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Old 10-26-2011, 11:47 AM
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Default Another Hometree destroyed - Dale Farm eviction

This serves as a reminder that it is not just happening in remote areas in South America to people we call indigenous. Violent actions to drive people off the land they regard as their home happens also here in Europe:


This is from the eviction of a close-knit community of travelling people, who have been forced to stop travelling and instead find a place to settle. They settled in a place that was not designated for building houses, but that was instead a waste dump and barren land. They restored the land and made it their home. The government did not care about their resoration efforts but only looked at the fact that they lived permanently on a piece of land that was not zoned for that purpose. A long struggle over 10 years followed (legal battles, people resisting eviction, protesters gathering in solidarity), but in the end they lost. Now they are homeless again but still are not allowed to return to their traditional travelling lifestyle.

This eviction as can be seen in the pictures was extremely violent. The people living there probably had not much of a chance ("going up with bows and arrows against gunships") in the face of a 18 million GBP expense that was put into the eviction. Still they resisted with all they had and now are pretty much broken (physically and psychologically). I cry for them.

Here are some more pictures:
Dale Farm evictions - in pictures | UK news | guardian.co.uk
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:47 PM
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Now, I'm not sure, so I'm going to ask.
Is it not illegal to just pick a field and choose to live there?? Is that land not already owned by someone?
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:32 PM
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EDIT: As I uderstand it now, it is not public land as I previously thought, but they actually own that land for over 10 years. The issue is then not land ownership, but just land use. The land is zoned as non-habitable and by that it is not allowed to live there permanently. Nevermind that elsewhere middle class people get permissions to turn former green land zones into suburbs or shopping malls... END EDIT

And in any case - nothing really is a good reason to stormtrooper their village, carry old ladies and young children out of their homes and then destroy the whole place, leaving these folks without a home.

Please dont argue in favour of that eviction just because it was me who posted it...
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Last edited by auroraglacialis; 10-26-2011 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post

Please dont argue in favour of that eviction just because it was me who posted it...
Don't flatter yourself. I would never disagree with you just because you're you. I'm sure there are things we'd probably even agree on.

And I agree. By the looks of it they didn't use the best methods they could have in removing these people, but I also doubt asking them nicely to leave would've worked. And when you're living on land that isn't yours you can't really expect to be asked nicely and then given a goodie bag.
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:19 PM
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Don't take it as blunt-force as it would seem...

The police did not set those caravans ablaze, it was in fact the result of a tussle between police and protestors, when a riot ensued. It is not a case of the police deliberately setting fire to them.

I do not believe that saying "they have been forced to stop travelling" is a fair statement. In fact, they were not "travelling" at all. They had been settled on that land for over 10 years. What they were actually choosing to do was to live on the fringe of society, only taking what they thought was best for them, disregarding everything else. Even the law, in most cases. They *can* continue to travel, but this is not the mentality they have, generally. They are not a good bunch of people who simply move from place to place, they root themselves in, often illegally or in already owned or used land and subsequently proceed to stake their claim to it, even if it is to the detriment to local people or the 'owner' of the land.

As far as I am concerned, when you choose to live life outside of a system, in the name of traditionalism or culture, you choose to do so fully. You do not and can not simply pick and choose to follow the benefits of the systems, laws, whatever it may be that is set out, and refuse to pay for them in return. They were living on that land - even if it was a portion of it, and not the entirity - illegally. That is the simple truth. And while I do support the idea of traditional cultures, I cannot say I support a culture that has no regard for other things like existing local communities and people, the natural environment of the land they live on, or even basic human rights like female equality and basic civil standards. (I realise this might be an awful generalisation, but from what I know and have experienced of gypsy culture, these things are true.)

A good example of this that I have is that our local leisure centre had a lot of room in the carpark due to underuse (and an overflow carpark, too). This space was subsequently taken over by 'travellers', where they proceeded to ruin the loacl community. Crimes shot up, there were complaints of disturbance and people began to felt threatened by these people. After a number of months, the council managed to move them on, but in their wake, they left rubbish tips, tyres and rubbish in rivers and a sizeable pile of bare human waste. Surely, you cannot sit there and tell me that was fair for the people who lived in that area, to have to endure such hassle and disgusting behaviour from anyone - be they gypsies or even just a regular people who lived there. Also, unfortunately, when you experience such behaviour, having threats and insults shouted at you from passers by, as well as having watched many documentaries on the way their culture works, you simply lose all faith and respect for a group of people. (This is something I have experienced, too.)

I know I agree with a lot of things when it comes with what you have to say, Aurora, but unfortunately this is not one of those subjects.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:34 PM
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...really?!

This was illegal use of greenbelt land without planning permission - I thought you would be ranting AGAINST that.

That picture of a fire you post in an appeal to emotion was a fire set by the 'occupants' themselves, and police put themselves at risk to ensure that they were safely contained despite some fires being set near gas canisters and other dangerous objects. Police were trying to move people on peacefully, and were mainly successful, despite being attacked by groups of anarchists, many completely unconnected to the site, who had come there specifically to attack police.





Do those look like peaceful protesters to you? Watch at 0:20.

These are not people you can romanticise. They flout the law, abuse every single system they can (many of the people who lived there are known to own homes in Ireland), and often cause damage to local areas through fly tipping and theft.


...oh,and this might be illuminating to you.






Stop commenting on things you have no understanding of just because a small group can be romanticised. Some t travellers are fine, and legally purchase land and acquire planing permission, or else use allocated sites, while others are not, and deny it all you want, but there IS a very strong link with criminal activity, especially with the latter.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:59 PM
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I have never seen so many riot police...

Idk who the "good" guys are either, but damn... that is a ton of riot police
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:58 AM
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It's good that they waited for them to make the place look nicer and THEN throw them out. I would've done the same. Free labour, y'know?
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:41 AM
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I am not romanisizing them so much. I am aware that their culture is not the best and that they have their flaws. What I know is that these people used to move around a lot but that this has been made more or less illegal or at least very hard. Try to get a job when you cannot give a permanent adress, try to get permission to park your mobile home on public land or even on private land. I personally know a couple of people who face that kind of problem, though they are not of that culture (see last paragraph). Heck one person in this forum can even tell you about his personal experiences in that respect. So they were forced to settle. As I understand it, they then bought or rented that land. They cleaned it up and started to live there for the last 10 years. The problem thus is the zoning issue.

I have no personal love or lack thereof of these people, but from what I get, they are part of a minority that can be subject to discrimination, they do not have another home to go to (and obviously do not want to participate in the regular system of having a fulltime job in exchange for a rented flat). I suspect that some of their "bad behaviour" comes from being under pressure, but I cannot say this for sure. That would not be an excuse - if they really do harm to others - harassing, stealing or whatever - I have not much problem with people getting arrested for these things.

What I do not support is the way this was handled. You just dont storm such a place with that many riot police and you just dont spend 18 million pounds on getting these peole to leave - considering that for that amount, one probably could have bought properly zoned land 10 times the size. And even if there are people there resisting the eviction from the land they lived on for 10 years, the dedication of those resisting certainly does not come because they are having a ton of fun doing this. No one risks damage to health, property and possibly prison time for defending a bunch of trailers if he could easily switch to different living conditions or "just move".

If someone who is not a "gypsie" is trying to do something similar, they have better chances, but still are in quite a bit of trouble: Lammas Home Page , index . Regarding the land use as "green belt" or land to live on. You are right there that I am split in opinion a bit. Of course I want more green zones and less city or suburbs. On the other hand I would prefer to have low population densities if people are good stewards of the land they live on. I am not sure what the situation there was - from what I read, they did clean up that land and did not trash it.

And yes, that image of the burning caravan is certainly emotional. I am sure riot police did not set it on fire intentionally, but in the end that whole scene happened because they could not just let them live there or give any other acceptable options.

So again - I do not know these people - I do not know if they deserve sympathy for who they are, how much racism they have to deal with or if their culture is a good one or not. But I know that spending millions of GBP to get rid of them and to storm that place violently seems way out of proportion. Even IF of course the whole thing is totally lawful.

Maybe my sympathies come from personal experiences. My home was once torn apart on the inside by police. Such a violation of personal space drove me to move away for years. A neighboring garden community was bulldozed for "development" by the owners (all the gardeners "only" had rented their gardens for some decades), one guy died of heart attack at seeing his garden go to waste. Later homeless people settled there in the garden houses in winter to have a shelter, then they bulldozed the houses. The land is now a vacant lot. My best friend was evicted by police several times because she became homeless and lived in a tent. Other friends of mine live in an abandoned military base for decades. They regularly have trouble with the threat of eviction because the zoning is not right. They wiggled around up to now by declaring the house a workshop and officially no one lives there permanently. Officially... Then some other friends of mine lived in caravans. They built beautiful caravans with low impact stuff - good insulation, wood stove, solar panels, rainwater collector. They were not allowed to park on public land and whenever they managed to rent private land, they faced discrimination, overburdening regulations (how do you connect the smoke detector to the main power line if you are off-the-grid?), people who want "them hippies and gypsies" to go away and usually inthe end eviction and the search for another safe and legal place to set things up anew. Most of these situations did not come because people were lazy, deliberately illegal or anything like that. All one can call these people upon is that they are either poor by chance or poor by choice. They may not have a job, not a lot of money and maybe some are artists, showpeople, theatre actors, writers or just hippies. Some are already looking for some way back into mainstream society, many actually like to not be mainstream society because they have different ideas of what one needs, desires and wants. Of course all these evictions and raids are probably lawful, but I do not think they are just.

So this is my personal connection to this sort of thing and it is why I get really angry if something like this happens to anyone, even people I may not like personally.

I better stop now, because I just get really angry thinking about all these experiences and am probably biased.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by iron_jones View Post
It's good that they waited for them to make the place look nicer and THEN throw them out. I would've done the same. Free labour, y'know?
That's what I was thinking. You know which side I'll be on if the government suddenly has a new, big plot of land...
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Fkeu'itan View Post
They are not a good bunch of people who simply move from place to place, they root themselves in, often illegally or in already owned or used land and subsequently proceed to stake their claim to it, even if it is to the detriment to local people or the 'owner' of the land.
I see you have strong feelings against these people. I assume you have had personal contact or experiences that form that opinion, while I obviously did not meet any british travellers in person yet. So I will accept that your view on them is a different one.
You already put "owner" in quotes, I appreciate that, because I think it is a certain assumption that land can be owned and these people obviously do not think so - which position makes more sense I will not try to determine here. Obviously if they go and interfere with someone elses life to his detriment, this is not acceptable (e.g. setting up camp in a destructive way on land that someone else is using as grassland, garden, nature retreat).

What I know is, that travellers in general ("gypsies, Roma, circus people,...") have never been regarded as particularly nice people in history. They were always - no matter the personal behaviour - judged with prejudice. I think this kind of behaviour is not appropriate as it infers certain things about people simply from their lifestyle, culture or descent. If these people there specifically have been criminals (beyond the violation of zoning regulations), destroying land, or damaging other peoples lives - fair enough, then they do not deserve sympathy. But my impression was that most of them were not.

But again - I accept that there are different views on these folks and that mine has possibly less foundation as it springs only from people I met in a different country and from news and articles. I still object to the way they have been treated.
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:14 PM
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Perhaps i'm a little biased too. And I will admit that what I said was a sweeping generalisation of such people - i'm sure there *are* people out there who simply wish to live a different way of life with the respect and dignity that both they give to other people, and -in turn - that other people will give to them. But these things are definitely a two-way street.

Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike them just *because* they are gypsies, I dislike them for the people that they more than often are. I don't think it's fair to excuse them for acting in a way that is crude or destructive or loutish, just because they are under pressure, that serves as too much of an easy way out of the issue for me.

No matter what position you're in financially or culturally, things like common courtesy and care for your fellow man are free.

The issue of 'owning' land is a difficult one. I do not fully believe in the concept of property ownership - I still believe that if one acts as (in your words) a steward of the land, they look after it, care for it and actually make someting of it beyond simply a patch of land to root into and abuse, then yes, land should not technically be owned (unfortunately, many of these people do not act in this way) - but on the other hand, I can't say I support the idea that people can freely pitch up anywhere they like and start making a mess, then being able to simply wave a hand and justify it as their 'cultural right'. Unfortunately, in this world, there are laws. Not all of them are right, not all of them are wrong,but there *are* some very basic laws that I see not as a government restriction or control system, but simply as a guidance - a formalised reminder of the values we shold all uphold generally, as people who have to live together. These people, I believe, were in contradictions to these 'laws of common decency', and they simply should not be allowed to disregard them for their own personal reasons.

We live in a society, all of us.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fkeu'itan View Post
. I don't think it's fair to excuse them for acting in a way that is crude or destructive or loutish, just because they are under pressure, that serves as too much of an easy way out of the issue for me.
Yes, I understand - it may be a reason, but it is hardly an excuse. It may be an exuse in the way that I give them the benefit of the doubt about whether or not they would act the same waqy under different circumstances

Quote:
I can't say I support the idea that people can freely pitch up anywhere they like and start making a mess, then being able to simply wave a hand and justify it as their 'cultural right'.
Oh definitely I dislike people making a mess, leaving trash in rivers and therelike.

Quote:
These people, I believe, were in contradictions to these 'laws of common decency', and they simply should not be allowed to disregard them for their own personal reasons.
Well I dont know - the rules they did not follow are not even laws, they are building and zoning regulations. Which is why they were not arrested, but evicted. So I think this is a rather low priority violation. More comparable to jaywalking than squatting. Which is why I think the reaction was disproportional to the violations at hand.

I wonder also, what would have happened if some rich white guys would have bought that land and would have built a little summer house on them - I somehow imagine that there would not have been a yearlong lawsuit and then a forceful eviction involved :s
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:51 AM
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I wonder also, what would have happened if some rich white guys would have bought that land and would have built a little summer house on them
Were the people evicted not white?
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:08 AM
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Of course they were white.

...oh, and here, they actually own the land - they were just evicting them from living on it without planning permission.
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