Monday, April 11, 2005
Keith Vaz and travellers
I am saddened and disturbed by the vitriolic hatred directed at travelling communities within the city and county of Leicestershire.There is lots in the papers about travellers recently. There have been some high profile encampments and evictions in Leicestershire and the death of a leading member of the community shortly after having been released from police custody, Travellers' leader dies after raids. We have riotous council meetings in Groby (Villagers want action over travellers' camp), lots of action in Market Harborough (Police arrest 11 in early morning raids) where there are vehicles and assorted items that have been seized because they may or may not have been stolen or bought with the proceeds of crime (Police display vehicles seized in series of raids).
In a fair and democratic society, the voices of those involved, both for and against, must be heard before one can possibly form an opinion. This democratic right was denied to the travellers' spokespersons at the community meeting in Groby. They were shamefully heckled and jeered.
To the prominent MP who stormed the Hamilton encampment, I would like to inform him that the travelling community are categorised as a minority group and as such are entitled to the same courtesy and dignity afforded to other minorities.
A Brinnall, Beaumont Leys.
It's a mess. And a disgrace.