Dale Farm: residents condemn police violence

Traveller solidarity campaigners call for support

October 20, 2011 · 3 min read

Parts of the media are already talking as if the evictions at the Dale Farm Traveller site are over – but residents and their supporters are continuing to resist this morning (20 October).

The police took much of the site yesterday, but bailiffs are only now starting to make their way in. The eviction could still take days longer to finish.

In a statement, the solidarity campaign on the Essex site urgently called for ‘help with legal observing, documenting the eviction, arrestee support or simply a supportive presence inside or outside the site’.

‘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,’ they added.

Election writers’ fund

The eviction has attracted global attention, with photos of the police storming into the Traveller site beamed around the world.

‘We may just be delaying the inevitable but if we don’t stand up to this, nobody will. I’m prepared to stay as long as I can,’ said activist Harry.

The Travellers have accused police of ‘brutality’ as they batoned and tasered people during the first stages of the eviction yesterday.

Resident Kathleen McCarthy said: ‘I’ve seen residents with blood dripping down their face, and another who has been put in hospital by police batoning. The way in which the police are acting has shocked and outraged everyone here.’

Many of the more than 80 families who live on Dale Farm were taking shelter in the legal part of the site, which they had thought would be safe from the eviction. The police and council accused them of ‘violence’, but they say they have only acted in self-defence.

Mary Sheridan, who is staying with a relative on the legal site, said: ‘The only premeditated violence has come from the police – they knew exactly what they were doing when they started beating and tasering people.

‘We’re getting hit by the police but we’ve got nowhere else to go.’

The Bishop of Chelmsford and local priest Father Dan Mason have released a statement condemning the ‘violent approach’. Police confirmed two people were tasered.

Natalie Fox, a spokesperson for the Dale Farm Solidarity group, said: ‘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.’

Trains are running to Wickford and Basildon. Call the site phone on 07583 621312 to find out about how to help or to get on site. Bring bedding, warm clothes, high-energy food and torches, for yourself and to share. More at http://dalefarm.wordpress.com


What do we do now? Join us on Monday 16 December at Rich Mix

What do we do now?

After knocking on so many doors, the movement built in support of Jeremy Corbyn needs to stay present particularly where people feel abandoned or under attack

Election 2019: The latest attack on travelling communities

The Conservative manifesto includes yet another attack on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. We can resist at the polls - and by responding to the public consultation, says Beth Holmes

We stand with Jeremy Corbyn

Letter: We stand with Jeremy Corbyn – just as he always stood with us

Organisations and individuals including Kehinde Andrews, Hanif Kureishi, Ahdaf Soueif, Gillian Slovo, Robert Del Naja and Anish Kapoor urge BAME and migrant communities to vote for Labour


Election 2019: Tackling tech giant tax avoidance

Conrad Bower reports on the main parties’ manifesto promises to address ‘aggressive’ tax avoidance by multinationals like the ‘Silicon Valley Six’

Election 2019: Battle lines drawn in Sheffield Hallam

Sam Gregory of Now Then magazine reports on the candidates vying for votes in a key Lib Dem-Labour marginal

Jo Swinson at the BBC leaders debate

Election 2019: Anti-semitism and phoney solidarity

The faux-concerns from the party’s opponents does little for Jewish people, argues Oscar Leyens


Football’s Race Stain

Racism marred the Manchester derby this weekend. This blemish on the game is an echo of our Prime Minister’s words, says Remi Joseph-Salisbury.

Another World is Possible

Election 2019: The end of neoliberalism in sight?

If elected, the next Labour government can finally depart from the neoliberal consensus and deliver a major shift in wealth and power, argues Adam Peggs

Small change

Simon Hedges shares his famous-on-Twitter analysis of the state of the left today


Election 2019: Transatlantic socialism rising

As Sanders and Corbyn head to the polls, Peter Gowan describes a new spirit of international collaboration on the left

Jeremy Corbyn and front bench holding copies of the 2019 manifesto

Election 2019: An ambitious, agenda-setting and credible manifesto

The 2017 Labour election manifesto was good but the 2019 version is the document we’ve really been waiting for, argues Mike Phipps

Brian Eno: Why I’m backing Labour in Kensington

In 2017, Labour won Kensington by just 20 votes. Brian Eno explains why he's backing Emma Dent Coad in the seat - and why voting Lib Dem is ‘voting Tory without admitting it’


Cartoonist from 1888 depicting John Bull (England) as the octopus of imperialism, grabbing land on every continent. Public Domain.

Election 2019: Education and Empire

Following Labour’s manifesto pledge to educate the public on the histories of empire, slavery, and migration, Kimberly McIntosh explains the dangers of colonial nostalgia in the national curriculum

Support our election writer’s fund

The stakes could not be higher during this election. Help us cover what's really happening