The Dale Farm travellers vowed to dig in as they lost their final eviction appeal in the High Court.
The legal battle has been dragging on for more than a decade but yesterday a Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Sullivan finally ended it once and for all when he ruled that the travellers cannot challenge an earlier verdict allowing the evictions to go ahead.
After the verdict was delivered a Dale Farm resident, said: “This looks like the end of the road. We’ll have to fight the bailiffs off.” She added: “We’ve been left with no choice, we really have nowhere else to go. Do you think we’d put ourselves through this if we did?”
“The law is prejudiced against Travellers. We were told 15 years ago to get off the road and buy our own land, but now they are forcing us and our kids out on to the road again. The barricades are all that stand between us and homelessness now.”
The Travellers own the land near Basildon but do not have planning permission to live on about half of it.
Council leader Tony Ball welcomed the court’s decision saying: “Since last Wednesday evening the residents at Dale Farm have been living on borrowed time. The so-called supporters should also pack up their belongings and leave the site. If they have the Travellers’ best interest at heart they will either leave the area now or confine their activities to helping the Travellers to leave.”
By law the council are required to give 48 hours notice before clearing the site.
However they may have their work cut out for them: on their blog, Dale Farm Solidarity said: “We need supporters to come down as soon as possible to help resist this eviction.”