehawk Hill, the council are not taking any chances and have covered the whole of the valley in paperwork. Eviction notices have been delivered requesting that everyone leave before the said date making the bailiffs' lives much easier. Where all these travellers and their homes are going to end up on the night before solstice is anyone's guess.
Why not nip down to your local traveller eviction and give the bailiffs your own personal Christmas greeting and with a little local support the merry band of travellers might feel confident enough just to remain where they are amidst the mud and the 'toxic waste'.
Squatted community social centre and veg shop opens in Lewes.
UPDATE: They finally coughed up. After two days of consistent hassling by activists at the Department for Transport earlier last month, during which one person got nicked, the DfT sheepishly released the previously top secret (read: problematic and embarrassing) documents about the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road.
New Squat Law Fails In Court
Anti-cull travellers and squatters plot land seizures.
New squatting law forces homeless to sleep in the cold with lethal consequences.
Since October, Europe's longest, largest 'Postcapitalist land occupation', la ZAD (Zone A Defendre) has been under attack from French authorities who want to clear it and build an airport. Here's another update from 'le frontline'...
German anti-fascists take Berlin on 20th anniversary of comrade Silvio Meier's murder.
UPDATE: The sh*t's well and truly hit the fan since we published this interview last week... Stay tuned for more SchNEWS from the front...