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'Protest camp' to help travellers fight eviction

Campaigners will descend on Britain's largest travelling community today to set up a "protest camp" in support of residents who face eviction from the site they have occupied since the 1960s.

Basildon Council served eviction notices last month, giving 86 families until the end of the month to leave their homes at Dale Farm in Essex. The protesters intend to advise locals on their legal rights. Organisers said they expected about 200 people to move into "Camp Constant" tomorrow.

Some residents said they would fight the bailiffs, but campaigners yesterday said they would not become involved.

"It will be a peaceful demonstration," Jake Fulton, 23, the protest organiser, said.

"We hope it will not come to that but if the council will not listen to reason then we will take non-violent direct action to stop the eviction."