Archive of ‘Orgreave’ category

Justice Conference with Andy Burnham

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) is attending a Justice Conference organised by Andy Burnham, Shadow Home Secretary, at Portcullis House, Westminster, Tuesday 9th February

There are still 8 places left on the free mini bus leaving the Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row, S1 at 9am on this date. We aim to get to our destination for 1pm and should return to Sheffield by about 8pm.  If you want to be part of this day please email Barbara at ogreavejustice@hotmail.com to reserve a place. Places will be on a first come basis and your commitment to be there must be a firm one.

 

Orgreave: justice fight goes on

Back support events call

Mark Metcalf, Friday, December 18th, 2015 – UniteLive

Unite has backed the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) since its inception over three years ago. One of the campaign stalwarts is Unite industrial organiser Joe Rollin from Barnsley.

Joe is now urging “trade unionists to back the events we are planning, which are intended to demonstrate to the home secretary Theresa May that there is popular support for a public inquiry or Hillsborough-style independent panel into events at Orgreave in 1984. ”

On Tuesday (December 15) the OTJC treasurer Chris Peace and Mike McColgan presented its 86-page legal submission to Theresa May. She had indicated her willingness to consider an inquiry request following widespread media coverage in June of the OTJC’s condemnation of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) decision not to conduct a full investigation.

The IPCC had taken over two-and-a-half years to conduct an initial investigation only to conclude that it didn’t have the resources to conduct a full-scale investigation. The police watchdog indicated that it had been unable to get to the truth as it could not locate a series of important documents, including the police operational orders that were drawn up in advance of June 18, 1984.

At the Battle of Orgreave that day, 95 miners were arrested after thousands of police officers – many in riot gear, with others on horseback – brutally assaulted miners participating in a year-long strike aimed at defending jobs and mining communities.

When the cases came to court they were all abandoned after the evidence by South Yorkshire Police (SYP) was heavily discredited and later the force made out of court settlements to 39 miners. Yet no police officers were ever charged of any offence despite clear evidence of assault, perjury, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public offence.

According to former printworker Joe this has left, “a legacy of mistrust within mining communities of the police and it is one of reasons I joined the OTJC.”

The OTJC legal submission has been prepared voluntarily by four barristers, including Michael Mansfield QC and Gareth Pierce, both of whom represented miners at the original trial.

“We have worked closely with the legal team and I’m very proud of everyone involved. There is some quite sensitive material within our submission but in addition to written testimonies we have also included lots of photographs to back up each section,” says Joe.

The submission was presented after the OTJC met with May in July. Joe says the meeting was “very positive. Now I hope the home secretary will see how strong the case is for either a public inquiry or an independent panel similar to one that investigated the Hillsborough disaster.”

Joe and the campaign won’t though be sitting waiting for May to contact them. “Ever since SYP referred themselves in November 2012 to the IPCC over Orgreave we have constantly sought to show that there is popular support for our cause.

“By adopting a very professional attitude we have won over many sections of the press, even those who aren’t on our side have adopted a position of respect, and the events we’ve organised have been well backed.

“Unite has supported the campaign and many Unite members have attended previous events. In the New Year we are planning some very imaginative events and we want them involved again. So watch this space because this important struggle continues.”

Get involved with the Orgreave justice campaign here

OTJC legal submission – Media round-up

Orgreave Truth & Justice Benefit Night

Saturday 23 January
Barnsley Civic, 4pm, £10

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign would like to thank local actor Danny Mellor for offering to perform his play ‘Undermined’ about the miners’ strike as a fund raiser for OTJC. We would like as many supporters as possible to come along to Barnsley Civic to be part of the experience of an interesting an thought provoking piece of entertainment and to show their continuing support for our aim…

“The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign seeking truth and justice for all miners victimised by the police at The Orgreave Coking Plant South Yorkshire, June 1984. Orgreave is part of the pattern of cover ups and lies by the police from the many different forces, which are now being exposed.

We call for a public inquiry to take place as soon as possible into the policing and subsequent statements recorded by the police at the time.

We want everyone who seeks truth and wants justice, to support us in our campaign.”

WBHH-and-Undermined-Nov-15

Undermined
A play performed by Danny Mellor

Inspired by the accounts of miners who lived through the strike, Undermined depicts a year where friendships were strengthened and communities came together. Experience the events through the eyes of young miner Dale, as he takes you through his personal story inviting you into the action. This oneman show explores the humour and struggles of the miners’ strike through energetic and gripping storytelling. Danny Mellor presents a youthful and contemporary approach to one of Britain’s most controversial disputes.

With banners held high
A film by Judi Alston

This documentary explores the resilience of miners and Women Against Pit Closures through their sense of humour, camaraderie and community spirit in the 1984/5 miners’ strike.

The ability to laugh and share funny moments or observations in times of adversity was important during the year-long strike. Their stories capture a legacy of contemporary history and offer a profound insight into the culture and heritage of the former coalfield communities.

Judi Alston, of One to One Development Trust, directed the film, which was commissioned for the ‘With Banners Held High’ event held in Wakefield on Saturday 7 March 2015.

Tickets are on sale now.

ORGREAVE TRUTH AND JUSTICE CAMPAIGN

31st anniversary rally at OLD BRIDGE, TOP END, just off Handsworth Road, S13 9NA on Thursday 18 June 2015 at 5.30pm

Press release – 16 June 2015
The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) is holding a rally at Orgreave on 18 June, the 31st anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave that took place during the year long miners’ strike in 1984-85.

Recollections of 18 June 1984 will be combined with an update on the struggle by the OTJC for a public inquiry.

Speakers to include:-

  • Tosh MacDonald – ASLEF President
  • Barbara Jackson – OTJC Secretary
  • Chris Skidmore – Yorkshire Area NUM President
  • Kevin Horne & Arthur Critchelow – miners arrested at Orgreave in 1984
  • Craig and Mick Oldham, who will be reading from ‘In Loving Memory of Work.’
  • Juztine Jenkinson – daughter of photographer Martin Jenkinson
95 miners were arrested at Orgreave after thousands of police officers – many in riot gear, with others on horseback – brutally assaulted miners participating in a strike aimed at defending jobs and mining communities. However when the subsequent court cases took place all of the charges – which included, in many cases, riot – were abandoned when it became clear that the police’s oral and written evidence was unreliable. Each prosecution had been supported by two police officers making near-identical statements. Later, South Yorkshire Police (SYP) paid out £425,000 in compensation to 39 pickets in out of court settlements. Nevertheless, no police officers were disciplined for misconduct or charged for the injuries they caused to those they attacked.It was in November 2012 that SYP – already under pressure following the release of the report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel that has led to fresh inquests into the death of 96 Liverpool fans – referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to decide whether there should be a full investigation into what happened at Orgreave on 18 June and in the earlier picketing at the plant in May/June 1984.

The IPCC took 2.5 years to conduct a scoping (initial investigation) but last week announced that due to the historical nature of the allegations it would not be conducting a full investigation. The IPCC had failed to locate a series of important documents including the policing operational orders drawn up for 18 June. The police watchdog’s report did though identify a cover up by SYP of malpractice it knew had taken place and largely conceded that only a public inquiry can eventually get to the truth.

OTJC was not surprised at the IPCC’s decision and is buoyed by the news that the Home Secretary Theresa May has subsequently stated she would consider any request to set up a public inquiry into Orgreave. OTJC is currently taking some legal advice about how best to proceed and meanwhile there are plans for a Parliamentary meeting with MPs. The struggle for a public inquiry will therefore be reaffirmed at the 31st anniversary rally this Thursday.

The rally at the Old Bridge, Top End, just off Handsworth Road, S13 9NA will commence at 5.30pm on Thursday 18 June.

For more details please contact:- Barbara Jackson on 0114 250 9510 or 07504 413829 or Mark Metcalf on 07952 801783 http://otjc.org.uk

Ex-miner speaks the truth

Ex miner, John Dunn speaks of his experiences 31 years ago at the press conference at the NUM’s headquarters in Barnsley. John’s words illustrate injustice and unlawful behaviour. Let’s hope his speech will help a little in the efforts to gain justice and truth for miners and their communities.

The fight continues

A gallery of images from yesterday’s press conference at the NUM in Barnsley, in response to the IPCC announcement that there will be no investigation into events at Orgreave during the Miners’ Strike.

No justice, no peace

This article by Hajera Blagg orginally appeared on UniteLive.

Chris Skidmore, Arthur Critchelow, Granville Williams and Joe Rollin with the IPCC report at yesterday's press conference.

Chris Skidmore, Arthur Critchelow, Granville Williams and Joe Rollin with the IPCC report at yesterday’s press conference.

Campaign group defiant as IPCC rules out Orgreave investigation.

Campaigners from the Orgreave Truth and Justice campaign (pictured) called a press conference today (June 12) in response to the announcement by the Independent Police Complaints Commission that it would not further investigate the brutal clash between South Yorkshire police and striking miners over 30 years ago.

Known as the Battle of Orgreave, the clash resulted in excessive police violence while picketing miners were attempting to prevent supplies leaving a coking plant in Rotherham.

Afterwards, police were accused of manipulating statements and providing false information in courts.

Today, the IPCC ruled out an inquiry into the police assaults on miners and the resulting fallout, because, it said, too much time had passed since the incident.

At the press conference, chaired by Unite organiser Joe Rollin, the Orgreave Truth and Justice campaign (OTJC) expressed their frustration but said they remained staid in their resolve to continue their fight for a full public inquiry.

“The fact that the IPCC, described – rightly in our view – by many prominent individuals as ‘not fit for purpose’, is stepping aside on Orgreave affairs will not therefore be deterring the OTJC from continuing its campaign,” the campaign group said in a statement. “OTJC notes that the IPCC itself recognises in its report the limitations of what the organisation can do and that only a Hillsborough style public inquiry can eventually get to the truth.

“The OTJC continues to gather increasing support from organisations and individuals for a full public inquiry into why it was that on 18 June 1984, 95 miners were arrested at Orgreave after thousands of police officers – many in riot gear, with others on horseback – brutally assaulted miners participating in a strike aimed at defending jobs and mining communities,” the OTJC noted.

The OTJC explained why a full public inquiry would be necessary in the search for justice.

“An inquiry will help reveal exactly why, when the subsequent court cases took place, all of the charges, including riot were abandoned. It must inevitably lead to two things.

“Some officers being charged with a series of offences – assault, perjury, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office. Secondly, a paper trail that would indicate that the actions of the police at Orgreave were influenced by political pressure from within the highest ranks of the government of the day,” the campaign group said.

A Home Secretary spokesperson responded to today’s news, saying that Home Secretary Theresa May “will consider any request that she receives to set up a public inquiry into Orgreave.”

1 2 3