Posted by: vickim57 | 27 November 2009

How the camp was evicted

Reports from VentnorBlog

Author: Sal of Ventnor Blog

Vestas Protest: Noon Deadline For Eviction

Friday, 27th November, 2009 at 11:43 am, Isle of Wight

On a very cold and windy morning in Newport, bailiffs have arrived at the Vestas roundabout.

After a short discussion, the occupiers informed the bailiffs that it would take several hours for them to remove all their belongings, however, the bailiffs have advised the occupiers, two of which are ex-Vestas workers that they have until noon to clear the area.

Given that the four month old makeshift camp is very equipped with a large tent housing a lounge with sofas, tables, book shelves etc, as well as a separate tent with a kitchen area and around four other tents in which the occupiers have been sleeping, we can understand how it will take longer to clear than an hour.

The roundabout also sports several vegetable patches with food growing in them and a couple of solar panels that have been used to provide light and power for electrical equipment.

The two bailiffs arrived in a SUV, but at least three other large vans have arrived, all carrying beefy looking guys who are watching on from a distance.

Attempts are being made by the occupiers to start clearing the space, but it is obvious to everyone here that they will not be complete by midday.

The mobile police unit has just arrived and the press officer and a handful of other police officers are also in attendance.

We’ll keep you informed as to what happens, when it happens.

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Author: Sal of Ventnor Blog

Vesta Protest: Peaceful Eviction Concludes

Friday, 27th November, 2009 at 2:25 pm, Isle of Wight

As we left the Vestas Roundabout, the eviction of protesters who had set up camp four months ago was almost complete.

Following the arrival of bailiffs at just before 11am, occupiers were left to hastily pack away their belongings. Sometime after midday, bailiffs got their gloves on and started removing items and placing them at the side of the road.

Tents and belongings not already moved by the occupiers were recorded being removed by bailiffs, folded up and packed away into black bags.

Nearly gagged

A short while into the eviction process, we and the other media (photographer from the CP and Emma Filo from IW Radio) were told that we had to leave the site. The bailiffs stated they were within their rights to remove us under the high court writ, as it was designated to persons unknown and their jobs was to remove all people from the site.

We weren’t happy about having to leave and managed to convince the bailiff that he should allow the press to stay and report the eviction as the story has been in the public interest for over four months. Eventually he agreed and we were all able to continue with our reporting.

One arrest

Marina Pepper, one of the main spokespeople of the campaign was arrested for obstruction and left peacefully with police, but only after making a sprint around the roundabout for her kettle (pics to follow).

Dave Arbothnutt (Arbo) had climbed onto the roof of the kitchen structure in a final attempt to protest against the eviction. He sat on the roof for some time before the police advised him that he would be arrested for obstruction if he did not come down, after bailiffs failed in convincing him to do so. He decided to retreat and set about packing away his belongings.

Peaceful and good natured

The eviction was good natured and went off very peacefully. Occupiers of the roundabout complied with the request and managed to pack away tents etc in the intermittent strong winds and rain.

As we left there was just the kitchen structure left to be dismantled, which we assume will be piled at the side of the road along with many of the other items.

This may be the end of a chapter for many, but the Vestas’ workers who have still not received their redundancy pay because they protested about losing their jobs, will continue fighting for what they believe is rightfully theirs.

There’ll be interviews, photos and videos to follow.


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