Travellers at Dale Farm face violent eviction from a site they own and have occupied for years, because the local authority, Tory run Basildon Council, insists that the ex-scrapyard which the residents have built on is ‘greenbelt’ land. Half of the site is ‘legal’, yet metres away the static caravans of the residents the other side of a hypothetical line are illegal.

Residents face losing their homes, community and way of life when evictions start, which could be as early as Thursday. Many children will be displaced by the multi million pound police and bailiff operation to evict the families from their homes, calling into question Government commitment to protecting children under the UN human rights legislation.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has explicitly backed the evictions, whilst also reducing the housing budget available for local authorities.

This is no less than an assault on a group of people because of their way of life by the government and a local council who wish to break up a community and remove the ‘eyesore’ of a group of people who dare to live differently from the accepted mode of living.

We see time and again travellers chased off sites, demonised by elements of nearby populations and planning permission routinely refused. All the residents of Dale Farm wish to do is live their lives and raise their children in the way they see fit, on some land where they hurt no one else.  Who are the government, the local council, the police and the bailiffs to violently tell them otherwise, apart from the people who have the force of violence behind them?