i do not want to be insensitive to some of the concerns of the people of he neighbouring village but this situation stinks at a variety of levels.
the community at dale farm own all the land on which they have been living for over a decade.yet the courts and legal process have determined that only half the household/families have planning permission to reside and build there.the rest are deemed illgal because they have been on green belt land,which is suppossed to remain free of any building or industrial development.and yet before the site wqs lived on it was a scrap yard which hardly fits anyones notions of green space.
the local council who claim they are being fair are also demanding the owner of another single house development a few miles away are also demanding that he tear it down.
and yet-that owner is somewhat wealthier.it is a luxury house.the people of dale farm are travellers with minimal personal resources,undoubtedly fewer options,and a different lifestyle and culture that the british state ought by now to respect.i also note that in the community i live in,admittedly a different community,no-one forced the local garage to tear down its redeveloped site which now looks more like a military strong-point than a car show-lot
and yet-if this were any other country,what is going on would be called what it now is"ethnic cleansing".whilst some of the families have built permanent residences,small houses,they all seem to maintain caravans that are more usually how they would choose to live.if their traditional lifestyle is now compromised it is because the state has compromised them.
the state no longer has a duty to provide fixed sites and has made stopping at the roadside illegal.there may now be other cultural difficulties were they expected to move at any speed.many have nowhere else to go.
the council has offerred an alternative which is no alternative for them without expecting them to give up who they are.they would be expected to live in houses and flats,which would spell the death knell of their culture.in my work with and knowledge of travellers,in other situations many tell me that there is a great deal of difference between
living "between"settlement and caravans but when their options are closed off this is discrimination.it seems that even families would not neccessarilly be kept together and the community of extended families will be broken up.
i hope i am not scare mongering in suggesting that families may find their children taken into care.
i do no doubt some of the concerns of neighbours but falling property values are often a reflection of racist values and is not the fault of the people involved
the press and the state will often overstate any real problems which feed the same racism.
its about time more people who happen to live in britain learn that it is not above annd better than the rest of the world.such beliefs feed divisions amongst us.
in the 1960s charles parker,a then bbc radio producer associated i believe with the communist part produced a documentary that showed up the lives of travellers and the racism and prejudice they experienced.the traveller community has changed over the years,as for example its culture has been compromised and they have compromised with the wider community.they have also been joined by new age travellers who have equally been shown variations on the same prejudices.what has not changed is the racist intolerance of the wider community.
whilst i accept that there can be real tensions between particular people,i do not accept that this is related to the origins of the group from which people come.it is no more true of travellers as a group than it ever was of black,asian,white or any other group of people.
alongside the stereotyping and every other feature of such racist intolerance,the same jiobes and assumptions have been made.
it is to be hoped that the local priest can play a constructive role in mediating between communities.
meantime the state tools up by hiring 3 sindependent security companies and baillifs as well as police.anarchists,students,supporters,other travellers are now joining the community to defend it.this includes building barricades and starting night patrols to prevent dawn raids or other assaults.it is clear that the dale farm community does not accept the assurances of the local authority.
once again the whole might of the british state is being brought to bear.and it will now demonstrate again that it can be as brutal as any other regime.
...and then there is another story about the EDL/english defence league.....