It seems that today Dale Farm had reached its D Day.
Having fought long and hard to remain on the site the residents were facing eviction. Although the travellers campsite was legal the growth of the campsite onto illegal areas has caused the current problems. Many of the families have lived there ten years and some have built permanent residencies. As is so often the case it is easy to see both sides.
One thing was for sure this morning and that was that it looked a little scary. Imagining young children caught up in today's events was worrying.
The police presence was said to be "just in case" things got out of hand. The bailiffs were to carry out the job in hand and only utilise the police if necessary. Inside the camp the residents were making last ditch efforts to protect what was theirs and maintain Dale Farm. It was a losing battle.
As usual both sides have their own slant on the day's events.
The police claim that reports of stockpiles of potentially dangerous items had prompted their early and heavy response. The travellers claim that unnecessary inuries and violence occurred. A police official said, "Our objective was to secure the site and make it safe so that clearances could begin. An inquiry will be carried out later in to any reports of use of excessive force."
Amidst all the claims and counter claims the site is continuing to be cleared. More arrests and injuries have followed.
A female resident told the media, "This is being led by the police, there is no sign of bailiffs." Another said, "The memory of Dale Farm will weigh heavily on Britain for generations - we are being dragged out of the only homes we have in this world. Our entire community is being ripped apart by Basildon Council and the politicians in government."