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Monday 18 December 2017

Travellers party to Rihanna in final night before eviction

Ben Kendall

Women on Dale Farm threw what could be their final party while others watched television, making the most of electricity before it was cut off.

Many of the women drank until midnight, listening to music including Rihanna and singing traditional songs.

One said: "If this is our last night in our homes, we're going to enjoy it."

Others said they were sitting the party out as they planned to carry on as normal today - including sending their children to school, beyond the barricades.

Earlier resident Kathleen McCarthy said that come morning the site would be on lockdown.

She said they would not go until physically forced to.

She added: "We won't go, we simply will not go. We will chain ourselves to whatever we can to stop the bailiffs.

"We've all experienced bailiffs before and are terrified of what they'll do. But sometimes you've got to stand up for yourselves."

As of this morning Basildon Council had not cut the electricity supply to the site. Residents had feared bailiffs would move in at first light but at 6.10am there was no sign of them.

Supporters closed the gate after 11pm yesterday and built a barricade behind it and parked a van to block the way.

Moveable barricades reinforced with tyres have been set up on roads within the site and barrels filled with concrete have been placed to provide protesters with points to tie themselves to.

An estimated 200 supporters and travellers remained.

Posters reading "Stop - this chalet has been sold and will be removed" have been placed in the windows of many of the chalets still on site.

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