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Villagers 'prepared to go to jail' over Meriden traveller camp

“WE’RE prepared to go to jail over this.”

WERE prepared to go to jail over this.

Those were the words of David McGrath, the leader of the group of residents who have vowed to keep up their protest against a travellers camp in Meriden until the bitter end.

Action-group Meriden RAID had hoped that Solihull Council would allow them leave to maintain their protest camp until March 2013.

This is the deadline agreed earlier this year for the the travellers to leave the adjacent greenbelt site and residents had lobbied the local authority for the same deal.

But their attempt was in vain and in a private session of last Wednesdays planning meeting, councillors instead took a step towards prosecuting the protesters.

Speaking to the Solihull News this week, a defiant Mr McGrath said that the group had no plans to pack-up.

Weve got elderly people here, in their 70s, 80s, people in wheelchairs and on crutches who are not prepared to leave until the travellers camp has gone.

It is disappointing that the council has decided to move towards prosecution for us, while allowing the gypsies to remain until next year.

We could receive fines of up to s50,000, imprisonment or see the bulldozers move in if the prosecution goes ahead.

Marilyn Crawley is among the RAID members, who have held their 24-hour vigil for every one of the 820 days since gypsies moved onto the Eaves Green Lane site.

We will go to prison if we have to, she said. We go when they go.

Solihull Councils solicitors will decide within the next ten days whether prosecuting the protesters is expedient and proportionate.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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