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Essex council set for ethnic cleansing at Dale Farm

Tensions are mounting as the August 31 deadline for the forced eviction of up to 400 Travelling people from their homes in Basildon, Essex draws near. Campaigners are appealing for a mass attendance at Camp Constant from tomorrow.

The aim is to show support for the 86 beleaguered families, with 100 children between them, who have been living there peacefully for many years. Ranged against them are Tony Ball, Conservative leader of Basildon Council in Essex, communities minister Eric Pickles, the Essex police and notorious bailiffs Constant & Co. In a joint council and police eviction, the Home Office will be paying half the £9.5m bill.

On the other side of the divide are the nearly 400 Gypsies who have the support of the Gypsy Council, human rights campaigners including Liberal peer Lord Avebury, Amnesty International, as well as many other groups and organisations.

The entire area is due to be sealed off while the police-backed bailiffs do their worst. Oak Road, which runs through the Dale Farm site is to be sealed off at both ends except for access to travellers’ homes. Further closures and no-stopping zones are being introduced. Speed restrictions are planned for the adjacent A127 for up to 18 months while the eviction operation takes place.

There are clear signs that Constant & Co, backed by the Essex constabulary and cheered on by local racists and British National Party members, will have their gloves off during the operation. As Gypsy rights activist Grattan Puxon has warned in the Travellers’ Times:

A dirty, neo-fascist wave, a tsunami of social exclusion is to break over the peaceful Dale Farm community, smashing up lives and drowning the hopes of another generation of Traveller children, presently attending local schools... the ugliest yet act of ethnic-cleansing by a British local authority against an outpost of Europe's nascent Roma nation.

At a time of huge cuts, when Essex county council is axing 450 jobs and 12 youth centres, why has this council chosen to spend an astronomical £18 million to evict the Gypsy families who have lived peacefully on their site for many years?

It’s clear that Conservatives in Essex feel challenged by rising support for the British National Party shown in recent elections. In Basildon alone 4,000 voters backed the BNP in the last election. You only need to read the comments on the local paper’s website to get a feel for the racist hatred for travelling people. There are those who think that the council’s draconian measures are not extreme enough: “Half a dozen large army bulldozers and a platoon of SAS and it will all be over in half hour”, says one reader.

Last-ditch efforts are being made to avoid the rapidly looming confrontation. Jerzerca Tigani from Amnesty International has pleaded that “the authorities must ensure that their actions do not break international law. They should instead talk to the residents at Dale Farm and reach a negotiated solution.”

Some are taking heart from a victory by a Gypsy who has just won a planning appeal by Basildon. The government inspector reminded the council that it had a duty to provide 62 new pitches for homeless Travellers by the end of this year. But council leader Ball has already shrugged off the inspector’s recommendations in anticipation of the Coalition’s Localism Bill coming into force.

There can be no doubt that the confrontation at Dale Farm, which has been years in the making, is more than an nasty squabble between a Conservative local council and travelling people. It has the makings of a major, military-style operation backed by local and national state forces against a vulnerable group of people who seek only to live in their traditional way.

We have been here before! Mainstream political leaders of all parties seeking to outflank their rivals on the right in ethnic cleansing will stop at nothing. By doing so, they will open the door to even more sinister forces.

Corinna Lotz
A World to Win secretary
26 August 2011

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Jonathan says:

And with news item references on various media to 'build what they want where they want'
Government's new planning laws already in force "Official inspectors, who have the power to approve local developments, were given the fresh guidance by the Planning Inspectorate last week. It told them to start abiding by the new draft planning framework, which campaigners fear could lead to unchecked development in rural areas, because it represents the Government’s “direction of travel”. The issuing of the guidance comes despite the Government insisting that changes could still be made to the draft framework, which is not due to come into force for several months."– Daily Telegraph 

Not any reference to The Travellers despite the clear irony with 'direction of travel' , a normal trigger for any half decent journalist – nor when the likes of Simon Jenkins when combating the obvious greedy eyes on, in some cases, hundred of years of greenbelt, green land even as opposed to 'brown' sites – Jenkins neither points out the contrast with the Travellers 'plight' nor therefore their tradition of proper use of the lands and byways of Britain, amongst other countries.

The panic introduced by economic data – as actual reality for this troupe of the political class has to wait on coalition agreement, even while they feel trembles and tremors right through their being, and that includes what they see as properties of their being, all forms of Capital – has introduced an all at once to anything they can grab. As Capital in all its forms shake and dissolve so does its reflection in their minds. Oh how unhappy consciousness.

Representing differing economic basis now in conflict now in agreement, dislocated by the internal movement of the crisis itself reflected in the human moment and tenuously held in the Government – as political beings they are at one: capitalism as such is under double threat – from the forces now unleashed worldwide and the natural quality of capitalism itself. The first they can grasp fully – it takes no interpretation. Both nationally and internationally the political class in Britain are the most skilled in history. Every day this is becoming more apparent – more 'real' in that it enters into the calculations of those rising masses worldwide.

The second is a mystery to them. Not since the classic economist that Marx built his massive and great critique upon (see Lenin's The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism) has capitalism produced a political economist, not one of note, but who commands the subject. Not once has there been produced even one economist from that class, or for that class – with all the millions poured into their special universities – or any other class involved in capitalist production as owners of capital to penetrate the mysteries of Capital. Each time they try and grasp its movement it dissolves like a shadow in daylight. Chasing their own shadow they unleash the state as if unleashing the Kraken. Now that is panic: the state doesn't have to be economists except as we have seen during this crunch and contraction calculating in all its many arms as to loss of this or that – resource whether human or equipment. How can we be bodies of armed men without either the arms or the men? But of late it flexes its political being.

The Governing Class – ''The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.'' Communist Manifesto is actual followed by the stand alone line:

The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part.

But what comes next is worth saying each night before one falls asleep:

''The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom – Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.''

confusion, like any contradiction, is almost impossible to hold in the mind – socially or not – without sudden and quick movement to dissolution into other. Certainly that political class has no training in it. The very movement of the dislocated and dissolving movement of the economy striking fear was better grasped by the Governor of the Bank of England: one can imagine COBRA meeting in the vaults of the Bank, all standing about as if in a war bunker – a hollow echo against the walls, bouncing only off the IOUs strewn about.

Behind every act, every decision – even during periods of concessions out of terror of the proletariat – 'naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation'. Now what next and why? It has substituted this with the use of the machinery of force. Law and order is only its controlled force. This terror is translated into only two possible areas – economic concessions in this area or that. or many; or a stronger state to suppress and squeeze the differing working classes and pressure other nation states. It has wheedled and forced out of 150 years every last ounce, drop, relationship exploitation possible: something inexplicable to the political class is happening.

This is not like a mystery one attributes to god – even the Tea Party in the last instance don't do that – nor on the waiting for the latest research in the laboratory of science looking into objective matters. Therefore it is to the political calculations and applications that they have turned ever since. It is not the machinery of production that has driven them – it is the huge productive force that simultaneously became conscious when it became 'unconscious' in terms of economic understanding; the proletariat. And with that consciousness comes identity by it and its own political class identification with the oppressed everywhere – within the society and beyond what would be their own chauvinistic national interest. The period of a 'Labour Aristocracy' i.e. a section of the proletariat that could be bribed and rewarded by the super-profits accrued by exploitation of the worlds other, weaker, nations and the super-exploitation of the the ecological resourced are passed: and for a reason.

That consciousness is not an easy matter, it is conscious limited to what it is – an exploited class – not to what is what it can become – by definition its own destruction as a suppressed class. So the elements of confusion in the ruling classes have a parallelism and interrelatedness in the working classes.

That the question of the Travellers can arise in the same period as this Bill to 'land grab' as if the spread of the states in north America in the 19th century – well ' in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms' is not just the Travellers – unnoticed as a connection – it is all – but more than anything it is thinking. Without that social reflection of what is – one can only react. The ruling class is only reacting. Depression to slump: so they promise super profits – to get them all that is Patriarchal – or familial and the idyllic relations and of all heavenly ecstasies and chivalrous enthusiasm, of any sentimentalism, of self or personal worth and the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms – any that remain are now destroyable – dissolvable in the name of any growth: and in the confusion it is not noticed that to get even stability – a phantom idea – would change it from capitalism into a slave owner oligarchy.

True some of these aspects of relations between the masses in their personal and social relations will change form and must – but not under the 'Iron Heel' of an alien class – or more than likely it proxies robots in it state machine ' we have been here before'.

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