Hundreds sign petition urging Basildon to drop £4.3m eviction claim
Picture: Children play in the sunshine at Dale Farm in early 2011, before the brutal eviction which forced them from their families' own land.
Less than two years ago they were brutally forced from land- land they had legally bought and paid for- by police and bailiffs in one of the biggest evictions ever seen in Britain.
Their land has been churned up, bunded and rendered useless by the Council, a process which may even have created a serious public health hazard.
All this by way of punishment for planning infractions which are not even criminal, but civil, offences.
Then last month, former residents of Dale Farm were informed that Basildon Council would be seeking to recover £4.3m of costs from Traveller families for the eviction which left them homeless in 2011.
That's not all: Basildon Council leader Tony Ball has said that if the money is not recovered then the land at Dale Farm will be seized in place of payment. He has even told the BBC how "pleased" he is with the process.
An online petition urging Basildon to drop its claim, which includes a personal message from former resident Mary Sheridan, has been started on the website Change.org.
You can show your support for the evicted families and for Gypsies and Travellers facing similar treatment across the country by signing the online petition here.