Dale Farm Eviction

Tagged as: dale_farm eviction social_struggles solidarity
Neighbourhoods:

Early wednesday morning riot police and bailiffs stormed the Dale Farm community in a dawn raid. Police violated the court order and used sledgehammers to smash through the walls of a fully legal plot on the site in order to force entry. Human rights observers reported several injuries of residents and supporters from police action as they forced their way onto site. Police used tasers on those protesting the eviction [video]. By 5pm the gate defence scaffold tower had been cleared, but several people remained locked-on to gates, fences, barrels and vehicles. There were around 23 arrests.

Update Thursday 20th:
At around 6.30am the eviction team resumed trying to cut 5-6 people from the remaining lockons. Police and bailiffs continue to occupy Dale Farm and restrict many residents’ access to their homes, many of which are frightened by the scenes of police violence yesterday. The total number of arrests by morning was 34. Mary Sheridan, a resident, said “This isn’t an eviction, it’s a massacre. We’re only still here because we have nowhere else to go, and now we are under siege by the police.” After another 5 arrests, Dale farm residents and activist supporters symbolically walked out together, arm in arm shortly before 5pm.

See updates and  photos 1 | 2
| Tumblewire

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Started at 7am on Wednesday 19th October:

Additions

8.15pm update

dale farm ppl say tasar used, police entered legal site smashing wall, jamming radios

8.30

woman taken to hospital after cop assault w back injury. scum cop refuses to give number.

cops admit 2 ppl tasared

fyi

9am

defending fence barricades against jcb digger

Dale Farm eviction “will weigh heavily on Britain”

Eviction described as brutal and illegal by human rights observers.

Early this morning riot police and bailiffs stormed the Dale Farm community in a dawn raid. Police violated the court order and used sledgehammers to smash through the walls of a fully legal plot on the site in order to force entry. Human rights observers reported several injuries of residents and supporters from police action as they forced their way onto site.

Police are using tasers on those protesting the eviction.
Residents and supporters remain inside the site, many locked on to blockades and caravans together in order to resist the eviction. Police breached the perimeter to initiate the eviction.

Kathleen McCarthy, a Dale Farm resident, said:
“The memory of Dale Farm will weigh heavily on Britain for generations- we are being dragged out of the only homes we have in this world. Our entire community is being ripped apart by Basildon Council and the politicians in government”

Natalie Fox, a supporter said:
“The Traveller community is being criminalised- it has been made illegal for them to travel, but they are not being allowed to settle. If Traveller families are not allowed to make their home on a former scrapyard, then where will they be allowed to live?”

Lily Hayes, a human rights observer, said:
“Basildon Council are violating the court order by smashing in the walls of a fully legal plot on the Dale Farm site. They are also acting unnecessarily brutally, using tasers on people protesting the eviction”

9.25 update

Police have acted brutally they've been through the site injuring people. they came in with tasers looking for a fight. women with children have been injured. we have mothers elderly people and supporters - basildon council have lied, they said this would be a slow calm eviction coming on with bailifs plot by plot.

9.23 riot police are dragging people off the gate baricade where people are locked on. people are locked on throughout the gate structure to prevent vehicle access.

9.45 updater

Police just pulled a woman off scaffolding to arrest her, fall could have been fatal. Their numbers were VG 1543 and 2898. A 26-year-old woman, no name, removed from near gates. Police swarmed around her, she says she was "roughed up" and pushed down a drawbridge. digger trying to get through back of site. residents and supporters locking on to stop it. Bailiffs in trees and on scaffolding removing activists. At least one arrest.

follow www.twitter.com/letdalefarmlive

Dale Farm supporters update

Dale Farm emergency injunction sought in response to ‘unlawful’ police operation

Dale Farm supporters are pursuing emergency injunction to stop the eviction as police brutality and illegal destruction of property traumatise residents.

Despite Basildon Council’s claims, human rights observers have reported that the police are conducting a brutal, dangerous and unlawful eviction.

Mary Sheridan, a Dale Farm resident who has taken her children off site and is staying in a relative’s lawful plot, said:
“The only premeditated violence has come from the police- they knew exactly what they were doing when they started beating and tazering people. This is not how a community should be treated by its own Council. It’s illegal for us to travel, but illegal for us to settle down here. We’re getting hit by the police but we’ve got nowhere else to go.”

Instances of police violence reported by trained human rights observers and witnesses include:

-Witnesses report the use of tasers by police from the beginning of the eviction
-Police forced entry onto the site by using sledgehammers to break down a wall of a fully legal plot on the edge of the site. This is not only in violation of court order and constitutes criminal damage, but it is also highly dangerous. Vulnerable and elderly residents had stayed on that plot expecting to be safe as it is protected through court decisions, and were highly traumatised as police sledgehammered through the wall. At least two women residents sustained head injuries.
-Batons have been used on supporters and residents from the beginning of the eviction
-Severe injuries of residents and protesters have been witnessed by human rights observers and the press. One woman sustained such serious injuries from police that she had to be admitted to hospital.
- The plot of a resident who needs a breathing machine to survive has had it’s electricity cut.

Natalie Fox, a spokesperson for Dale Farm Solidarity supporter group, said,
“Far from being the dignified eviction that Basildon Council is claiming, this is set to be one of the most brutal evictions on record. The Council know that there are elderly and vulnerable people on site, as well as children, but they have gone in with a full frontal and brutal approach which is already resulting in injuries. The world is watching. “

Follow www.twitter.com/letdalefarmlive for live updates

http://dalefarm.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/dale-farm-emergency-injunction-sought-in-response-to-unlawful-police-operation/

Dale Farm - Statement from the Bishop of Brentwood and the Bishop of Chelmsford
http://www.chelmsford.anglican.org/dale-farm-statement-from-the-bishop-of-brentwood-and-the-bishop-of-chelmsford.html

About the police coming in

This morning I heard all the screaming - all the police were kicking the walls and I asked what are you doing here? - it's private property. Then I was on the floor and with the police with their hands around my neck, across my throat. Then the police beat another woman to the floor.

We were told the police were here to keep the peace. We were expecting the bailifs. The police shouldn't have done what they did when they came in. We bought a dirty shitty scrapyard and we're not even allowed to live here. Why isnt there justice for a traveller? They want to put us back onto the road like dogs.

10.45am eviction team on tower

Police climbing teams have started climbing the main gate tower where people are locked on and other dale farm supporters are atop the 'human rights observation tower' crows nest (20 ppl approx). More people are preparing to lockon now at the top.

11.23 cutting ppl out

people are being slowly removed from scaff tower whilst other parts of it are being dismantled. one woman removed from gate lockon cutting crew arrived for other lockons. people also locked onto vehicles and concrete barrels.

12 noon update

The climbing team and bailiffs have stood down for the time being. there have been at least two arrests. jcb continues to clear debris from front of gate tower. earlier there were reports of people in neck dlocks being pulled and cut out without safety consideration.

12.30 section 60 searches

Police hassling some people taking pictures, threatening and searching. also using sec60aa to get ppl to remove face coverings.

12.45 Candy Sheridan

A distraught Candy Sheridan has said the terms of court order violated in many ways. Three people have had serious health issues due to the electricity being turned off. The court order had said that generators were to be provided to supply power to those residents who needed power for medical equipment (eg nebulisers), but they have not been provided. She has been trying to get the police to bring the generators on site.

After saying it was upsetting seeing the ambulances coming across the fields and that she had asked for vehicle access to remain open she said the people up the tower should come down. Other residents around her disagreed. She stressed she was there not as a resident but as a companion for her friend who had said he would rather die at his home than be taken from it. Just prior to her talking he was taken away on a stretcher.

13.15 cherry picker

Police have started clearing more barricade on one side of tower and the cerry picker crane with 5 police / bailiffs has moved over the tower.

13.35 cutting tarp cover

Police in cherry picker cutting tarp off top of tower - there's 1 guy with a dlock on the top bar and another with a noose around his neck.

15.45 cherry dlocked

police have been clearing supporters from around the base of tower and gate. apparently the cherry picker crane has been d-locked to the front gate!

13.50 threats

3 police have dropped down onto platform of tower and have been talking to dalefarm supporters. @letdalefarmlive has said police have threatened to taser supporters at top of tower.

Taser account from Gdn blog

Stephen Bates has spoken to an AP journalist who witnessed a man being Tasered by police this morning — and his account seems to differ from the official police line that officers were under direct threat.

The journalist told Steve that officers were on the offensive and were not under threat from the man when he was Tasered.

Although stones were being thrown at police, he added, they were being chucked from well behind where the man was.

He also says that police used the Taser on the man — who was a protester rather than an observer — as they shouted their first warning that they were armed with the weapons.

The journalist also reports that police officers dismissed official observers as they moved in, telling them: "We don't care who you are. Get out of the way!"

See also video of scene as tasers were fired by jason parkinson:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2011/oct/19/dale-farm-police-tasers-protesters-video

Dale Farm's legacy...

Dale Farm's legacy goes beyond the 82 families who are homeless tonight...

The Dale Farm evictions have awakened many to the criminalisation of Travellers, and spawned a solidarity movement.

The shadows of police and bailiffs loom large for Traveller families across the UK. Forced evictions cannot be peaceful – the violence comes from the brutal act of ripping someone from their home.

Dale Farm is the largest community of its kind, and its eviction is among the biggest in recorded history. Eighty two families are facing the fact that they have nowhere to sleep tonight. The operation to do this has cost the taxpayer at least £18m.

Dale Farm's size has also awakened many in Britain to the criminalisation of Travellers. Today's operation has been harrowing for all the families and supporters involved. We have seen the police enter the site by smashing through a legal plot that was assumed to be safe by elderly residents seeking refuge. As police sledgehammered a wall on this plot, these elderly residents were seriously injured. A Dale Farm mother is in hospital and can't move her legs after being beaten by police; tasers have been used, despite being declared inappropriate for public order situations; and seven people have been taken away in ambulances. But how did it get to this?

The police brutality seen at Dale Farm today is not a one-off, but part of a long-running criminalisation of Traveller communities and culture. Until 1994, all local councils had been required to offer a designated amount of Traveller pitches in their area. The Conservative government repealed this, leaving at least 5,000 families without a legal home.

Today, councils are 20,000 pitches short of their legal duties, and even these unenforced responsibilities will be removed by the localism bill. These guidelines, like the Travellers they're designed for, have simply been ignored, the result being 18% of Gypsies and Travellers were homeless in 2003 compared with 0.6% of the UK population. This is why Dale Farm residents are engaging in civil disobedience to resist the eviction – the alternative is homelessness.

There is however something else that's unprecedented about the situation at Dale Farm: the growth of a solidarity movement to promote the civil rights of Travelllers. At the eviction today, protesters and residents occupied the tops of towers and caravans together, resisting the brutal eviction for as long as possible.

The ideas that have coalesced around the Dale Farm community are simple. Travellers are simply asking for the right to exist legally. Despite the grim and brutal scenes we've seen today at Dale Farm, the least we can hope is that these messages will be heard.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/19/dale-farm-legacy-82-families

14.45 tumble updates

14:40 Another person has been pulled into the cherry picker from the top of the tower.

14:37 more eviction team have just dropped onto the tower from another crane - ppl on ground chanting that it's not safe.

14:37 Just been some screaming from tower - eviction team still trying to cut people out of lockons - reports of police using pressure points.

14:24 There is pushing and pulling going on. One supporter shouted from tower that they are trying to remove someone locked-on by their neck.

14:04 2nd crane eviction team have just pulled one supporter off the mid level of tower and into the cage with the crane then swinging away.

15:45 tower eviction continues

15:44 One dalefarm supporter now sat on electricity pole - another arrest on top as cherry picker comes back - 5 ppl in scaff moving around being chased by eviction team who are tethered to the crane - reports of serious injury also

15:34 more ppl removed in cherry picker, 1 escaped and climbed back up - eviction team then pushed him off, but up he goes again!

15:08 eviction team working on person d-locked by neck to scaffolding - have just cut d-lock.

15:06 cherry picker back at dalefarm tower after removing two more earlier

Supporter taken in ambulance

Dale Farm Solidarity reports an ambulance now left with a dalefarm supporter inside to go to hospital, after he was pressure pointed by eviction team so severely that he had difficulty breathing and went into shock.

16.55 - tower looks empty

16:53 3rd person brought down - tower looks empty

16:50 2nd person brough down - calmer

16:45 woman brought down by climbing team, screaming - now working on next person

16.41 climbing team trying to remove 3 ppl

16:41 now 6 ppl on dalefarm fence - 'security officers' with bailifs lashing out at people, just broke someone's camera!

16:38 now dismantling fence to side of scaff with 4ppl on it, removing poles from under ppls feet, lashing out at ppl

16:37 bailiffs started dismantling wood etc from crows nest platform - still 3 ppl on scaff

16:07 3 ppl who were on #dalefarm scaff poles told if they come down they won't be arrested - they came down and are now held for filming by police (later released).

Thursday 8.30am

Around 6pm last night there were more clashes with riot police around the forward gate area.

At least 6 people remained locked on to the gate defence, the green truck, car and fence/barrel and tube lockons. Bailiffs and police continued clearance and cutting into the night.

At around 6.30am Thursday morning the eviction team resumed trying to cut 5-6 people from the remaining lockons.

8.50am 3 ppl removed

Three people have been cut out of lockons so far this morning.

Update from Dale Farm

Following a difficult and intense day defending Dale Farm yesterday from brutal police and bailiff action, supporters and residents remain on site- some still locked on around the front gate, and most preparing to continue resisting the eviction today. Many of the residents are frightened by the scenes of police violence yesterday, but are determined to stay for as long as possible- the brutality of homelessness on the roadside is the only alternative.

The situation on site is that there is a large police presence on half the site, especially around the front tower (still standing!), where people in lock-ons are still being removed. However, half the site still has supporters and residents on it. The electricity on site has been cut off, but we have a few generators.

It is impossible to say what will happen today, but support of any kind would be appreciated. If you are able to come down and help with legal observing, documenting the eviction, arrestee support or simply a supportive presence inside or outside the site that would be a great help. Call the site phone 07583621312 to find out about how to help or to get on site. Please bring bedding, warm clothes, high-energy food and torches, for yourself and to share.
The trains appear to be running normally to Wickford and Basildon.

We are here a lot longer that was initially expected, and if you come down to resist and support we can do it even longer. Even if we don’t manage to hold the site, it is still incredibly important that the Dale Farm community sees that they are supported by more and more people every day.

http://dalefarm.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/update-from-dale-farm/

Dale Farm – a community under siege

As the second day of the eviction of Dale Farm begins, police and bailiffs continue to occupy Dale Farm and restrict many residents’ access to their homes as part of the ongoing operation to evict the Dale Farm community. Dale Farm residents and supporters remain defiant in the face of police and bailiff presence, and residents have declared that most of them will remain at Dale Farm for as long as possible. Supporters have agreed to stay for as long as the community is resisting. There is a large police presence on half the site, focussed around the iconic tower, which remains standing. Police are removing the final supporters from lock-ons. The electricity to the site continues to be cut off, and helicopters have been circling over the site from early in the morning.

Mary Sheridan, a resident, said “This isn’t an eviction, it’s a massacre. We’re only still here because we have nowhere else to go, and now we are under siege by the police.”

Lily Hayes, a supporter, said:
“The ball is, as ever, in Basildon Council’s court- they can still work with the residents to approve an appropriate alternative site for the families to move to. I can’t believe they have chosen to go through with this brutal and wasteful eviction, choosing to make families homeless rather than accepting one of the many solutions.”

http://dalefarm.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/dale-farm-a-community-under-siege/

9.50am digger moves in

- arrest total now at 34. jcb has moved in to demolish and remove gate tower and open vehicle access. ppl still locked on in other places

10am tower demolished

JCB has just demolished the scaff tower symbol of resistance at dalefarm. eviction team cutting 2 people out of the barrel/fence lockon.

10.20am

earlier bailiffs carried barrel lockon + ppl away from fence having cut fence, to continue cutting them out bit further away. during the morning they have been using tarp screens to hide the cutting operation from observers / cameras.

2.30 update - walk out likely

The last 2ppl from the overnight lockons were cut out and handcuffed before 11am. The green truck has been removed and the gate barricades / tower trashed so that the entrance is clear of physical barriers.

While supporters took to the roofs of some of the bungalows and other began building more scaffold structures, it now looks like people will walk offsite together in around an hour.

3pm - situation unclear

large number of riot police have been moving through the site, as a few bailiffs survey plots - it's unclear if they are serving notices or not.

3.45 - no enforcement notices

have been served. now unclear what's going to happen. police earlier said they don't have power to remove supporters from site as it is private land owned by the people at dale farm.

a couple of hours ago the dale farm solidarity campaign said:

You can still be useful here!

There is still access on and off Dale Farm for those who want to come down and keep on supporting the Dale Farm community. We will need human rights observers to monitor bailiffs and police over the next few days, so if you have been to a training, have had experience, or are willing to learn, please get in touch with savedalefarm [at] gmail.com

16.48 walkout from dale farm

residents and supporters starting walkout from dalefarm site

16.52 arm in arm

walking past the lines of riot police and bailiffs, chanting and cheering - press statement soon

16.59 - thanks to activists

kathleen mccarthy just said "the biggest thankyou to our activist friends who supported us and without them there would have been serious violence when they came in"

"we just had a meeting together and decided to show we are united, us and the activists, and walk out together with dignity and pride"

17.10 - vans leaving

several caravans have now left the part of the site subject to the enforced eviction.

were 5 more arrests today

(assume from the lockons but i don't know)

Update from Dale Farm Solidarity

Mass Dale Farm walkout: “you can’t take away our dignity”

At 4.45 pm today, Dale Farm residents and supporters jointly walked off the site to begin the next stage of the battle against eviction which has been waged across courts, barricades and protests. The decision to leave together was made in order to show the unity of the residents and supporters after two months of supporter presence at Dale Farm through Camp Constant.

Resident Mary Sheridan said, “Leaving with supporters today is about our own dignity and our appreciation of the support we’ve received. We’re leaving together as one family, and we are proud of that- you can’t take away our dignity”.

The mass walk-out leaves the site free of people except legal observers, who are required to make sure that the bailiffs stick to the letter of the law in leaving the walls, fences and most of the hardstanding in place.

Now the Travellers are outside the Dale Farm site, the legacy of Tory Councillor Tony Ball and local MP John Baron who drove the forced eviction to conclusion is laid bare. Where will these families go? How will their needs be met? The Travellers’ and supporters’ next move remains to be decided. Mr Ball and Mr Baron have declined to respond when asked for advice on what the Dale Farm community should do now.

Ali Saunders, a Dale Farm supporter added, “We have held off eviction for over a month, and our sense of togetherness has been amazing. Anyone who has visited the community cannot fail to see the importance of a movement to promote the rights of Travellers. Dale Farm will have a legacy for years to come.”

A new group, the Traveller Solidarity Network [1], has emerged in recent weeks, in response to the Dale Farm crisis.
Ali Saunders continued, “The Dale Farm forced eviction showed that the UK’s reputation for tolerance is a smokescreen for systematic discrimination against a Travellers because of their ethnicity and culture. That’s why groups from Amnesty International to the United Nations opposed the forced eviction.

Dale Farm has brought the ingrained prejudice against Travellers into public view, from constant rejections of planning permission, to hostile local authorities, to violent evictions. The true long-term impact of Dale Farm will be a movement of travellers and supporters to change attitudes so travelling people can live in peace and not be criminalised.”

[1] http://travellersolidarity.org/


Media enquiries: 07040900905, 07583761462
Twitter: @letdalefarmlive

nterview with Anarchists at Dale Farm

A self written, consensus piece by anarchists at Dale farm, attempting to correct the lies propagated by elements of bourgeoisie media and in response to the state repression being faced.

Read it in full here:
http://london.indymedia.org/articles/10683