TSN Info Tour Blog # 6

Grattan Puxon, a lifelong campaigner, received an award from the Dale Farm families and supporters in Colchester

Bradford

After Sheffield we headed back up north a bit to Bradford for a meeting at
the fantastic 1 in 12 club. Jacob and Jenni headed in to do the meeting
while Aidan and Dan were banished outside and gave the Volvo a spring
clean.

There was a decent turnout with people from Leeds and Bradford and a very
interesting phone in with a local woman called Elizabeth who is currently
battling to get planning permission for a site between Leeds and
Wakefield. It seemed from our weary perspective that there was lots of
energy for supporting the site, and trying to organise letters of support
for Elizabeth before Fridays deadline.

After a long day of parking (playing in the park rather than practising in
the car), driving and meeting-ing; the locals at the 1 in 12 advised us to
visit the Punjabi Sweet House for a curry, which we did, and we found that
it was good, and that was the end for Bradford.

Nottingham

The drive to Nottingham took a bit longer than expected. Jenni got mad at
the sat-nav again (which doesn’t take much) but it was all Jacobs fault as
he put in the wrong road and it led us to Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station.
With a look of longing we drove past concentrating on one campaign at a
time…

The meeting itself was held in The Photographers Hub in town. This was
good because there was a plentiful supply of tea and samosa’s, although on
reflection that was probably down to the people who organised the meeting
rather than the building.

Dan and Jenni did the meeting, which was unfortunately set in the context
of new Planning Contravention Notices that had been handed out to the
residents of Dale Farm. These are asking, though not legally demanding, people to leave in the next 21
days due to breaking planning rules by parking on the road or on
‘overcrowded’ yards. They are not facing another eviction, yet.

Dale Farm

Aidan and Jenni were both away the day after Nottingham, so Dan and Jacob
woke up early and drove down to Dale Farm. Many of the residents had been
unclear about the notices and what they meant, because of problems with
literacy and very complicated jargon from the council. We stayed there all
day and spoke to a lot of people about the notices in which the council
are ‘concerned for the safety of residents’ due to poor sanitation and
trailers parked too close together representing a fire hazard. I wonder
why the sanitation is poor and people are living in such cramped
conditions? I got the feeling that some of the residents were actually
quite offended by the hollow attempt to suggest that the council are
concerned for people’s well-being considering what they are still doing.

Colchester

There was a great turn out at the Colchester meeting, with over 30 people
squeezing into the Friends Meeting House. Jan introduced the situation in
Colchester and lots of people seemed keen to mobilise for Roma Nation Day.
Grattan Puxon also spoke and the meeting ended with a presentation to
Grattan of an award for his fantastic hard work for Dale Farm and
Traveller’s rights for the last few decades, on behalf of everyone at Dale
Farm.

And from everyone on the Info Tour, we wanted to say that without Grattan,
we are sure we would never have even been at Dale Farm.  You are a fantastic activist and campaigner and an inspiration to us all!

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