Thursday, 24 January 2013

1000 day for Meriden Protesters

January 24th 2013
Nikki Sinclaire MEP has spoken of praise and admiration for protest group as they mark their 1000 day of protest.
Meriden RAID (residents against inappropriate development) have held a non-stop vigil at their site on Eaves Green Lane in protest at an illegal traveller site in Meriden.
Nikki Sinclaire said, “The West Midlands is made up of a 5th of Greenbelt land and it is only right that people protect this. Human rights and the circular of 2006, created by New Labour and John Prescott, has given rise to special rights for travellers to develop on Greenbelt land, something that means they are given rights above those of a normal citizen.
These special rights have brought misery to the lives of the residents in the area.
I am so proud and privileged to be involved with this Meriden RAID group. This is Middle England standing up for itself. The people involved in the RAID protest camp have restored my faith in grass root politics and activism. When ordinary people speak, then politicians should listen. Over the time I have spent with this group, I have come to regard them as friends. I will continue the fight alongside them – they have not come this far for nothing”.
Despite record snowfalls & floods Meriden green belt protesters will have maintained their nonstop vigil to protest against an illegal traveller site for 1000 days on Thursday 24th of Jan 2013

Despite appalling conditions the protesters many in their 60s, 70's & 80's have toughed it out keeping warm under a thin sheet of plastic awning, with mugs of steaming tea and a wood burning brazier

Said Chairman of the protest Group RAID (Residents Against Inappropriate Development) Mr McGrath said 'Dale Farm showed us that we were in for long struggle but our resolve is strong. Some of our supporters have fought for their country and are now fighting for the countryside. We will not be bulldozed into submission & will continue our fight until the green belt is restored'

Gypsies moved 8 families in 17 caravans onto green belt land without planning permission in April 2010 causing uproar using bulldozers to excavate land illegally and fell trees. Since then the travellers have lost all of their bids for approval in fiercely contested battles with locals & the Council.

Despite signing a High Court backed agreement to leave the site by March 31st 2013 the travellers have launched 'Dale Farm style' legal aided funded bids to undo the agreement and remain on site

Mr McGrath said that although RAID support the need for more traveller accommodation it cannot be achieved through 'wild west style land grabs at hugely inappropriate locations'
RAID members have themselves faced prosecution and imprisonment for their illegal camp at a builders yard in Eaves Green Lane Meriden but said that 'there should be one rule for everyone. We go when they go'