The Socialist

The Socialist 19 June 2019

Trade union action can end low pay

The Socialist issue 1047

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Orgreave injustice - 35th anniversary march and rally

Orgreave marchers, 15.6.19, photo by A Tice

Orgreave marchers, 15.6.19, photo by A Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Alistair Tice, Yorkshire Socialist Party secretary

The 35th anniversary of the "Battle of Orgreave" was marked on Saturday 15 June with the biggest turnout yet of around 500 demonstrators, on what has become an annual march for "Truth and Justice".

During the historic year-long miners' strike of 1984-85 to save pits, jobs and communities, the Orgreave coking plant just outside Rotherham/Sheffield was the scene on 18 June 1984 of an organised police riot against striking miners who were trying to stop lorries taking coke to the steelworks in Scunthorpe.

Police ambush

In what was a 'set up' on the day, 6,000 officers commanded by the now infamous South Yorkshire police subjected hundreds of striking miners to mounted charges.

Many pickets were hit, beaten and seriously injured by police on horses and on foot wielding their batons.

95 miners were arrested, and most prosecuted for the offence of riot, which carried a potential life sentence in prison. The police withdrew the prosecution 48 days into the trial, after a succession of police officers were accused of lying and presenting false evidence, including the forgery of a signature on a statement.

No inquiry was held, no police officer was ever disciplined for any offence, and no officer resigned.

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) began its campaign for a full public inquiry in 2012, since which successive Tory home secretaries have continued to protect the Thatcher Tory government and police from being exposed. In October 2016, Home Secretary Amber Rudd refused an inquiry because "nobody died"!

Well, as ex-miner John Dunn said at the rally on behalf of OTJC: "Thatcher is dead but we are still here and growing in numbers."

The Orgreave campaign has become a rallying point for some of the most combative sections of the trade union movement and has won a commitment that a future Jeremy Corbyn-led government will hold a full public inquiry.

In this issue

What we think

While the Tories elect a new leader - prepare action to remove the lot of them


Welsh government must block NHS privatisation or face workers' action

Council cuts continue while reserves rise

Cancer stats reveal deep inequality

Them & Us

Climate change

Stop climate change - fight for socialist change

What way forward to tackle climate change?

Workplace news

Trade union action can end low pay

Schools unions must turn anger into a fight against funding catastrophe

Unite must be at the head of fighting for a general election and against council cuts

South Western Railway staff strike for safety

Ford Bridgend workers vote to fight to save threatened plant

Bluestar bus drivers' strike over pay

East London bin workers call 12-day strike over wage grades

Swansea Parcelforce workers picket depot in support of victimised rep

Harrogate academy workers strike against closure

International socialist news and analysis

Chinese regime's puppet government in Hong Kong pushed back by mass protests

Sudan: The revolution under threat

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Angry Barking residents' meeting demands answers and action following fire

Orgreave injustice - 35th anniversary march and rally

Oppose big business's sphere of influence!

Young Socialists - re-establishing Rhondda's fighting traditions

North Shields: second march and rally to #SaveOurBridge

Newton Abbot says no to Tory privatisation of the NHS!

Worcester: Building on our successful library campaign


Defend free TV licences for over-75s!

The Socialist Inbox


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19 June 2019