This is from this week SchNews.

I think this a bloody sickening, but fear, and expect, there to be much more like it. Bastards!!!

Travel Sickness

People being kicked off land which they own and then having their dwellings burned out?! We must be talking about Palestine, here…

Er, no – Essex.

On Monday, a travellers’ site at Meadowlands near Chelmsford was evicted, with four arrests, forcing 30 people off land they own and had been on since 2001. To do the dirty work, Chelmsford Council brought in self-proclaimed ‘gypsy and squatter eviction specialists’ Constant And Co, who had to get past earth banks, barricades and ditches, plus the travellers and supporters in order to clear the site. Constant were determined not to lose two

in a row after travellers in Bulkington near Coventry successfully defended their self-owned site several weeks before, giving the 150 residents a much-needed reprieve.

When the bailiffs took the site in Meadowlands on Monday, it was agreed after negotiations that the ten caravans still there were to be taken by Constant to another site at Epsom. This never happened, however. Instead, by the end of the following day, several caravans had been burned out on the nearby roadside where Constant had left them after briefly towing them away from the original site. A witness with a camera who visited on Tuesday to

see the smoldering ruins of peoples’ homes was intimidated by Constant staff, who claimed that the caravans were torched – by the travellers themselves! – at 3am on Monday night. A supporter who stayed in one of the caravans on Monday night contradicted this ridiculous claim. Now travellers are trying to get a straight answer from the Chelmsford Council as to why Constant never delivered the caravans to the Epsom site. It makes us at SchNEWS

wonder… we know Constant And Co are the ‘gypsy and squatter eviction specialists’, now we’d like to know who the covert arson specialists are!

To compensate the travellers for the inconvenience of being made homeless, Chelmsford Council set up a “homeless office” in nearby Great Waltham at the parish hall, but omitted to tell the travellers the facility was available, and anyway there was a roadblock stopping them getting there. A few travellers were then sent to the Silverwood motel in Essex, but after only two nights, and during mid winter snowfall, they were being forced to provide ID, proof of income, and proof of links to Meadowlands, for the privilege of continuing their stay. There is also a chance that the council will exercise their legal right to repossess the land to pay for the eviction, which cost £100,000. The site is conveniently worth £90,000.

Now, we know that it’s the middle of winter and all that, but Meadowlands could have been saved if there’d been more support at the eviction. This was not a one-off event – counties up and down the country have long-held campaigns to rid their area of travellers, whether they be Romany, or so-called ‘new age’. For instance two self-owned sites near Epping – Hamlet Hill and Paynes Lane – are under threat of eviction and urgently need help.

Trouble also looms for the traveller-owned Dale Farm near Basildon – home to over 1,000! – which is a virtual village with established gardens and dwellings (albeit without planning

permission). The local Tory MP is soon to meet Tory Tony himself to seek extra powers to enforce an eviction. Travellers in Totnes wrote to us recently about being forced onto an ‘authorised’ council site next to a busy road.

Travellers are struggling for the right to live on land – even when they own it – yet countless developments and roads get rubber stamped all the time on public land. Contact the following groups to find out how you can help travellers resisting eviction in your area:

* National Travellers Action Group 01767689736

* Romani Congress 2004 www.lafn.org/~romanokongreso

* For recent history of travellers in Britain see http://tash.gn.apc.org/

* For more info on Meadowlands 01206 523528 or ustiben.5@ntlworld.com

* Please don’t pester Constant And Co, who are doing a great job of ethnically cleansing Britain!Constant And Co

66 Harpur Street, Bedford, 01234 340091

www.constantand.co.uk

constant@kbnet.co.uk

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