British riot police have been accused of brutality after Irish Travelers were arrested and at least one resident injured as chaos descended on the Dale Farm caravan site in Essex after the bailiffs moved in early Wednesday morning.
Bricks were thrown at police and residents taken away in handcuffs after the planned eviction at Britain’s largest traveler encampment got underway.
Basildon Council sent the bailiffs in just after 7am on Wednesday morning after the Travelers lost their final appeal to the English judicial system.
A caravan was set on fire and riot police were bombarded with bricks and other missiles as protestors reacted angrily to the eviction of almost all of the 400 residents, including 100 children, on the site not far from London.
Several protestors, all wearing scarves to try and hide their identity, were taken away in handcuffs as the riot police backed up the council bailiffs.
Protestors accompanied paramedics onto the site to treat resident Nora Egan who said she had suffered back injuries in a confrontation with the riot police.
Council leader Tony Ball told reporters outside the site that there will be no further negotiations with the Travelers and their supporters.
Those living on the site have criticised the Council actions on Wednesday morning when they held talks with protestors at the front of the camp while riot police broke down a fence to the rear.
Onlookers described how many of the women on site ran to their homes in tears as lines of riot police made their way through the encampment.
Electricity to the site has been cut-off with supporters now encamped behind barricades, many of them chanting: ‘F*** the police, no justice, no peace’ according to witnesses.
Dale Farm resident Kathleen McCarthy said: “The memory of Dale Farm will weigh heavily on Britain for generations - we are being dragged out of the only homes we have in this world.
“Our entire community is being ripped apart by Basildon Council and the politicians in Government.”
Human Rights campaigner Lily Hayes is at the site. She told reporters: “Basildon Council are violating the court order by smashing in the walls of a fully legal plot on the Dale Farm site. They are also acting unnecessarily brutally.”