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Orgreave truth and justice campaign and the call for a public inquiry is backed by Usdaw delegates

Date: 04 May 2022 Usdaw’s Annual Delegate Meeting at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens has today backed the call for a public inquiry into the events at Orgreave during the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike.
Addressing annual conference delegates, Dave McCrossen – Usdaw Deputy General Secretary said: “This year marks 38 years since the brutal events at Orgreave Coking Plant near Rotherham. The National Union of Mineworkers were three months into their year-long dispute. They had planned to mass picket the Coking Plant, to restrict the flow of coal going in and coke coming out. Police flooded the area. Unusually, they escorted miners into a field adjacent to the Plant. On the orders of the State, the scene was set for a planned, strategic attack by the police on NUM members.
“Those striking miners were simply trying to save their jobs and communities. They were charged at, bludgeoned by police in riot gear and truncheons, stampeded with horses and herded by dogs. Many of the miners were left with physical and psychological problems that exist to this day. Many lost their jobs and their marriages and all of them were left with a sense of grievance at their unjust treatment that haunts them even today.
“Incredibly, the incident led to the prosecution of 55 miners, who were arrested and charged with riot. During the trials it became clear that police evidence was, at best, unreliable. The trial rightly collapsed and all charges against the miners were dropped. There may not have been any convictions, but this was still a serious miscarriage of justice and it has never been adequately addressed.
“There has been no investigation into the actions of the Police for assaulting, wrongly arresting and falsely prosecuting so many trade unionists. No police officer has been charged for assault, or for lying in evidence. It is essential that the truth is established and that the police are brought to account.
“The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign is important. Not only in fighting for justice for the Orgreave miners, but in standing up for the right to protest, today and tomorrow. It is important to remember that the police force in question here is South Yorkshire. That is the same force that denied responsibility for the deaths of 97 Liverpool fans who went to a football match just 5 years after Orgreave. So we offer our solidarity and support for a long-awaited inquiry.
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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