Dale Farm supporters reject police cautions for obstruction

Today (20 December 2011) and yesterday, over thirty Dale Farm supporters who were arrested during the Dale Farm eviction rejected police cautions for obstruction of a bailiff under the Town and Country Planning Act. [1] They now face a court hearing in the new year

A number of the supporters issued a joint statement:

“We stand by our decision to attempt to prevent the brutal forced eviction that took place. It has left Dale Farm a wasteland, with 83 families homeless and living in inhumane conditions. The cynical use of greenbelt planning laws does not change the fact that this was a racially motivated eviction by Basildon Council. We believe that the eviction was unjust and therefore our actions were justified; we cannot accept ‘guilt’ for standing side by side with the Dale Farm community.” [2]

Mary O’Brian, a member of the Dale Farm community, said “Nobody has ever stood up in history for Travelling people. And Dale Farm comes along, and we had people, really good settled people, that stood up for us. I’ll never forget that, and my people will never forget that. We lost our homes, but it made history.”

Notes to the editor:

[1] Dale Farm was subject to a huge policing operation on 19 October 2011. Several Travellers and their supporters were injured and hospitalised due to police brutality.

[2] The Dale Farm community are now largely living on the private road leading to the evicted site, in crowded and unsanitary conditions. A forced clearance of the road by Basildon Council is feared in the new year. Basildon Council is not offering any culturally appropriate alternative housing, and therefore families will be forced to live in lay-bys and car parks.

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