James Dasinger

James Dasinger (Irish Travellers of Dale Farm, Dale Farm Housing Association): James received his Bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a regional focus on East Asia from the University of South Alabama. After graduating, he spent six years as a Chinese linguist and Intelligence analyst for the US Air Force. He was decorated several times for his service and held a Top Secret/SCI security clearance throughout his career. He was honorably discharged from the military with the rank of Staff Sergeant. On leaving the military he joined the Los Angeles chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War and served as its Treasurer. At the time of his fellowship, James was a graduate student in the Political Science department at California State University, Northridge.

Dale Farm Myths: Greenbelt II

25 Mar

One of the reasons sited by local authorities to evict Travellers from Dale Farm is to ptotect the integrity of the greenbelt. I showed in my last blog how the Dale Farm site was hardly pristine before the Travellers bought it.

However, to take a look at the other side of the coin, I decided to try to find out what happens to greenbelt land after the Travellers are removed? Are the local councils better stewards of the greenbelt than the Travellers? Do the benefits gained by evicting the Travellers (integrity of the greenbelt) outweigh the damage to families that are evicted on to the roadside?

I went to three sites of previous evictions; one near Cambridge and the other two here in Basildon District. Judge for yourself whether you think the results are worth it:

Smithy Fen, Cambridge:

Caravan wreckage at eviction site. Traveller’s homes are often damaged and sometimes destroyed during the course of evictions.

Rubble berms like this one are left around eviciton sites so that caravans cannot be pulled back onto the land.

Two views of an adjacent eviction site at Smithy Fen showing rubble banks and remains of concrete foundations.

This is a pitch which may suffer eviction in the next few weeks.

A small unnamed site off the A120, Basildon District:

In this case, it appears that the rubble of the site was collected into two large mounds and earth brought in to form the berms.

Hovefields Rd. Site, near Wickford, Basildon District:

These photos show a view of the large pit formed by the rubble berms that were erected. Water is beginning to form pools in the pit.

Views of another pit adjacent to the one above. The large white chunks of concrete that form the barricades are likely the remains of foundations, while the red bricks scattered about are the remains of decorative walls which ring some yards. This type of wall can be seen in the photos of Dale Farm from my previous blog.

The photos above are representative of what the people of Basildon get for the millions of pounds spent on eviction operations.

Since there are not enough sites in England for the Gypsy and Traveller population, the people who were evicted from these sites likely moved to another unauthorized site. Is greenbelt protected better by shifting people from site to site in an endless cycle of cost and destruction? Or is the better way to do as the East of England Regional Assembly has mandated and start designating appropriate sites for Gypsies and Travellers?

A resident of Dale Farm awaits the Bailiffs:

Posted By James Dasinger

Posted Mar 25th, 2008