Vanessa Redgrave warns over travellers' exit

Actress and human rights campaigner Vanessa Redgrave has said "lives will be ruined" if the planned eviction of travellers from the UK's largest illegal site goes ahead.

Actress and human rights campaigner Vanessa Redgrave has said "lives will be ruined" if the planned eviction of travellers from the UK's largest illegal site goes ahead.



Ms Redgrave took time off from filming Song for Marion to visit Dale Farm near Basildon, Essex, where more than 80 traveller families face eviction.



Planning for a major policing operation is under way after eviction notices were served on 52 unauthorised plots following a decade-long planning row.



The deadline to leave voluntarily expires tonight and a forced eviction is expected to follow next month.







Ms Redgrave said she hoped violence could be avoided and that "humanity would triumph".

"It's a day on which I have great hope that this strong, wise, warm and gentle community will have their rights protected and will not have their rights disintegrated," she added.



The Oscar-winning actress said: "The whole situation is really about planning - there's no crime that has been committed.



"Evicting these families would be totally unreasonable and irresponsible. The council has said there are no alternatives but there are alternatives.



"The people of Dale Farm will go if there is an alternative site provided for them but Basildon Council will not sit down with these people and discuss that.



"Communities up and down this country have been decimated and destroyed but there still are some communities that want to stay together and Dale Farm is one of those.



"I've met nine-year-olds who go to school here and mothers with babies and they are part of the community. They have a right to stay here."





Source: PA

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