Bristol: urgent call for support to resist site eviction

Freedom received the following call-out from the people living in the Picton Lane site in Bristol. If you are able, support them tomorrow, 9th November, in resisting illegal eviction. Pass it on.

We are a group of travellers & friends currently residing on a site in Picton Lane, Montpelier, Bristol, in caravans. Just one day into the second lockdown, we were given a notice to leave by tomorrow morning, 7am by Andrew Wilson & Co bailiffs. The notice was NOT a court order and even included a spelling mistake.

The owner of the land we are on has been applying for permission to build apartment & offices there for years, with applications going back to 2017. We are sure these would not be affordable flats and locals oppose them. All of these applications have been rejected. The land has been staying empty for years, excluding another group of vehicle dwellers who were evicted about 18 months ago.

The current government lockdown guidelines state that evictions mustn’t happen unless it is a case of “emergency”. We don’t think this situation is an emergency at all. No planning permission has been accepted and we have just started a second lockdown. Criminal cases fall under “emergency” in these guidelines, however, this is a civil matter.

We seek support on the day, 7am and earlier, as we expect the bailiffs to be aggressive. We feel we must resist and that our demands should be met: 1. To have contact with the owner 2. To be allowed to remain until the end of lockdown and 3. If an eviction must happen, we want it to be done via proper means aka via a court order.