Families from the Dale Farm traveller site in Basildon, Essex, face eviction today after lawyers failed in a last-ditch attempt at the High Court to prevent their removal.
Residents now facing eviction include severely ill traveller Mary Flynn, 72, who applied for an injunction at the High Court to prevent her and other residents from being thrown out of their homes at Britain's largest traveller site.
Mother of two Mary O'Brien, who has lived on the site for 10 years, said: "If they come in with bulldozers we will put up a fight.
"We are part of the community and we do no harm but there is a small element which is determined to see the back of us.
"Why should we just stand by and see our homes destroyed? All this will do is move us 50 yards down the road and it will be a huge waste of public money."
Families at the former scrapyard own their land but many do not have planning permission despite repeated applications.
Essex Police and Basildon council are prepared for a major operation after eviction notices were served on 52 unauthorised plots on the green belt portion of the site following a decade-long planning row.
The deadline to leave voluntarily expired on Tuesday night and a forced eviction is expected to follow soon.
The travellers said that they will move at their own cost should Basildon Council grant them planning permission on other brown-field sites, but claimed the council refused this proposal.
Actor and human rights campaigner Vanessa Redgrave also visited the site and warned that "lives will be ruined" if the planned eviction goes ahead.
"The whole situation is really about planning - there's no crime that has been committed," she said.
"Evicting these families would be totally unreasonable and irresponsible. The council has said there are no alternatives but there are alternatives."
Basildon council said that Ms Redgrave's visit changed nothing and negotiations were still ongoing to find a solution.
But it gave a legal undertaking to review fresh medical evidence relating to Ms Flynn before proceeding against her.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "The British courts have found that the developments at Dale Farm are in breach of planning law and Basildon Council is within its rights to evict travellers from the site."