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Please Support These English Gypsies in Their Time of Need!


"Hi we are Gypsies living in Bedfordshire. We are on a private site owned by 27 separate families.  We are battling with the local council for the right to live here. The council are trying to have us removed.  They are having a meeting on the 12th of this month (July). they plan to spend 180 thousand pounds of the tax payers money to a private firm to evict us.  We would appreciate any support you can give us ." (sent 9 July 2001, this is in the UK - FOC)

I'm writing to say that we lost and the council have got the money they requested, but we have challenged them to the high court, if you have any help or advice for us please get in contact with us as we are all feeling down at the moment. Sincerely Clifford Codona and  all the residents of Hatch. 12 July 2001.

(FOC) Please write in support immediately!  Bedfordshire Email addresses are found here.  The Bedfordshire web site can be found here.  Please contact all government personnel, and perhaps Prime Minister Tony Blair himself, and inundate them with requests for reasonableness on this issue and a reversal of this action. (please make suggestions to the webmaster for how to suggest help to them).  Woodside is kept clean and neat, and these people have not caused any problems with the non-Gypsy residents.  This action is uncivilized!

Please write to these English in Bedfordshire and offer words of support.  They are fighting an unjust system, and could use words of encouragement.

Read on line newspaper articles about this plight here. Go to search, and input Woodside

Please write in support!!
Please write immediately to the newspaper in support of the article to in the Sunday  29 July 2001 edition.  We especially need those from around the globe to write in support.  Please send a copy to  Clifford Codona.

Laments
The Future of Woodside A PLACE CALLED HOME People of Woodside

I am writing this letter for the younger generation of Woodside Park, they are the children of the Gypsies of Woodside Park, these after all are the future of Woodside.

When I look down on and up to a few children's faces, I see the reason why we are fighting so hard for this patch of land we call home, it is after all their future too, a place for them to come back to when they have travelled around and want to stay for a while.

They are children of various ages who are being brought up to the Gypsy way of life, you may wonder and think what that is, well for these children it is part of there day to day life, one they inherit from birth from their parents, and grandparents, so on and so on, not a disease as mid beds council would have you think, to be got rid of by making them homeless.

The children live on the site with their parents and are brought up as children should be brought up, to respect their elders and each other, they go to local schools, visit the local, cinema on treats, and the older ones have jobs locally, and like all children they love a trip to McDonalds, not so different to children all over the world, it is just they are Gypsy children.

The Gypsy race is looked upon with mistrust and ignorance of the unknown, by society and in particular mid beds council, who have neither wanted to or tried to get to know or understand, this race of people and particularly there ethnic way of lifestyle, maybe if they did then planners could come to a discussion that would be acceptable to both sides.

A Gypsy child's father goes out to work the same as most other any children's father, a Gypsy child's mother will stay at home to care for them like most over children's, not a lot of difference there, the pre school Gypsy children will go out side to play, and yes it is, bikes, swings, toy cars, dolls prams, may be even a paddling pool if the weather is warm enough.

The older ones go to school in the local area, when they are teenagers the boys will go out with their fathers to learn how to provide for their families when they are adults, the girls will stay at home and learn how to look after and raise a family, it is not so different.

What I am trying to explain to you is these are just innocent children, who look to their parents for protection until they are adults their self, so how can a heartless council seek to persecute them and their families, by constantly turning down every single planning application that their families send in to them.

Can they not see there homes and family life is threatened by the councils actions, the children ask daily if they will still have a school to go back to in September, little ones ask what will become of their dolls houses that are standing in their gardens, [yes we at Woodside have gardens too] we plant flowers and mow lawns, the children have picnics and tea partys in there gardens, babes are put outside in their prams.

Looking in from the outside you would think they never had a care in the world, but you could not be more wrong, for they live with a sentence hanging over their heads, and never far away is the fear that all of this will be torn from them and trampled on and destroyed by the council if they have their way and bring in contractors to remove them and their families.

What do mid beds council want from us, our life's blood as well?  Their hearts must be made of stone, their ears closed to our cries, their eyes shut to our problems, and these are supposed to be people that have been elected to sit in a position of trust, for all of mankind, surely this includes the Gypsy people as well does it not, and more importantly the Gypsy children.

I wonder do the good people of society really know what the council have intended for the Gypsies and there families, well I will explain it to you, if the council win they will arrive on site and demand the Gypsies leave their land and everything they have worked for if they do not they will then proceed to try and forcibly remove us with no thoughts to the children, and their needs.  Surely little children should not have to witness this kind of pregidism and hatred, so early on in there life span, this sort of action will surely only instill more fear and distrust in their life and in these children's life they have had to endure more than their fair share of that already.

The council will bring with them outside contractors, who are nothing more than legalised henchmen, who will have no thoughts but that what they are being paid to do and that is to remove us no matter what, or who is trampled by the wayside.

Little children will see their parent's belongings and homes ripped out from under them and placed in a compound, their dolls houses and children's playground will be torn up and taken away, mothers will be frantic with worry and fathers will be powerless to protect their families from these so called people who are employed by the government and paid for with the tax payers hard earned money.

Surely we should be left to bring up our children in peace and the tax payers money spent on something that will help people and not to destroy them, because if the council have their way these children's homes and futures will be destroyed, we are desperate people living in desperate times, with only the black cloud of mid beds council hanging over us and we need help to bring our children out into the sunshine once again, because has a flower needs light to grow and flourish then so does our children, so please help us to remove this black cloud called mid beds council from our horizon, and help us to secure our children's future by giving them the right to live in peace.  These Gypsy children need your help to keep something that most children take for granted that is a home, for these children are our future race and it is our job to protect them, without them there is no future, what then will become of the Gypsy race of people.

from Janie Codona on behalf of the children and future of Woodside Park., 16 July 2001

Copyright ©2001, Janie Codona

We are a group of people who just want to make a home,

who   would be happy and content if we were only left alone,

And to the local people we bode no ill will or thoughts of harm,

we wish only to live with one another in peace and in calm.

We hold in our hands no weapons. only the branch of an olive tree,

and in our hearts no malice towards the local community,

Were just a group of people of the Gypsy race,

its just our lifestyle is different surely in this there's no disgrace,

we are a proud and honourable people of this you must believe,

it is only to make a home we struggle to achieve.

and to the local people we ask you meet us half way,

please try and get to know us because it is here we intend to stay.

Of no crimes we are guilty, only a Gypsy be,

and this we inherit from our family tree,

so please leave us alone for our lives to live,

for if being a Gypsy is considered a crime, surely then this is a small sin to forgive,

so please we beseech you to leave us alone

on this place you call Woodside, but that which we all call Home.

Janie.

Copyright ©2001, Janie Codona


IS ANYONE OUT THERE?

Is anyone out there, can they hear our prayer, 

the council are around us and prepare to seal our fate,

they gather up their forces and to our home do congregate.

They bring with them strong men and monster of machines, 

to tear down our possessions and shatter all our dreams, 

what did we do to deserve this but buy a piece of ground,

somewhere for us to come home to when we want a rest from moving around.

We are all Gypsies from an ethnic race, 

who are persecuted by society and looked on in distaste, 

the council they are strong and high in numbers be,

they try to take our right to be allowed to roam free.

They threaten us with eviction from our own land, 

we Gypsies band together determined to make a stand, 

our courage knows no bounds, our strength we draw from within, 

we stand forward together so let the battle begin, 

because if we lose the mighty price we pay, 

is to be made homeless with no where for us to stay.

Is anybody out there does anybody care?

Copyright ©2001, Janie Codona

 

As daylight dawns on Woodside, the stir of life begins, and with it returns the fear that is never far from the minds of the people on Woodside park, and that fear is that they could be turned from there homes, to go they do not know where, for the people of Woodside have nowhere to go to.

They have invested all their time and there money into making a home for their self, somewhere to raise there families in a quiet and peaceful environment, they are honest and law abiding people who want only to make a life for their families and a base where they can leave to go travelling and return to when they want to rest.

This does not sound too much to ask, but to ask this of Mid Beds Council it seems is to much, we ask not for money to develop the site, only permission to do so, if granted this permission we will spend our own time and money on making our home a better place to live.

Surely a site owned by Gypsies and run by Gypsies, is better than one owned, and run by the council, for who better to see problems and to resolve them on Gypsy sites, than the Gypsies themselves, because by owning the site they also undertake to see to the running of the site and any problems that may arise from the day to day living.

As Gypsies we know how our people think and how best to deal with them and are there fore best equipped for the task, something no council site can offer.

The council will not listen to us and try ever harder to remove us from our homes, to put us we do not know where, for they have nowhere for us and want only to chase us into the next county, and so achieve only to rid Mid Beds of a problem, but perhaps create one for the next council, surely this is not the answer to the problem is it, they would like nothing better than to close their eyes to the problem, instead of trying to solve it, we offer them a solution by letting us live on and run our own home, the council would have to spend neither time or money on its upkeep.

The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, could see this as a solution to solving the problem with Gypsies, and Gypsy sites, so why not Mid Beds Council, this would then put an end to this battle between the Council and the families of Woodside, something everyone wants, especially the people of Woodside, we wish only to be left in peace, to bring up our children and give them a better environment to live in, where they can attend school, or receive help with schooling and the adults can perhaps get help as well, by taking advantage of what ever is on offer in the way of adult education.

Who knows better than the Gypsies themselves, how important being able to read and write will be, to the future generation of Gypsies, we have struggled in the dark for long enough by not being able to read and write, because of always having to move constantly, and never having anywhere to stay long enough to be able to give our children the chance to learn, well we the Gypsies of Woodside have put our children first, by fighting to make this a home for them so they can have the opportunity to do so and so for this reason we battle to stay, our children's welfare depend on the outcome, and so we must not fail them, for to do so would mean the beginning of the ending of the Gypsies, not only on Woodside but everywhere, so Mid Beds please accept us and leave us to live in peace.

Yours in anticipation for and on behalf of the People of Woodside, Janie Codona.

Copyright ©2001, Janie Codona

I have edited these slightly.  All distortions from my editing reside with me alone.

These residents of Hatch have formed NTAG (National Travellers Action Group)

Please contact Clifford Codona


American Roma Home Page

American Roma and Travellers Home Page

SCGenWeb Home Page


Anyone with information please contact me.

References

Copyright ©2001, Clifford and Janie Codona, Bedfordshire, UK. These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy. However, this document is copyrighted and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same.