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May given case for Orgreave inquiry

Campaigners present legal submission over police assault

DAMNING evidence was presented to the Home Office yesterday justifying calls for an inquiry into one of the 20th century’s most brutal acts of police violence against trade unionists — the Battle of Orgreave.
 
For three years the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign group (OTJC) has been amassing evidence and gathering testimonies which are included in a legal submission calling for an inquiry into the events of June 18 1984.
 
On that day, thousands of riot police attacked ranks of striking miners outside Orgreave coke depot near Rotherham, Yorkshire, as they were peacefully defending their jobs, pits and communities.
 
The Orgreave dossier included the work of a formidable legal team, comprising solicitor Gareth Pearce, Michael Mansfield QC and Henrietta Hill QC.
 
Campaigner Chris Peace, who presented the dossier, told the Star: “Obviously, they have not considered it yet.
 
“It’s a very substantial document which makes the case about what happened, evidence about the collapsed trials after Orgreave, the criminal compensation paid to miners, the fact that there were no prosecutions against police.”
 
The submission asks Home Secretary Theresa May to set up either an independent panel of inquiry into the violence at Orgreave, similar to the one that investigated the Hillsborough disaster, or a public inquiry.
 
The police attacks left hundreds of miners battered and bloodied, and 95 miners arrested, though prosecution cases against them were abandoned after police collusion in preparing evidence was discovered.
 
Public and Commercial Services union general secretary Mark Serwotka has written to Ms May supporting the inquiry call, arguing that there was an “overwhelming case for a rigorous, impartial and public inquiry.”
 
Solidarity group Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners also backs the call.

 

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