Published on Sunday 28 August 2011 09:35
Campaigners have travelled from as far away as Sweden, Holland and Belgium to help halt the eviction of families living on the UK's largest illegal travellers' site.
It is claimed the planned eviction of almost 100 families living on Dale Farm, near Basildon, could leave up to 400 people homeless.
Basildon Council officials, supported by Essex Police, are expected to take action to clear the site next month if the travellers do not leave by August 31.
Jake Fulton, a spokesman for the Dale Farm Solidarity campaign, said the group of people supporting the cause is growing all the time.
"There are lots of travellers coming to lend their support, people who have seen evictions before and know it is a hugely traumatic experience, but outsiders have come to support the resistance too. There are people with a human rights background here, about 20 or 30 activists from Sweden, Holland, Belgium, Italy.
"There are more than 100 people who have come to help and we are expecting about 30 more to arrive this afternoon."
Earlier this week Amnesty International called for a halt to the eviction, which followed similar calls from Raquel Rolnik, the UN's special rapporteur on housing, and Rita Izak, a UN independent expert on minority issues.
The cost of the clearance is expected to reach £9.5 million.
Travellers' groups have said they are unwilling to meet the August 31 deadline and hundreds of people have pledged to join them in "non-violent resistance".
Mr Fulton said there would be a hearing for a possible injunction at the High Court on the same day.
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