Tidemill Gardens destroyed

Last wednesday, a greatly loved community wildlife garden in Deptford was finally ravaged in the face of a years long campaign for its safeguarding. In spiteful irony, the day before Lewisham council declared climate emergency, 74 trees were bulldozed on the site and the land left bereft of life. Heavy weight machinery was coopted by the council for the job operated by SDL Solutions; with the laughable gall to claim their green badge by producing ‘renewable’ wood chip fuel.

Absolute shame to Lewisham council, who have shown malignant disregard for the concerns of the community, Peabody and the hired thugs who are so set on making this city toxic. The battle continues.

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Solidarity with Grow Heathrow

The squatted site, in protest of the expansion of the airport, has been under threat of eviction since 2017. They’re now facing new potential siege from the National Eviction Team as the front part of the site has had possession order reinstated this month. Call out for support defending the site.

With any luck their 9th birthday party can go ahead regardless.

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Government says “crack down” on unauthorised Traveller camps imminent

The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has released a statement promising a “crack down” on unauthorised Traveller camps amid press reports that the Government is set to pass laws that will criminalise trespass.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said in a statement released today that there was a widespread perception that the law does not apply to Travellers and that this is “deeply troubling.”

“The vast majority of Travellers were law-abiding citizens – but Illegal* sites often give an unfair, negative image of their community and cause distress and misery to those who live nearby,” he said.

Sajid David also referred to last year’s government consultation in June about unauthorised Traveller camps and unauthorised Traveller site developments.

“The result of our initial consultation was clear – people want to see greater protection for local communities and for the police to be given greater power to crack down on trespassers.”

Making trespass by Travellers illegal – *currently it is a civil offence and not a criminal one – was one of the actions mooted in the consultation. Yet police chiefs who took part in it said they did not want more powers.Instead the police chiefs said more sites, including transit sites, should be built.

Reports in the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail said that Sajid Javid would “unveil further details later today.” However, when the Travellers’ Times contacted the Home Office press team, they could not say when, or if this, was going to happen.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid – “pandering to far-right racism” says MP David Lammy

The anti-Traveller statement from Sajid Javid was made only hours after he was accused by influential Black MP David Lammy of “pandering to far-right racism” because of the Home Office’s policy of deporting people to Jamaica who had been in the UK since childhood.

A spokesperson from the Travellers’ Times said:

“We are concerned and alarmed to hear that the government will be giving police more powers to evict unauthorised Traveller camps. These are powers that even the National Police Chiefs Council said they did not want in their submission to the consultation on this late last year. There has also been no mention yet of any provision of transit sites or other temporary stopping schemes – like negotiated stopping – to provide for mobile and homeless Travellers who have nowhere else to put their caravans.”

“After the results of the consultation have been sitting on the Home Secretary’s desk gathering dust for months, we suddenly hear about it through the Daily Telegraph who seem to know more about Javid’s anti-Traveller plans than his own office. We believe that this is an ill thought out and rushed out response to a national consultation that was deeply flawed in the first place, and we are suspicious that Travellers are once again being used as a political football to distract from the Governments handling of Brexit.”

By TT News


Stansted 15: Judge indicates no jail time

Stansted 15: Defendants call for terror convictions to be quashed and hostile environment dismantled

The Stansted 15, a group of anti-deportation protesters who blocked a government deportation flight last year, are set to avoid jail according to reports from Chelmsford Crown Court.

Responding to the judge’s indications, the defendants demanded that their convictions are quashed, and that the government dismantle the UK’s ‘vicious immigration system’.

The Stansted 15, sentenced today by a Crown Court judge, learnt their verdict in December after a trial that lasted from 1st October until 10th December. The jury found all fifteen defendants guilty of intentional disruption of services and endangerment at an aerodrome under the 1990 Aviation and Maritime Security Act – a controversial use of terror-related law.

All fifteen look likely to avoid immediate prison sentences, with 3 set to be given suspended sentences and 12 set to be given community service.

In a statement, the Stansted 15 said:

“These terror convictions and the ten-week trial that led to them are an injustice that has profound implications for our lives. The convictions will drastically limit our ability to work, travel and take part in everyday life. Yet, people seeking asylum in this country face worse than this: they are placed in destitution and their lives in limbo, by the Home Office’s vicious system every single day.

“When a country uses draconian terror legislation against people for peaceful protest, snatches others from their homes in dawn raids, incarcerates them without time limit and forces them onto planes in the middle of the night, due to take them to places where their lives might be at risk, something is very seriously wrong. Every single one of us should be very worried about our democracy and our future.”

“We demand that these convictions are quashed, and that the Government dismantles the vicious, barely legal, immigration system that destroys so many people’s lives.”

Raj Chada, Partner from Hodge Jones & Allen, who represented all 15 of the defendants said:

“While we are relieved that none of our clients face a custodial sentence, today is still a sad day for justice. Our clients prevented individuals being illegally removed from the UK and should never have been charged under counter terrorism legislation. We maintain that this was an abuse of power by the Attorney General and the CPS and will continue to fight in the appeal courts to get these wrongful convictions overturned.”

Shami Chakrabarti, Labour’s Shadow Attorney General, responding to the sentencing of the Stansted 15, said:

“It will be a matter of relief to all those who value peaceful dissent, proportionality and common sense that none of the Stansted 15 have been imprisoned. But their terrorism convictions remain a real concern with serious consequences for their lives.

“The next Labour Government will review the statute book to better guarantee the right to peaceful dissent. We must end the hostile environment, not only for vulnerable people but also those who stand up for them.”