SSP statement on eviction of Dale Farm Travellers site (from the main SSP site)
The Scottish Socialist Party unconditionally condemns the eviction of the residents at Dale Farm Gypsy Travellers Site in Essex.
We view this action as a consequence of collusion between the coalition government, courts, police and local authority, cheered on by racist elements in society.
We do not accept that this was about 'planning' issues or the 'rule of law'.
We stand four square in support of Gypsy Travellers in defence of their human right to pursue their culture and way of life.
We note that many local authorities now take advantage of the removal of legal obligation to provide sites, by adopting a policy of making their localities no-go areas for Travellers who wish to pursue a traditional lifestyle.
Despite gains in legal protection in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK in recent years, we note that racist attitudes prevail and are now proven to be institutional.
We call upon progressive elements in Scottish society to join with us in condemnation of the Dale Farm eviction, and pledge to ensure that similar actions do not blight the creation of a tolerant society in Scotland.
We especially condemn the violent reaction of the police against residents and their supporters, and their use of tazer weapons; these are said to have been designed for the protection of police officers facing individual aggression, and not to control crowds.
We are concerned that this sets a dangerous and potentially lethal precedent for the control of future demonstrations of citizens rightly angry with a right wing government whose policies favour only the rich and privileged.
19th October 2011