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AdvocacyNet News Bulletin 125 *****
Dale Farm Travellers Win Key Concession as Eviction Deadline Approaches
December 11, 2007, Dale Farm, UK and Washington, DC: In a development that could have major implications for the growing international campaign against evictions, the Basildon Council in southeast England appears to be softening its position on the Travellers at the Dale Farm site.
After three years of intimidation and threats against the Travellers, the Council has let it be known that their rights will be considered before any attempt is made to evict them. The shift is reflected in documents submitted to Keith Lomax, the Travellers' lawyer, in advance of a key meeting of the Council’s planning committee this Thursday. (Visit www.advocacynet.org/page/dalefarm <http://www.advocacynet.org/page/dalefarm for a timeline of the dispute).
The development has brought a glimmer of hope to Traveller advocates, who have appealed to the British Red Cross for humanitarian support in the event of a mass eviction, and are even talking to NGOs about setting up a Tent City for displaced families.
Thursday's meeting will review a decision by the Council to spend £3 million ($6 million) to evict 86 Traveller families (more than 500 people) because they live on Green Belt land, which is protected from development. The meeting will also give a sense of how the Council will argue its case before the British High Court, which will review the Dale Farm controversy starting February 11, 2008.
The Dale Farm confrontation has come to symbolize Britain's inability to integrate Travellers and Gypsies into society, and also served as a litmus test of the larger crisis of housing that afflicts Roma and Gypsies throughout Europe.
Mr Lomax welcomed the prospect of a less confrontational position by the Basildon Council. "They appear to be waking up to some of their duties that they have previously ignored," he said. "Miracles could happen."
The Travellers suspect that the Council may be trying to soften its image in advance of the crucial High Court review early next year. But Mr Lomax also pointed out that the Council is required by law to assess how an eviction would affect race relations. A local independent body – the Essex Race Equality Council – is currently collecting data on the Travellers, which leaves little doubt that the impact of eviction would be shattering.
Second, new government regulations require that an effort be made to find alternate land for Travellers who are marked for eviction. The Travellers have requested land at a nearby site, Pitsea. This has been rejected by the Basildon Council, but the original idea came from the former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, and Pitsea is not on Green Belt land. This could make it harder for the Council to maintain a hard-line position.
Mr Lomax said that an approach based on rights is particularly relevant because the Dale Farm Travellers include elderly, disabled and sick. Article 8 of Britain's Human Rights Act calls for the rights of the family to be respected.
Adding to the pressure on the Basildon Council, the Travellers have proved effective advocates at home and abroad. The Children's Legal Centre at Essex University is suing the Basildon Council for releasing private data on the Travellers. Last month sympathizers for the Travellers marched on the British Embassy in Ireland and protested outside the residence of Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown. This summer, The Advocacy Project recruited Zach Scott, a US national and student at Georgetown University, to volunteer as a Peace Fellow at Dale Farm – much to the irritation of local residents. After a local newspaper profiled Mr Scott, one reader commented: "Good riddance tree hugger ....DON'T COME BACK IN A HURRY!!!" But the Basildon Council – and the British government – can expect more international pressure if hundreds of women and children are violently evicted from Dale Farm and made homeless. In late October, human rights investigators from the UN and Council of Europe issued a statement deploring the lack of respect for housing rights in Europe. Four leading organizations followed up by comparing Dale Farm to several other "serial abuses" in Russia, Romania and elsewhere – a searing indictment of British policy. The latest advocacy tactic by the Travellers is to bring attention to the destruction that always seems to follow evictions by Constant and Company, the firm that has been contracted by the Basildon Council to evacuate Dale Farm. The Travellers are demanding that Constant follow health and safety provisions, and have asked AP to publicize video footage of previous evictions. If no agreement can be found between the Travellers and Basildon Council, the losing side will likely appeal against the High Court decision in February and the case could eventually go to the House of Lords, the upper house of parliament. * To support the Travellers of Dale Farm, write to the Basildon Council demanding that alternate land be found: snipped-for-privacy@basildon.gov.uk
* For a timeline of the Dale Farm controversy, and accompanying documents, visit: http://www.advocacynet.org/page/dalefarm * For blogs by Zach Scott, visit: http://advocacynet.org/blogs/index.php?blog=82 * For profiles of Zach Scott and the reaction of local residents visit: http://www.echonews.co.uk/search/display.var..1630933.0.zach_wraps_up_his_blog_from_dale_farm.php <http://www.echonews.co.uk/search/display.var.1630933.0.zach_wraps_up_his_blog_from_dale_farm.php * For the statement by the UN and European human rights investigators, visit: http://www.coe.int/t/commissioner/Activities/news2007/071023romahousingrights_en.asp # The Advocacy Project is based in Washington D.C. Phone +1 202 332 3900; fax +1 202 332 4600. Visit the AP website for information about our current projects at www.advocacynet.org <http://www.advocacynet.org . For questions or comments about the AP and its projects, please email us
Subscribe to the AP news service with RSS at http://advocacynet.org/index.php?module=resources&show=rss2&id=985 <http://advocacynet.org/index.php?module=resources&show=rss2&id=985 >
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AdvocacyNet News Bulletin 125 *****
Dale Farm Travellers Win Key Concession as Eviction Deadline Approaches
December 11, 2007, Dale Farm, UK and Washington, DC: In a development that could have major implications for the growing international campaign against evictions, the Basildon Council in southeast England appears to be softening its position on the Travellers at the Dale Farm site.
After three years of intimidation and threats against the Travellers, the Council has let it be known that their rights will be considered before any attempt is made to evict them. The shift is reflected in documents submitted to Keith Lomax, the Travellers' lawyer, in advance of a key meeting of the Council's planning committee this Thursday. (Visit www.advocacynet.org/page/dalefarm <http://www.advocacynet.org/page/dalefarm for a timeline of the dispute).
The development has brought a glimmer of hope to Traveller advocates, who have appealed to the British Red Cross for humanitarian support in the event of a mass eviction, and are even talking to NGOs about setting up a Tent City for displaced families.
Thursday's meeting will review a decision by the Council to spend 3 million ($6 million) to evict 86 Traveller families (more than 500 people) because they live on Green Belt land, which is protected from development. The meeting will also give a sense of how the Council will argue its case before the British High Court, which will review the Dale Farm controversy starting February 11, 2008.
The Dale Farm confrontation has come to symbolize Britain's inability to integrate Travellers and Gypsies into society, and also served as a litmus test of the larger crisis of housing that afflicts Roma and Gypsies throughout Europe.
<snip>
The fundamental divide between the mobile and the rooted isn't likely to be bridged with a conceptual framework devised solely by either side. Tactically the rooted will tend towards stockpiling and fortification, while the mobile will tend toward lightness, speed and mobility. One side will seek penetration, while the other side will attempt repulsion. I'm not sure how one uses the strategies of one side to accommodate the other side without it being seen as a victory for one and a defeat of the other, unless one of them is co-opted eventually.
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Michael, this is a family newsgroup - stop talking dirty.
R
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wrote:

I would personally abolish *all* families.... ; }
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Michael Bulatovich wrote:

Oh, nooooooo................

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[Extensively snipped]


This is of considerable interest to me and I thank "++" as the OP. I and my wife are of Romani descent. I was (among other things) a Planner in that benighted country until the opportunity came for us to vote with our feet.
The problem is centuries old. Common Law rights were significantly curtailed in a particulary obnoxious piece of legislation in 1968. This imposed certain obligations on local authorities to provide sites for "travellers" and the like, but only if they were living in the local authority area. This turned into a carte- blanche to move people on to another area. The sites that were provided were usually totally unsuitable for the needs of the occupants, and often policed oppressively and violently. Deaths occurred as a direct result of such actions.
The only site that worked was the one owned by Barbara Cartland, the romance writer. Barbara was a bit too 'big' and well-connected to push around ....

The minority in this case had a framework best described as having a 'foot in both camps'. Eg be part of the 'world' of the majority but keep all the elements of your culture that are valuable and proven (over the centuries) to be sustainable.

Difficult in the overcrowded north-west corner of the planet, with its long history or coercion. The Europeans tried shipping the Roma off to colonies in the 'new world' but soon gave up when the ships failed to return :-)
It is a lot easier in a vast country like Australia, where the old feudal law that you should stay in one place cannot work. The Australian Census is conducted in August, which happens to be the time of year when more people are 'at home' than at any other time. But even then, at least 10% of the population are somewhere else. It is estimated that there are between 16,000 and 25,000 people in Australia who are of Romani descent - and know it. However, only about 6 - 700 people declare themselves as Roma on the Census form. Once bitten, twice shy eh ...
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Me too.

I salute you, and am curious about the Romani. My balkan heritage exposed me to a few as I was growing up.

Yeah, like many Jews. They don't advertise.
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Troppo wrote:

You are welcome

And I am a planner here, among other things. Nomadic architecture is no less architecture for being moveable, and the nomadic lifestyle challenges how we should look at possessions, how much we need. People's thoughts and lives are easier to control when one basic freedom of movement is taken away by imposing a certain attitude toward settlement.

i'd like to read about that, if I could.

When I was a child, you could see evidence of travellers everywhere in the US, but particularly in the south. Now, it is as if they do not exist.

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What would that look like? Bands of people in trailers/RVs?
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Michael Bulatovich wrote:

The traveller wagons, whether motorized or not, from 19th to mid and a bit later 20th century in the US were quite unique. The most interesting one I recollect from early childhood had a barel vaulted roof, curved sides with sliding windos that opened for viewing and for trade, built in compartments for storing everything from goods for sale to personal items, built in wooden cabintry (all carved and decorated) on the interior, built in fold down beds and other nomdic furnishings, hanging bells, whistles, pieces of totemic decorative flags and cloth, similar to what one would see on memorial trees in Mongolia or attached on the outside of a doorway on a yurt, and wonderful coloration, all pulled by a horse and with several other horses led behind. The wheels were large wagon wheels but with truck treads of rubber. When travellers were more openly a part of southern (and maybe elsewhere?) culture, there was little negative about them, at least to children - to an extent they were admired. Mostly, there were odd stories. My grandmother, for example, maintained the fiction to my mother as a child that contrary to the stories about Gypsies stealing children, she had actually stolen my mother from them, which accounted for her being darker than the rest of the family with the astounding statement that this was the "best theft I ever pulled off in my vainglorious life" or so the fiction of my mother went. Ha!
Another exampl;e of the positive effect of gypsies on American culture is this idea of freedom. American Brownie scouts, accounting for a large percentage of American girls, of about 7 years are all taught the following song:
There were three gypsies a come to my door And downstairs ran this a lady, O! One sang high and another sang low And the other sang Raggle Tagle Gypsies, O!
Then she pulled off her silk finished gown And put on hose of leather, O! Theservants said on every hand that She's gone with the Raggle Taggle Gypsies, O!
It was late last night, when my lord came home Enquiring for his a-lady, O! The servants said, on every hand She's gone with the Raggle Taggle Gypsies, O!
O saddle for me my milk-white steed Go and fetch me my pony, O! That I may ride and seek my bride Who is gone with the Raggle Taggle Gypsies, O!
O he rode high and he rode low He rode through woods and copses too Until he came to a wide open field And there he espied his a-lady, O!
"What makes you leave your house and land? What makes you leave your money, O? What makes you leave your new wedded lord To go with the Raggle Taggle Gypsies, O?"
"What care I for my house and my land? What care I for my money, O? What care I for my new wedded lord? I'm off with the Raggle Taggle Gypsies, O!"
"Last night you slept on a goose-feather bed With the sheet turned down so bravely, O! To go and sleep in a cold open field Along with the Raggle Taggle Gypsies, O!"
"What care I for a goose-feather bed With the sheet turned down so bravely, O! For to-night I shall sleep in a cold open field Along with the rRaggle Taggle Gypsies, O!"
more or less

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Wooden?
<snip>
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Michael Bulatovich wrote:

Yes
0 but that wasn't the point. The point was that Roma as a part of American cuillture were not necessarily presented in a negative light as in other cultures. nOmadism is considered positive

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With today's population, and the requirement of sustaining it, it's only for a relative few. Nearly all our organizational systems-political and economic- are based on settlement. It makes me wonder what would happen if all the predicted displacement due to sea-level change came to pass. Now we try to "re-settle" 'displaced' people as soon as possible, with the least disruption to other 'settled' people. Numbers as big as they're throwing around could not be accommodated in that way...<end idle speculation>
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Michael Bulatovich wrote:

You make a solid point leading to the conlcusion that we should all have nomadic, migration planning and minimalist survival skills. We should also all learn to live with less everything.

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Sorta like Waterworld?
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Michael Bulatovich wrote:

too moist

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Do the Romani see assimilation as a threat to their continuation? Usually when a group manages to have their group identity survive over long periods, it requires institutions of some kind. Jews have their religion, language and, of course, their covenant. What do the Romani have that binds them together for centuries as they move through often hostile host cultures?
When I was a kid there was this family in my dad's ethnic enclave who were pretty dark for Slavs. You'd think they were south Asian to look at them, and they were *fabulous* folk dancers and musicians. One day a guy came up to me and suggested that, on the basis of that, they were 'actually' "tsigani". Now this guy was an idiot, but they were *really* dark...I've heard of crypto-Jews...My (Hungarian) godmother thought she was one.
There's a club around the corner that has private events periodically. I saw a woman standing near one of their posters while the party was obviously on. I couldn't make out *any* of the language on it, and I usually can, so I asked what was going on inside: "Romani Party" she said.
--


MichaelB
www.michaelbulatovich.ca
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Not easy to answer. Assimilation has been attempted for centuries, but the Roma go on. Take religious belief for example. "It is said" of my particular branch tribe of the so-called 16 tribes, that they originally followed the religion of "Zoster" (Zoroaster). When they arrived in Europe, they used the name Ahkbar. This had been appropriate for passing through Islamic territories, but unhelpful, as now, in western Europe. When significant numbers began arriving in Europe, one "Duke Michael" (possibly Baro Mirza) actually got a dispensation from the Pope on the basis of a commitment to undertake continuous pilgrimage, as a penace for "having turned away from Christianity". Good one. In feudal Europe pilgrimage was the only acceptable excuse for moving around - cf Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. It also helped, for a while, to soften the potential for jealousy; "ordinary" people didn't have horses, and many were not permitted to keep dogs.

With religion, you go with the flow. There is the 'Kris' or Council of elders, but that tends to be a fairly fluid, contingent arrangement. Usually, anyone called a "leader" or "king" is described as such for the ease and comfort of the host population, but there have been exceptions. In Romania, Jan Ciob declared himself King of the Gypsies and even got himself crowned as such in a church. (One of his brothers took exception to this, went back to Romania from the US, and declared himself Emperor.) The Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu (who gave everyone a bad time) was terrified of Jan, used to have nightmares that he was coming down the corridor to kill him. So Ceausescu maybe was a bit easier with Jan's people. I met someone who had met Jan; they described him as having "the wildest eyes I have ever seen in another human being". Seems that his daughter and granddaughter are carrying on the good work ...

He was probably right. Often Roma are thought to be Jews, and the error can be useful. A lot of Roma were/are horse-trainers and wranglers in Holliwood, and were thought to be American Indians. Here in Australia one of our sons used to be asked if he was part-Aboriginal when he was a school kid. Useful if they happened to have caught some undersized fish. (Different 'rules' apply to indigenous people.) .

Could have been in a European language, but might have been Romanes - Sanscrit-based. Often used to justify an origin in the Indian sub- continent. However, Sanscrit originated as Phoenician. The Phoenicians were the traders of the early middle-eastern world, so if you traded, Phoenician was the language you used. 400km south of here on the eastern seaboard of Australia, there are the remains of a sea port, and carvings that are recognisable as Phoenician.
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That places them in Persia, doesn't it?

He obviously didn't watch the Maple Leafs:
http://images.tsn.ca/images/stories/20040121/tucker_572.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/39pdk7 http://tinyurl.com/38awuq http://tinyurl.com/356ym8

I'm familiar enough with all but Hungarian and Finish to extract a word or two from just about any european language. If it was European, it was Hungarian.

That's interesting. Any links?
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Michael Bulatovich wrote:

Endangered peoples not so much by reason of assimilation but marginalization: http://www.errc.org/English_index.php

Last ruling group of Zoroastrians in post Islamic/Turkish times in nowadays Iran, but pre Selcuk, was the Buyids. Their civilization predates only slightly some of the Roma migrations to Europe along an already established trade route. Something to consider. Are Troppo's ancestors Buyids?
Buyids had an astounding architecture, what few building remain:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buwayhid https://edit.britannica.com/getEditableToc?tocId2168 http://www.bartleby.com/65/bu/Buyid.html http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici 78-6527(1965%2F1966)18%3C143%3AMOUTBO%3E2.0.CO%3B2-T http://www.angelfire.com/nt/Gilgamesh/buyid.html
Unfortunately, a lot written has an incredible Iranian bias.
It should be carefully considered that Buyid metalwork closely resembles in technique and quality of craftsmanship, Roma metalwork which begins to appear after there were establish Roma metalworking centers (ex. Tula)
http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici 32-2992(1983)1%3C69%3ATOPANA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-%23
See the following for some Sassanian Buyid links:
http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Architecture/sasanian_palaces_islam.htm
Note from the second article that although we have little surviving Buyid architecture, we know absoltuely that Selcuk architecture was (poorly, in terms of craftsmanship) imitative in every respect from metalwork to brickwork. And that is glorious enough.
http://archnet.org/library/sites/sites.jsp?letter=&country_code=&place_id=&type=&style=Buyid&usage=&century=&decade=&order_by=site&showdescription=1
or http://tinyurl.com/ytmc94
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ho/06/wai/hod_40.170.176.htm (enlarge the pattern once you are there)
http://tinyurl.com/35aftf
(I am having a hard time finding material online....that I want to show)
http://www.essential-architecture.com/ASIA-WEST/WA-IR/WA-IR-001.htm
Note elements inroduced for the first time by Buyids that we take for granted in Islamic architecture today. Also note the connection between Egyptian and Iranian architecture in the use of monumental iwans which were (because of the Turkish propensity) doubled during the Selcuks.
http://tinyurl.com/2bl4x7 is another general page or two on the topic. search other pages of Ettinghausen.
What happened to the Buyids of Iran and Iraq after expulsion?

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