Tag: IPCC

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.”

THE FIGHT FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE GOES ON

PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY AND ADVANCED OTJC STATEMENT ON IPCC’S DECISIONS NOT TO INVESTIGATE EVENTS AT ORGREAVE IN JUNE 1984

Following today’s (Friday 12 June) announcement by the IPCC the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) and the NUM will be hosting an open press conference at noon in the NUM main hall at 2 Huddersfield Road, Barnsley S70 2LS.

Press and public all welcome. Light refreshments available. Members of the audience will include miners present at Orgreave on 18 June 1984. They will be available to answer press questions afterwards.The following will each make a short speech at the press conference and after which there will be an opportunity to ask questions. PRIORITY will be given to questions from members of the press, who should identify themselves to Mark Metcalf  (07952 801783) by signing the press entrance form that will be available at the entry to the main hall.

Chris Skidmore – Yorkshire Area NUM president , who was present at Orgreave in June 1984
Granville Williams – OTJC
Arthur Critchelow – Orgreave veteran
The conference will be chaired by OTJC chair Joe Rollin.

There will be regular updates on twitter at @orgreavejustice

There will also be photographs of the event on the OTJC Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OrgreaveTruthAndJusticeCampaign

In advance of the press conference the OTJC has issued the following statement:-

Whilst disappointed, OTJC members are not surprised that the IPCC will not be conducting a full investigation into policing at  Orgreave on 18 June 1984. It was back in November 2012 that South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the IPCC, which ever since has acted slowly and conducted little independent work in assembling and collating information.

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. 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.

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 FIGHT FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE GOES ON. Come to the 31st anniversary rally on Thursday 18th June at 5.30pm at Orgreave.

Press enquires to Mark Metcalf
07952 801783
@markmetcalf07

Orgreave IPCC Announcement

The IPCC will publicly announce whether it will be conducting an investigation into events at Orgreave in 1984 at 0.01am on Friday 12 June.At 12 noon of that day the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and the NUM will be hosting an open press conference in the NUM offices at 2 Huddersfield Road, Barnsley S70 2LS.

The press and public are invited to attend this conference and there will be light refreshments available. Members of the audience will include miners present at Orgreave on 18 June 1984. They will be available to answer press questions afterwards.

The following will each make a short speech at the press conference and after which there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Priority will be given to questions from members of the press, who should identify themselves to Mark Metcalf (07952 801783) by signing the press entrance form that will be available at the entry to the main hall.

Chris Skidmore – Yorkshire Area NUM president and Orgreave veteran
Granville Williams – OTJC secretary
Kevin Horne – Orgreave veteran
The conference will be chaired by OTJC chair Joe Rollin.

Light refreshments available we encourage as many of our supporters to attend this event.

Keeping up the pressure on the IPCC

Unite Community members along with other trade unionists, marched with the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, on the IPCC offices in Holborn to “express anger and dismay” that so much time has run away with no firm action by the IPCC, in organising the investigation into policing at Orgreave.

Read more about the investigation here and see the photo gallery below.


IPCC 2nd Year Anniversary

Friday 14 November will see the second year anniversary of the IPCC’S ‘scoping exercise’ into the evidence surrounding the ‘Battle of Orgreave.’

The OTJC has called for a demonstration outside the London IPCC HQ. We have already put on transport from South Yorkshire, please get in touch to book your seat and lend your support! No Justice! No Peace!

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Orgreave campaigners angry over ‘snail’s pace’ inquiry

protest About 100 campaigners gathered outside the IPCC’s Wakefield office
Continue reading the main story

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Campaigners have accused the police watchdog of “moving at snail’s pace” over claims of improper police conduct at Orgreave coking plant during the miners’ strike.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is considering whether to investigate claims officers colluded in writing witness statements.

About 100 campaigners held a protest at the IPCC’s headquarters in Wakefield.

IPCC commissioner Cindy Butts said she “refuted absolutely” the criticism.

On 18 June 1984, the British Steel plant near Rotherham was the scene of a confrontation between about 10,000 striking miners from pits across the country and some 5,000 police officers.

According to a police report, 93 pickets were arrested, with a further 51 injured along with 72 police officers.

Police and striker at Orgreave The confrontation between striking miners and police officers became known as the Battle of Orgreave

The watchdog has been carrying out a “scoping exercise” since South Yorkshire Police referred itself in November 2012.

The referral followed a BBC documentary which claimed officers from forces across England and Wales used identical phrases to describe what they saw at what became known as the Battle of Orgreave.

Joe Rollin, chair of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC), said: “Sadly, the IPCC appears to have undertaken a very limited amount of work in collecting and collating information on what happened at Orgreave.

“It is moving at a snail’s pace.

“The OTJC, therefore, remains concerned that no officers will face charges of assault, perjury, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office.”

Ms Butts said: “This is a very complex process, but we do appreciate the frustration and concerns about the time this is taking.

“We are assessing documentation from a range of different sources. In November we asked all police forces to search their archives.

“We are continuing to review the responses we received and also checking that where documents have been identified they have been supplied. Any items which are outstanding are being chased up.”

This article originally appeared on the BBC website here.

Orgreave Picket of the IPCC

Over one hundred protesters from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, gathered today outside the Wakefield IPCC offices to call for more urgent action on their “scoping exercise”. Campaigners have grown frustrated by the slow progress from the IPCC, as we are now seventeen months into their investigation.

The Campaign has grown rapidly with wide support from the trade union movement and plans to hold a huge music festival on June the 14th on the site of the “Battle of Orgreave”.

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