Socialist Worker

Rally demands justice for Orgreave

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2509

Campaigners rally in Orgreave

Campaigners rally in Orgreave (Pic: Socialist Wroker)


Ex-miners, trade unionists and campaigners gathered at Orgreave in Sheffield last Saturday to remember the Battle of Orgreave.

More than 100 people joined a rally and march to mark the 32nd anniversary of the battle, when police attacked striking miners picketing a coking plant at Orgreave. The protest was called by the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.

Protesters demanded an inquiry into policing at Orgreave and afterwards, when cops tried to frame miners for riot.

Terry Dunn was a striking miner picketing on the day.

He was sent to hospital with broken ribs after police and horses attacked.

He told Socialist Worker, “I was shocked at the amount of violence—the dogs and the horses. They weren’t just walking, they were charging at you.

“They shepherded us in, there’s no two ways about it. It was the 100th day of the strike. They wanted us there for that day to break it.

“We’re still here and we’re going to get an inquiry hopefully. South Yorkshire Police need to be exposed for their lies.”

Wrongful

Andy Summer was also at Orgreave. “South Yorkshire Police are responsible for wrongful arrest and mass affray at Orgreave,” he told Socialist Worker.

“The corruption within the force needs examining.”

The rally held a minute’s silence to remember Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in Birstall, West Yorkshire, last week.

The rally’s chair said campaigners “stand in solidarity with the tradition of anti-fascism that goes right back to Cable Street.”

Bfawu union president Ian Hodson said Orgreave was “unfinished business.”

“What’s happened since is only proof that this was about the determination of the state to attack working people,” he said.

Like many at the rally, Hodson said the recent inquests into those who died in the Hillsborough disaster gave hope that Orgreave could be re-examined.

Hillsborough campaigner Margaret Aspinall spoke to the rally. “It took us 27 years to get where we are, but we got where we are because of unity,” she said.

“They will do their best to wear you down. Please do not give up.”

Lawyer Gareth Peirce, who supported miners in the aftermath of Orgreave, sent a message to the rally.

She described the “wanton brutality” of police who saw miners as the “enemy within”.

“It was a miracle that nobody died that day,” the message said.

Activists from the Rotherham 12 Defence Campaign, for people arrested on an anti-fascist protest, joined the march.

Abrar Javid, one of the 12, told Socialist Worker, “We’re here because we believe that the working class should not tolerate being subdued and treated like second class citizens by the establishment.”

For further information go to otjc.org.uk

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