Police launched a series of raids targeting Irish Travellers last week.
Veteran campaigner for Travellers’ rights Grattan Puxon was one of those raided. “It was completely out of the blue,” he told Socialist Worker. “Police turned up at my house at a quarter to six in the morning last Tuesday and just showed me a warrant.”
Grattan said that around 12 police officers searched his home for over seven hours. He said, “It was over the top. They took away three computers and three mobile phones.
“They took diaries, address books and documents.
“They also took a small amount of funding that was being used to help homeless Roma.”
Grattan is a high-profile supporter of Travellers at the Dale Farm site in Basildon, Essex. The council forcibly evicted Travellers there in October 2011.
Grattan hasn’t been charged with any offence.
“We’ve had messages of support from around the world,” he said. “People should complain to the Home Office.”
Police claim that the “Operation Elven” raids relate to thefts of Chinese artefacts and rhinoceros horn.
They also raided the Smithy Fen Traveller site in Cambridge and Dale Farm.
Activists from Cambridge Unite Against Fascism monitored the Smithy Fen raid. One said police “took everything—pictures, furniture, phones, kids phones, bank cards, benefit books”.