Nazi Labour criminalises Gypsies

tliouk office at
Sun Jul 7 23:15:42 BST 2002

This was originally sent to the list in an e-mail entitled "Nazi 
Labour criminalises Gypsies". Beyond the heat-of-the moment premature 
judgement, lets look at the facts in the article itself.  The new 
powers are not going through until new sites are to be made available 
around the country. The issue really is "where are these sites going 
to be", and is provision going to be made for travellers to have more 
access to public services ..etc - measures to tackle social 
exclusion ...a point made by Andrew Ryder, the secretary of the 
Labour Campaign for Travellers Rights.  If travellers have more 
rights and access to decent-size/located areas of land, then there 
wouldn't be the need for the sticking plaster of new police powers in 
areas of middle England where there are stresses and srains for 
competing recreational land use on the small scraps of open space 
most of us get in urban areas, being as we are excluded from nearly 
90% of the UK's land-mass. 

This doesn't negate the fact that where there is increasing conflict, 
the police shouldn't have more provision to intervene in conflict 
situations between the local community and travelling community.
So, I think it's bit stupid to just blanket condemn this without 
first looking at all the facts.  

--- In diggers350 at y..., Ecovillage Network UK <evnuk at g...> wrote:
> [We all live in a fascist regime, a fascist regime, a fascist 
regime :-(  T]
> Police given new powers to evict Gypsies from sites
> Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent
> Guardian,4273,4456003,00.html
> Saturday July 6, 2002
> The government yesterday responded to a storm of often media - led 
> by announcing that the police are to be given new powers to evict 
> and travellers if they refuse to move on to local authority 
designated sites.
> Ministers also said they would not require every local council to 
set up 
> official sites for travellers.
> At present the police can only evict if there is evidence of 
> behaviour, criminal damage or the presence of six or more vehicles 
on the 
> site. The powers do not apply if the encampment is on land forming 
part of 
> the highway.
> In a compromise the government has decided the eviction powers will 
> apply where local authorites have made provision for temporary, 
transit and 
> emergency stopping sites for travellers who regularly pass through 
their area.
> Ministers hope their proposals will ease the cultural clashes 
> travellers and the community but Andrew Ryder, the secretary of the 
> campaign for travellers rights, said the measures did not go far 
enough to 
> help travellers.
> "It is essential there is a good system of sites available, or else 
> eviction leads to travellers being pushed on from one site to 
another. Many 
> of the problems are caused by social exclusion from services, and 
> refusal of councils to give planning permission for Gypsies to live 
> their own land," he said.
> The government announced that some money in an existing £17m Gypsy 
> fund is likely to be rechanneled so councils open up new sites.
> Mr Ryder also pointed out that Labour had condemned the decision of 
> Conservative government eight years ago to remove the obligation on 
> councils to provide sites as reckless and spiteful.
> In January, the official government count found that 2,774 
caravans - or 
> 20% of all British Gypsy caravans - were on unauthorised 
encampments. The 
> survey showed 326 more families were on unauthorised sites than in 
> 2001, without guaranteed access to water, toilets and schooling.
> The package, jointly announced by the Home Office and the office of 
> deputy prime minister yesterday, is designed to meet the continuing 
> complaints that travellers ruin the local landscape, leave litter 
> behave anti-socially.
> The plan - vague in parts - appears to have been rushed out ahead 
of a 
> private members bill to be debated next week and sponsored by the 
> Conservative MP for Bournemouth East, David Atkinson. The Tory-led 
bill is 
> likely to be more generous to travellers than government policy, 
but would 
> also underline ministerial failure to come up with its own response.
> The government acknowledged that disputes between councils and 
police over 
> responsibility often leave communities angry at the failure of 
anyone to 
> intervene. Many Tory MPs have claimed the police probably have 
> powers to remove trespassers, but do not use them.
> Even Labour MPs, such as Bill Rammell, MP for Harlow, have called 
> travellers, rather than council tax payers to be made liable for 
> caused during an illegal occupation. Guidance on managing 
> camping, including the proper disposal of waste, will be published 
in the 
> autumn.
> The guidance will emphasise the "same standards of behaviour and 
regard for 
> the law are expected from all sectors of the community, including 
> for public health and waste".
> Gypsies claim the problem of the lack of sites is compounded by 
> inadequate quality. Many of 325 local authority Gypsy sites in 
England are 
> often near rubbish dumps, sewage works or noisy industrial 
facilities. It 
> has been claimed they epitomise the definition of a ghetto.
> -- 
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