"WE WON'T GO", proclaims a banner at Dale Farm, one of the largest encampments of gypsies and travellers in England. Half of those living on the Essex site—around 50 families—face eviction by the local council, Basildon. Its leader, Tony Ball, has staked his reputation on removing them. Travellers at nearby Hovefields could also be evicted within weeks.

“我们不会走”,这是挂在Dale Farm的一条横幅——Dale Farm是英格兰几大吉普赛人和流浪者的宿营地之一。半数住在Essex地区的人(大约50户人家)面临Basildon当地议会的驱逐令。议会领袖Tony Ball早已用名誉保证会赶走他们。而Hovefields邻近地区的流浪者也会在数周内遭驱逐。

Dale Farm has become an iconic battle in a long and bitter conflict. Gypsies (of Roma descent) and travellers (often of Irish extraction) arrived at the former scrapyard over 40 years ago. More flocked in a decade ago, buying protected greenbelt land and applying for retrospective permission to live there. Around 40 families are legal; the rest are not. Violence is expected during the eviction, and the local Catholic church has offered to shelter the vulnerable.

Dale Farm只是一场持久辛酸斗争中的一幕。吉普赛人(罗马后裔)和流浪者(通常是爱尔兰血统)40年以前来到这块曾今的垃圾场,如今大多数人是在10年前成群到来:他们购买受保护的绿带2土地,然后申请有追溯力的居住许可。大约40户家庭属于合法居住,其他人都是非法的。预计驱逐中会发生暴力冲突,当地天主教堂已经向弱势群体提供避难所。

The site looks scruffier than it did four years ago, when this correspondent last visited it. Litter drifts around empty pitches, wasps hover near overflowing bins and dogs bark outside each embattled caravan. But indoors the homes are spotless. Mary- Ann McCarthy, who keeps one of them, is depressed. Glancing at a statue of the Virgin Mary, she says, “They call us nasty thieving gypsies but we are Christian folk. They want to destroy our way of life. Everyone has rights, except for us.” She has been offered a small bedsit, but wants to be near her five daughters and 21 grandchildren, who visit her every day.

这里比四年前记者最后一次采访时更肮脏了:空旷场地上垃圾随风飘动,满溢的垃圾箱上黄蜂轻轻盘旋,严阵以待的吉普赛篷车外狗在吠叫。但是屋子里面却一尘不染。Mary-Ann McCarthy是某间屋子的主人,注视着圣母玛利亚的画像,她语气消沉:“他们叫我们‘下流偷窃的吉普赛人’,但我们都是基督信徒啊。可他们想要毁掉我们的生活方式。除了我们,每个人都有正当权利。”虽然分得一间一室户的房子,她还是希望能够住在五个女儿及21个孙儿附近——即使他们常常来看她。

The issue of how and where travellers are to live has come to a crisis point, and not only at Dale Farm. The previous, Labour government required local authorities to find land for them and offered £150m ($235m) over five years to pay for it. But progress was slow, not least because many residents objected to new sites. The Equality and Human Rights Commission reported last year that councils would need to double their speed to meet the target of 5,733 extra pitches in England by 2011.

流浪者如何生活、何处定居早已是一个尖锐的问题,Dale Farm并不是特例。前工党政府曾要求当地机构为其提供土地,政府会为土地提供一笔五年内支付的1.5亿英镑(2.35亿美元)补偿。但此进程缓慢,尤其因为许多当地居民反对建立新定居点。去年平等和人权委员会报道称,各地议会要速度加倍,在2011年以前实现在英格兰地区建立5773个额外定居点的目标。

This sluggishness has left about a fifth of all gypsies and travellers with nowhere legal to live. Many have taken matters into their own hands, including some in the village of Meriden, in Warwickshire.

迟缓的行动已经造成吉普赛人和流浪者总数的1/5失去合法住所。许多无家可归者只好背上所有家产,包括Warwickshire郡Meriden村的一些居民。

As at Dale Farm, a group of gypsies bought greenbelt land and moved on to it in May, applying only after that for permission to set up their caravans there. The villagers mounted a 24-hour blockade to prevent the gypsies from bringing building supplies into the field (the courts later forced them to allow sewerage works).

类似Dale Farm,一群吉普赛人5月份购买并迁入Meriden的绿带土地,此后才申请建立宿营区。当地村民为了阻止吉普赛人将建筑材料搬入这块土地,实行24小时封锁(稍后法院强迫村民同意排污系统施工)。

David McGrath, who speaks for the Meriden campaigners, says the gypsies have damaged a “designated wildlife site” in a precious “green lung”. “We are sympathetic,” he says, “but the gypsy and traveller community, fundamentally, are… adopting a cavalier approach to development. What they are doing is unethical and inappropriate.” The gypsies, who have lost the latest legal round in the fight to stay, say they have nowhere else to go.

代表Meriden反对运动参与者发言的David McGrath指出这些吉普赛人毁掉了曾今“绿色之肺”的“预留野生动物区”。“我们富有同情心,”他说,“但吉普赛和流浪者团体根本就对地区发展漫不经心。他们的所作所为毫无道德而且不可理喻。”而流浪者在争取留下的最后司法战役落败,也宣称无处可归。

They also have fewer friends in high places these days. The new government has taken a robust line, withdrawing funding for new sites, scrapping targets and considering limits on retrospective permission. Eric Pickles, the secretary for communities and local government, brands the previous policy a “failure”. He plans to offer local areas financial incentives to create new sites. But new legislation to promote localism is likely to strengthen the hand of residents who resist them.

而且他们在现在的高层建筑朋友更少。新政府执行的是强有力的政策:撤掉新定居点建设资金、取消相应计划并酌情减少可追溯性许可证发放。Eric Pickles是现任社区和地区政府大臣,他指责之前的政策是“垃圾”。他计划为地方提供财政刺激,以建立新居民区。但是推行当地化的新立法似乎会强化本地居民的力量,而他们恰好反对建立新区。

Grattan Puxon of the Gypsy Council says his members feel “under great pressure now” in Britain and abroad. The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has ordered the expulsion from France of all illegal gypsy immigrants, sparking a big eviction and a riot.

吉普赛议会的Grattan Puxon表示所有成员都感到在英国和海外“现在处于极大压力下”。法国总统尼古拉斯·萨科奇(Nicolas Sarkozy)已经命令所有非法吉普赛移民离开法国,这导致“大驱逐运动”(big eviction)及暴力抵抗。

In Basildon Mr Ball says that he sympathises with the gypsies but all avenues except eviction have been exhausted. The council has offered “bricks and mortar” accommodation to all those it is obliged to house, he says. When asked where the gypsies are to go if they turn that down, he remarks that “they came from somewhere. One has to draw the line at some point. All our authorised sites are full up.” After the eviction, he says, the encampment might well become allotments.

Basildon的Ball先生指出,他同情吉普赛人的境遇,但除了驱逐,其他方法已经用尽。对于所有不得不提供住房的人,当地议会已经为其供应“砖瓦”住所。当问及如果吉普赛人拒绝入住将何去何从时,他强调“他们来自某些地方,总得有人定个底线。而且我们所有授权点都满住了。”驱逐运动之后,他补充道,宿营地会妥善处理成副业生产地。

1. 戴尔农场(Dale Farm),或戴尔公司是埃塞克斯郡(Essex)克莱斯山区(Crays Hill)奥克街道(Oak Lane)上爱尔兰流浪者定居点的一部分,建立在一个废弃的垃圾场上,住着超过1000人。这里是英国最大的流浪者定居点,而且一直有对其合法性的争论。这块地被流浪者所有,但自从那时就被重新划分为绿化带

2.绿 带 (greenbelt)指围绕城市,由园林和农田等组成的带状地区。一般由官方机构规定,用以限制城市的扩展,防止人口稠密的建成区之间连成一片