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Why is local prejudice against Dale Farm Travellers so acceptable?

Susan Craig-Greene | PostedApril 24th, 2011 | Europe

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Children playing on Dale Farm Traveller site, Essex, UK, photo by Susan Craig-Greene
Children playing on Dale Farm Traveller site, Essex, UK, photo by Susan Craig-Greene

Unfortunately, it is not at all unusual to encounter “nuke the site” and “bomb the bastards” comments about Dale Farm Travellers on the Echo website or on right-wing blogs like AmbushPredator’s. How has it come to a point where blatantly racist (and often genocidal) views have both become tolerated by my local community and seemingly welcomed by a local media website?

Following a link I put on twitter to an example of the many comments on her blog which I consider to be racist towards Travellers, I engaged in the following twitter conversation with @AmbushPredator:

Me – @AmbushPredator and cronies once again exemplifying local prejudice facing DaleFarm Travellers http://t.co/J2RnAbU (See  Anonymous comment)

AmbushPredator – Local people (and myself) would just like them to OBEY THE LAW like everyone else. What’s so hard to understand?

Me – I am local as well. DaleFarm Travellers just want somewhere to live together 
AmbushPredator – And you’re in the minority – the locals overwhelmingly want the planning laws upheld….hence the reason for the ragtag little invasion force of campaigners from places where they don’t have to live with them.

Me-  Many local people support DaleFarm Travellers.

AmbushPredator – There will be an eviction, there will finally be peace for the poor long-suffering folks who’ve had to put up with this…

Me-  Any “suffering” you have undergone should be taken seriously but you can’t blame all DaleFarm Travellers.

Me – I respect that there are many sides to DaleFarm issue but don’t respect “nuke the site” comments http://t.co/J2RnAbU

AmbushPredator – If you really respected the other’s opinions, you’d be persuading them to go not to stay.

Me – DaleFarm Travellers along with Basildon Council are trying to find alternative sites.

Me – DaleFarm Travellers are not villains. I am sad that you will be rejoicing that anyone would be made homeless.

AmbushPredator – I don’t like squatters either. Go figure. #breakingthelawisbadmkay

AmbushPredator – Some of them already have them, as the ‘Echo’ has pointed out.

Me – #Basildon Council agrees that many DaleFarm Travellers will be made homeless by their eviction

AmbushPredator – ‘Many’ but not all. And, frankly, *shrug*. It’s gone on long enough and wasted too much public money for me to care…

Me – I agree it is waste of public money and wouldn’t be necessary if councils provided required legal sites for Travellers

AmbushPredator – …law-breaking has consequences, and it’s time to face them.
Me – Planning laws were not designed to make people homeless

AmbushPredator – No, they were designed to ensure people obeyed the law. Everyone else does without a bleeding-heart focus group pleading for them to be spared the consequences of their actions. Time it was applied to these people too, EQUALLY.
Me – The law should be applied equally. Unfair that 90% of Traveller planning apps are denied in comparison to 20% overall.

AmbushPredator – Not unfair at all. Their reputation precedes them, after all. Maybe they should work on their image problems?

I am still left wondering if she not only encourages but also agrees with the “nuke the site” type comments that appear so frequently in response to her Dale Farm blogs.

The Echo site finally took off this comment from Eric the Red, Leigh-on-Sea (2:45p.m. Sun 17 April 2011)

“I think the late Kenny Everett had the best idea. “Round ‘em all up: put ‘em in a fiel.d and BOMB the ba$tards.”

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Dale Farm Housing Association in the UK


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