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Monday, 19 September 2011

Dale Farm Eviction: Clashes Expected Between Bailiffs And Residents As Eviction Begins

 

Hundreds of travellers have said they will barricade themselves inside the UK's biggest illegal camp as angry clashes are expected between bailiffs, residents and activists. Residents at Dale Farm in Basildon, Essex, and their supporters are set to be evicted after losing a decade-long legal fight over unauthorised development. Teams of bailiffs are expected at the former scrapyard's front gate to begin forcibly ejecting them. Essex Police and riot-trained colleagues from across the country are also expected, to ensure the eviction of some 50 homes is conducted peacefully. Half of the six-acre site, which has planning consent, will remain. As of this morning Basildon Council had not cut the electricity supply to the site. Residents had feared bailiffs would move in at first light. Supporters closed the gate after 11pm yesterday and built a barricade behind it and parked a van to block the way. Resident Mary McCarthy said: "I don't intend to go anywhere, I'm staying here. "I've faced constant evictions throughout my life and now I'm determined to stay put." Many residents have moved their caravans on to the neighbouring legal site. Activists have chained themselves to barricades at the site, including one who is chained by the neck. They have told Sky News they would not be leaving unless they were forced out. ACTIVIST: WE WILL DO ALL WE CAN TO STOP EVICTION Marie McCarthy, a resident at the site, told Sky News it was "a big scrapyard that is of no use to anyone else". "The Government is not going to ruin our culture," she said. "This is the way we want to live. "Why should we be run off our land? We never knew we were breaking the law - we thought this was a good thing to do because we stopped going onto people's grounds." Activists Dean, 29, and Emma, 18, have handcuffed themselves to a pole concreted inside a barrel. Lying on mattresses, the pair said they were prepared to stay as "long as it takes". The children of Dale Farm hold pictures of themselves up in protest The families have constantly evaded eviction and claim they have nowhere else to go. They insist that their human rights are being breached. Their supporters include the United Nations and Amnesty International. But last month a High Court judge backed Basildon council and local residents and ruled that the eviction must go ahead.

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