Wednesday, October 19, 2011



19 October 2011

Gypsies evicted from UK site by riot police

PHOTO Traveller's daughter swinging on scaffolding outside Dale Farm -
Source: Reuters
Police in riot gear began to clear Britain's biggest illegal travellers' site, heralding the end of a decade-long battle.
They broke down fences at the rear of the Dale Farm site in Essex while bailiffs began to smash low-rise brick walls with sledgehammers at its entrance, with diggers at the ready.
The eviction of about 400 travellers near Basildon marks the climax of one of Britain's most contentious and bitter planning rows in recent years.
Some residents and their supporters told the media they would resist eviction from the six-acre site "until the end".
A few protesters wearing balaclavas and hoods threw missiles, including rocks and liquids, at the police from behind flimsy wooden barricades and rubber rings while flames and thick smoke went up from a burning caravan.
Essex Police said taser guns had been used against two protesters and one person had been arrested so far.
Television footage showed one person being carried on a stretcher across a field by paramedics.
The site residents had won a temporary reprieve last month when the High Court issued an injunction stopping officials from clearing the land, but their battle came to an end when they lost a final legal hearing last week.
Travellers say the clearance is a breach of their human rights, targeting a vulnerable group whose choice of lifestyle does not fit in with the mainstream.
The local council argues it is a planning dispute, with the travellers breaking the law by illegally building on the green belt, the band of countryside around London intended to stop urban sprawl.
Among those who had supported the travellers had been actress Vanessa Redgrave and a United Nations' special rapporteur.
"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," resident Kathleen McCarthy said in a statement from the Dale Farm Solidarity group.
Basildon council leader Tony Ball, told Sky News the council had tried to find the travellers alternative sites, but talks had been exhausted.
"I would much rather not be doing this," he said.
"But I am clear that by enforcing the law we are doing the right thing, and the majority of people in this country support what we are doing, and expect a public body to uphold the law."
Many locals had complained of litter and noise from the site


Anonymous said...

Doom and gloom and the plight of this one or that one. Well tell me, what are you doing about it? It does little to no good simply to talk talk talk! Why don't you blog about something positive about Romani people? Or better yet really do something? If I read you're blog to much I just want to jump off a bridge. You paint us all with the same brush, helpless, poor, and dumb. I'm sure in your heart you think you are helping us, but are you really? Think about it. No one on the net shows us in a positive light...Not even those who are supposed to be helping us. Why don't you focus on what is good and positive in the Roma community?

Morgan said...

And I ask you the same question, Anonymous, "why don't you focus on what is good and positive in the Roma community?".

I guess I don't understand why you would attack a Romani organization that is doing "something", even if you don't think we do enough.

And it is obvious that you never read the blog "to much"...You obviously are not guilty of that or you would know that many entries prsent the positive work we, Romani, are doing.
Take a look at I AM A ROMA WOMAN video in the sidebar, if you don't have time to read the blog.

Just in closing, the blog is one aspect of the work of Lolo Diklo: Romani Against Racism.
We do presentations, workshops, cultural events....

Keep up the good work Anonymous.

Morgan said...

PS Anonymous

What we show in this blog is the reality of the existence of the Romani people.
Unfortunately, that reality is harsh and ugly.
If it makes you, or anyone else, uncomfortable than we are doing our job.

Bryce Phillips-Horvath said...

I guess I can see both sides of this though I find "Anonymous"'s comments unnecessarily abrasive. I thought the article in the Guardian made a really good point. There's plenty of romanticism and art and fairy tales about Gypsies and then of course Gypsies have plenty of art of their own that is quite popular and yet in the real world look how most Gypsy people are treated. Part of the message of this website and of Mrs. Morgan herself is that being Roma isn't some kinda damn fairy tale. For my family the way out was to basically abandon our culture and ancestors but what kind of choice is that? These are hard times, not sure how one writes an upbeat story about Dale Farm. I did see things about people and organizations fighting the eviction on here. As for me I try to be involved, in the struggle for immigrant rights here in America, in the struggle against the real pick pockets and thieves the banks the "one percent" as this new Occupy Wall Street" movement would say. From America to Hungary it seems so called Western Civilization is headed towards fascism again, and there are good people pushing back but not enough of them. It seems Romani people are like the canaries in the coal mine. If a nation is treating its Romanis brutally watch out.

Morgan said...

Ah Bryce, How good to hear from you.
I bet it was you who recognized the Romani flag at Occupy Seattle.

Your comments are once again, insightful and well thought out. How we appreciate you.

We're in the process of moving, which ends up being quite a big ordeal. We'll be totally offline for a day or two.

Did I already say how happy we are that you visit the blog. I was afraid you were upset with me.
Baxthalo phral