Yesterday the bulldozers were sent in yet again to crush the homes of Travellers who by the British Government's own admission have nowhere legally to live.
Basildon council, fulfilling its pledge to rid the district of unauthorised caravans, smashed up the homes of four families at Five Acre Farm. It was a merciless operation conducted by hired thugs.
I saw small children on bicycles weaving past heavy machinery, dangerously close to a giant JCB. Huts and caravans were crunched flat like card-houses, as mothers stood by helpless.
Within hours, huge earth mounds had been piled around each yard. The stench from splintered drains and broken cesspit tanks was nauseous.
The earth banks, blocking people from entering their own land, are illegal. The contractors, Constant & Co., and subcontractors H.E.Services and Terranova, are breaking the law and ignoring safety regulations.
One of the H.E.Services machines, during a previous eviction, smashed through the fencing on a yard which is protection by a high court injunction pending the outcome of a judicial review.
Basildon council, led by Tory Malcolm Buckley, who pushed through the decision to spend up to five million euro ethnically-cleansing Gypsies, is undoubtedly the arch villain in this case.
He has his evil eye on nearby Dale Farm where nearly a hundred families know they are in line for the same treatment.; unless Buckley can be stopped. All human appeals and attempts at reasoned persuasion have so far failed.
But the UK Government itself, in particular Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, must take its share of responsibility. He has exposed the shortfall of at least 4,000 yards or pitches needed by Travelling families.
Yet have done nothing to curb the relentless ethnic-cleansing. Local council, hiding behind a smoke screen of planning regulations, are brutally hounding Gypsies from one part of the country to another.
Moreover, they are not only behaving in an anti-social manner as Gypsy Affairs spokesman Joe Jones points out, but are habitually breaking the law. Millions have been spent erecting earth banks around land owned by Travellers and trenching possible stopping places.
"This is wanton destruction of people's property," says Jones, who has reported increased harassment in neighbouring Kent. "Just who is being anti-social here?"
A delegation from the new UK Gypsy, Traveller and Roma Forum will be urging the ODHM to step in a stop some of these illegal practices - which clearly contravene the Human Rights Act - when they meet Government officials on 6 April in London.
WHAT HAPPENED AT FIVE ACRES FARM YESTERDAY MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO BE REPEATED AROUND THE UK - PLEASE ADD YOUR NAMES TO THIS PETITION:
PICTURE: Richard Sherdian, of National Gypsy and Traveller Affairs, protesting in front of a bulldozer during the Five Acres Farm eviction yesterday.
My home is at Dale Farm, please add your name to this Petition - Richard.
Save Dale Farm WORLD APPEAL AGAINST UK ETHNIC CLEANSING
We, the undersigned, condemn all acts of ethnic-cleansing and forceful removal being perpetuated against Roma and Travellers around the globe.
Aware of the mass forced exodus from Kosovo, pogroms in Romania, the raising of Romani homes in cities from Athens to Kaliningrad, from Budapest and Belgrade to Novisibirsk, we wish through this appeal to draw attention to the courageous stand being made by the residents of Dale Farm in England, among them eight pregnant mothers.
They are the victims of constant move-on operations and evictions up and down Britain, where thousands of Gypsies, Travellers and Roma have been "cleared" from their own land.
Despite a racially-tainted vote by Basildon District Council to spend up to £3 million on destroying their 86 homes, they continue in the name of Travellers everywhere, a non-violent campaign to save their community from the bulldozer.
We call for common sense, reason and tolerance. Stop UK ethnic-cleansing: leave Dale Farm alone. Add your names by emailing dale.farm <<@/>>> ntlworld.com