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Monday 20th
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

Trade unionists renew call for full public inquiry

TRADE unionists made it loud and clear at the weekend that they’re not giving up their battle for justice for the miners beaten and stitched up at Orgreave.

More than 100 delegates to the Yorkshire and Humber TUC annual conference gave unanimous backing to a motion supporting the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) and its call for a full public inquiry.

Miners at the Orgreave coke plant in South Yorkshire were brutally attacked by 6,000 coppers on foot and horseback during a peaceful picket on June 18 1984 during the strike against pit closures.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd and predecessor Theresa May before her elevation to No 10 appeared to pledge a public inquiry, only to deny campaigners’ requests.

In Bradford, Granville Williams of the National Union of Journalists led the call for renewed backing of the campaign — which last Monday staged a 500-strong Make Some Noise For Orgreave demonstration outside the Home Office in London.

“OTJC has powered ahead in four years,” said Mr Williams.

“We harried the Independent Police Complaints Commission to investigate and do a report, which they did not want to do, but they did it and there were nuggets of information.

“We harried Theresa May and Amber Rudd for an inquiry. We were led up the garden path. They now have no alibi.

“When Amber Rudd refused an inquiry we called a press conference at the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) headquarters in Barnsley. All the national TV channels were there. That is how far we have come.

“Unions nationally and internationally are supporting us. We are absolutely focused on getting an inquiry. There is an urgency. Some of the miners who were arrested and beaten up are dead.”

NUM general secretary Chris Kitchen said: “We believe Orgreave was orchestrated at national level. We believe it was orchestrated from 10 Downing Street. I believe that is what they want to hide.”

Andy James of Unite-Ucatt said: “What happened at Orgreave was legalised state violence. The Tories have done everything they can to avoid an inquiry.”