Dale Farm is the largest Romany Gypsy and Irish Traveller site in the UK, and part of it is due for demolition.
A number of Gypsies and Travellers have lived at Dale Farm entirely legally since the 1960s. Over the years, more families came to join them after councils began shutting down public sites and Travellers were forced to look for permanent places to settle.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday (28 July) announced his government is to order police to round up allegedly illegal migrants of Roma ethnicity for expulsion from French territory and destroy their encampments.
The announcement was the result of a cabinet meeting dedicated to the subject called after officers shot and killed a gypsy youth in the Loire Valley, provoking a riot by others of his community.