The Irish Travelers facing eviction in England have applied to have their caravan park recognized as a heritage site.
Residents at the Dale Farm site in Essex, near London, are currently fighting eviction by the local council.
They are currently enjoying a brief reprieve while the council take their case to the courts.
But now the travelers have applied to have the entrance to their site, adorned with protest banners and defence mechanisms, preserved as a heritage site.
“The site and the entrance is an emblem of the struggle for travelers’ rights”, claim the applicants.
Resident Kathleen McCarthy said: “We’re here to fight for our rights to a normal family life, for our children to get an education and for us to have security for our homes.
“The tower is all that stands between ourselves and the bailiffs. As long as it remains standing, we know that there are people outside our community who still care about our rights.”
The Dale Farm site was due to be cleared last week but the residents successfully sought an injunction against the Council action.
The Council has since appealed that decision to the High Court but the application for Heritage status could scupper that move.
The English Heritage website states that it designates the status to ‘protect and celebrate England’s historic buildings, monuments, parks, gardens, battlefields and wreck sites, by highlighting their special interest in a national context’.
The Dale Farm site has been at the centre of a decade-long row over 51 unauthorized pitches on the six-acre site.