Expect a summer of protests and disruptions if the coalition government continues what has been called a campaign of harassment and criminalisation, say Gypsy and Traveller communities.Oh, noes! The travelling ‘community’ is going on strike!
How will we cope..?
Eric Pickles, the communities and local government secretary, has said he wants to revive elements of the Conservative's 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act that turns trespass from a civil into a criminal offence. This will mean that Travellers who refuse to move from land that is not privately owned by them could be arrested by police or forcibly evicted.About time!
Pickles has also announced his intention to scrap new rules giving Gypsies and Travellers a "level playing field" in planning disputes with local authorities.Except it plainly wasn’t giving them a level playing field – it was granting them the upper hand.
No wonder the Guardian threw those scare quotes in…
Jake Bowers runs the Gypsy Media Company, which provides education about Gypsies and Travellers, and presents Rokker Radio, a BBC programme for the Travelling community. He says that after a relatively benign period in its history, "the noose is tightening around the neck of the Gypsy and Travelling community".Hey, bring it on! Didn't you hear, Jake? Nostalgia is in!
"If the government continues along these lines, Britain will see resistance and campaigns of civil disobedience on a scale not seen since the 60s," says Bowers, who grew up on the road as one of 17 children.
There have already been discussions among the UK's 300,000 Gypsies and Travellers about holding a series of co-ordinated protests, including jamming the motorway network with caravans.And that’ll be different from any other British summer how..?
"We're ideally suited to disrupting the motorways: we live on the road, so it makes no difference to us to stop on the fast lane of a motorway for a couple of days," says Bowers. "There will definitely be a lot of non-violent, civil but radical actions if things carry on like this.You said it…
We do it every day anyway: just our continued existence is an act of civil disobedience."
Needless to say, the parasites that make a tidy public sector living off tending to their human milch cows are getting the wind up too:
A local government Traveller liaison officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, says he has had to abandon plans for a new site after cuts to the budget of the government-funded Housing and Communities Agency. But he believes the policy will cost the government more in the future. "I can see caravans driving around Westminster. I can see petitions. I can even see them taking their lobbying to Europe," he says.I can see them failing at all of those too. The wind has changed. The money’s run out. The Righteous can’t afford their pets any more…
Brindley admits that the community is bitterly disappointed by the support the Liberal Democrats are giving the proposed legislation. "Lib Dem policy towards Gypsies and Travellers has always been pretty much in line with Labour policies, which, though not perfect, had been quite positive over the last 10 years," says Brindley. "But the coalition's new policy has been very much shaped by the Conservatives."Well, the LibDems are dim, admittedly, but they are not that dim.
They’ve tasted the power that comes from being in government at last, and they aren’t about to rock the boat just yet…
A group of 25 academics and campaigners have come together to lobby the government to reconsider its policies. Marion Horton, who has done research with Gypsies and Travellers for over a decade, says: "I was sickened that the new government would target, in the most iniquitous way, one of the UK's most deprived and discriminated against minority ethnic groups. If we're going to live in a humane society, we have to stop persecuting people and abusing our laws by using them to address our racist assumptions.Well, I’ve got a little list, Marion!
"It's easy to be frightened by people we don't know and don't understand. But if we let the government persecute this minority, which will they turn to next?"
The free rides at the expense of everyone else stop here…
"If the government continues along these lines, Britain will see resistance and campaigns of civil disobedience on a scale not seen since the 60s,"
I'm buying a MASSIVE bucket of popcorn for that one.
Hey, why don't we really turn the clock back and the rozzers can adopt "Life On Mars"-style policing with the do-as-you-likeys.
Fire up the Quattro!
A whole "summer of discontent"? Wow!
After the rest of us have had to put up with years of anti-resident policies at national and local level, if the travellers shout too loudly they may find they're not the only one's with a point of view to be expressed in public.
Oh no, will this mean illegal camp sites being left littered and derelict looking?
Time to run a sweep on when the first "Hitler started with the gypsies" piece appears on CiF...
Scratch that, the last sentence in the Guardian piece more or less says that anyway.
"We're ideally suited to disrupting the motorways: we live on the road...."
So...Um...What planning disputes are you involved in?
..so it makes no difference to us to stop on the fast lane of a motorway for a couple of days...
But if you do, maybe, just maybe, the police might start looking at the lack of tax disc, insurance, MoT, etc, on your vehicles. People in glass houses......
Perhaps the funniest thing I've read for ages. Go ERIC GO!
I love the idea of pikeys mounting a campaign of civil disobedience. They've really thought that one through!
Ja wanna buy a dag?
These pikeys need to be shown who is running the country, and what happens when you rock the boat.
Ja can keep da dag, bud ah hav a liddle bid of tarmac, left over from da larst job like, if yous wants.
I hope the government gets a shift on then. There's a bunch of pikey scum on Haldon near me that have been there since 2002, and if they aren't moved on by October the cunts get automatic planning permission. They've turned a beauty spot into a tip.
Ah... fek it me old english viking there... is it yourself? Sure it is.. Jesus, MAry & Joseph if I haven't bin able to find dat roof tile you were wanting, ah, sure, don't worry about a ting dere Seamus and me laddo'll take yer down t' the nearest hole in de wall and get out de tree tousand pound you'll need to pay us dere now Ballykissangel, holy mother of God .... Amen! Sure I luv de English!
The UK's 300,000 Gypsies and Travellers.
Just wondering how many would be left if all the Gypsies and Travellers. wanted for criminal offences, Fail to appear at Court warrants and Non payment of Fine warrants were arrested.
Whoops - the 'anonymous liaison officer' comment should have been here.
How does he liaise if nobody knows who he is?
"I'm buying a MASSIVE bucket of popcorn for that one. "
Me too! :)
"Oh no, will this mean illegal camp sites being left littered and derelict looking?"
"Scratch that, the last sentence in the Guardian piece more or less says that anyway."
Heh! It regularly gets trotted out, usually in the 'Italiens are so awful to the Roma' articles...
"But if you do, maybe, just maybe, the police might start looking at the lack of tax disc, insurance, MoT, etc, on your vehicles."
It'll be interesting to see if that starts happerning now.
The planning changes are welcome, but the rest of the lawlessness needs looking at too.
"I love the idea of pikeys mounting a campaign of civil disobedience. They've really thought that one through!"
"The UK's 300,000 Gypsies and Travellers.
Just wondering how many would be left if all the Gypsies and Travellers. wanted for criminal offences, Fail to appear at Court warrants and Non payment of Fine warrants were arrested."
Let's hope improving the courts' abilities to collect is something the ConDems have their minds on.
For ALL defaulters.
"How does he liaise if nobody knows who he is?"
And is his little council namebadge blank? Do the travellers summon him by shining a big light in the sky, or taping an 'X' in their windows?
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