Socialist Party
| Print

11 May 2016

After Hillsborough verdict...

Independent inquiry into Orgreave now!

Simon Carter

"It's time for a public inquiry into the policing of the miners' strike (1984-85), not just Orgreave and the role of the police, but also the role of politicians. We need to look at the wider context of the way the police were used and the agenda set for them by government."

Surprisingly this comment is from Sir Peter Fahy, former chief constable of Greater Manchester Police. Fahy says the politicisation of police under Thatcher created a culture of class hatred, as shown in the police response at the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster.

It was on 18 June 1984 when thousands of riot police, many on horseback, brutally attacked a mass picket of striking miners at the Orgreave coking plant in South Yorkshire. Orgreave was one of many police assaults on striking miners and mining communities during the year-long strike.

Hundreds of miners on that day were injured, some seriously. Many were arrested, and 95 charged with 'unlawful assembly'. The subsequent trial of these miners collapsed after six weeks because the police evidence was unreliable.

There is plentiful evidence of police assaulting striking miners, and subsequently perverting the course of justice and committing perjury. Despite this, the so-called Independent Police Complaints Commission said last year it would not pursue a criminal investigation into police actions "because of the passage of time".

That decision amounted to a whitewash of the role of South Yorkshire Police, and indeed the Tory government. Thatcher's aim was to crush the strike by the National Union of Mineworkers, in order to break organised workers' resistance to pit closures and privatisation.

Violence

The violence perpetrated by South Yorkshire police at Orgreave, which has gone unpunished, was one in a string of disgraceful and potentially criminal actions. These include the Hillsborough football stadium tragedy in 1989, with 96 dead. And covering up the child sex abuse scandal in Rotherham between 2007 and 2010.

In a further development, Hayley Court, a former media specialist for South Yorkshire police, says she was pressured to "spin" coverage of the Hillsborough inquests in favour of the police.

Dave Jones, the new interim head of South Yorkshire Police - after the suspension of David Crompton following the Hillsborough inquest verdict that police unlawfully killed 96 victims - has offered Orgreave justice campaigners "a hearing".

The Orgeave Truth and Justice Campaign has long fought for a full and independent public inquiry into the 'Battle of Orgreave'. The Socialist Party backs this campaign.




http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/22771




Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

triangle20 Jun Save our NHS

triangle20 Jun Rolls Royce: fight all job cuts!

triangle20 Jun Desperate divisions in Tories - Corbyn and unions must act

triangle20 Jun 1000 issues of the Socialist: A vital weapon standing in proud...

triangle13 Jun No to Trump and Tory racism

triangle13 Jun Civil service pay strike ballot: vote yes!

triangle13 Jun How can we fight for trade unions that fight for women?

More ...

WHAT'S ON

triangle20 Jun Caerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: After the Italian elections - Which way for Italy?

triangle20 Jun Cardiff Central Socialist Party: What is fascism and is it a threat today?

triangle20 Jun Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: The 1000th issue of the Socialist

triangle21 Jun West London Socialist Party: Grenfell - still waiting for justice

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Our 2015 election manifesto

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999