FURIOUS residents near Britain's biggest illegal gypsy site have blasted calls by human rights campaigners to scrap a planned eviction.
The 51 families at the travellers' camp have been ordered to get out by next Wednesday after flouting a ban on building homes at the site.
Law ... John Baron
Now Amnesty International has backed them in "non-violent resistance" to the move from Dale Farm, near Basildon, Essex.
The land is owned by traveller families who moved in ten years ago. They were refused consent for residential buildings but made their homes there. The gypsies have also upset neighbours with verbal abuse and noise. Many of the families turned down offers of council homes.
Amnesty's Jezerca Tigani warned an eviction could break "international law". She said authorities should offer alternatives that let them "express their cultural identity".
But angry Mike Beiley, 65, who lives nearby, said: "They've broken the law and now it's time for them to get packing. They seem to think our rights don't matter."
Basildon Council leader Tony Ball said: "This is a planning dispute. It has nothing to do with the travellers' choice of lifestyle or ethnicity." Basildon MP John Baron said: "The law will be enforced."
Thursday, 25 August 2011
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