Yesterday was the culmination of a long running legal battle to evict a traveller community from a landsite they hadn't been legally occupying for decades. There's a legal one right next to it and well, I guess the community grew.
Amid violence they were evicted yesterday. Bailiff's were supposed to come at dawn but instead riot police led the 'operation'. Turning up in full riot gear with shields
No bloody wonder some thought 'fuck you' and started hurling bricks.
Over in Greece it was anti-cuts campaigners being tear gassed. Our police used Taser guns. Is this the future? Taser guns in the side pocket at all peaceful protests. There were no guns at Dale Farm. Just people protecting their homes and livelihoods and children's education and old people's care. Sure, activists were there to lend their support, but people losing their homes need support from somewhere, from someone.
You can never know how awful it is to be evicted until it happens to you, or nearly happens to you as it nearly happened to me and my son. Twice.
In the Standard yesterday, a story about how a £120,000 a year Tory told a single mother being evicted from her London home to 'live in the real world.' She wrote to a member of Boris' team wanting some help and guidance (as I also did to various politicians) and was told:
"There will never be enough council houses available...I am afraid you have to live in the real world where the country has no money and residents will have to deal with their own issues reather than expecting 'the system' to sort their lives out." (19/10/11 p.7)
Dale Farm is the real world. Dale Farm is people losing their homes. Did the council try and find them somewhere alternative to go? No. According to the Guardian, a local priest serving Dale Farm said:
I'm just so sad it came to this. There were other options - Basildon was offered sites from the Homes and Communities Agency, and it is tragic they were not taken up." (20/10/11 p7 from p 1 lead)
No-one is helped anymore and barriers are put before those trying to help themselves.
There is a protest November 15th at Parliament.
There is still a chance to stop this disastrous localism bill from going through that will see people losing their homes becoming the order of the day.
You never know, you could be next.