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Stop UK ethnic cleansing

Gypsy families and their supporters were due to rally outside the town hall in Basildon today (Monday) urging a freeze on the council’s forced eviction plans.

They were to present a Legal Memorandum setting out in international law the obligation of Basildon District Council to seek an alternative to its stated aim of bulldozing Britain’s largest Gypsy community.

Only last week, the council was told by the government that it must provide land for a minimum of 62 caravan pitches, to enable Traveller families refused permits to live on their own properties to take up legal residence in Basildon.

“We hope commonsense will prevail,” says Gypsy Council president Richard Sheridan. “It would cost the council nothing to leave us in peace in our own homes.”

So far, talks with Basildon officials, continuing this week, have produced no offer of accommodation or land.

The Legal Memorandum, drawn up by the Geneva-based Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, with the help of the Univeristy of Essex Faculty of Law, says Dale Farm families have a strong claim under international law to be resettled - and not thrown out on the road, as the council intends.

10 August 2009

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