Tories in Essex have voted to spend up to £8 million evicting more than ninety Traveller families from a site at Dale Farm in Crays Hill.
The decision was made by Basildon Council on 14 March at a packed meeting, despite opposition from Labour and Lib Dem councillors.
There have been legal battles over the site since the first families occupied the area in 2001.
Opponents said the decision, which commits a third of the council's annual budget, could lead to more job cuts and make children and elderly people homeless.
Bailiffs will begin to clear the site after a 28-day legal order is imposed.
Police will also have to spend up to £10 million on an operation around the eviction.
This is a vicious attack on a well-established travelling community, fueled by prejudice. Against people who have nowhere else to go.
There are plans to set up Camp Constance — a camp of supporters of Dale Farm in resisting eviction — from 9 April.
If you can commit to helping with this, either as an organisation or an individual, whether for a stint at weekends or to be on call, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Expertise is needed particularly in legal observation and communications.
• See http://dalefarm.wordpress.com/contact for a map and directions to the site. There is also a Facebook group “Dale Farm Solidarity”.