Bailiffs urge protesters to leave traveller site in Britain

19th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Bailiffs preparing to clear residents from Britain's biggest settlement of travellers entered the site for the first time on Monday and urged protesters to stop obstructing the eviction.

A dozen bailiffs wearing yellow hard hats were greeted with a volley of abuse as they walked into the Dale Farm site near Basildon in southeast England and called on demonstrators to leave the site.

As they approached the crowd of protesters and Irish travellers at Dale Farm, travellers sitting on a scaffolding structure at the entrance to the site shouted "here they come" and "shame on you".

Using a loud hailer, one of the bailiffs urged protesters who have moved into the site to support the travellers to leave for safety reasons.

The bailiff, who did not give his name, told the protesters that the scaffolding structure -- which was erected by the campaigners -- had the potential to "put people's lives in danger".

The men, wearing blue jackets marked "Enforcement Officer", then walked off the site.

The local council, which has fought a 10-year battle with the Irish travellers over a lack of planning permission for the six-acre (2.4 hectare) site, said the clearance of the site would begin on Monday.

Addressing journalists earlier, Basildon council leader Tony Ball said: "It will be some time today."

The high-profile campaign to block the eviction has attracted support from Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave and a former United Nations official.

© 2011 AFP

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