Unison Backs Call For Orgreave Investigation

Unison has backed the call for an independent and thorough investigation into what really happened at the ‘Battle of Orgreave’ in South Yorkshire  on June 18th, 1984 during the miners’ strike.

Campaigners calling for an inquiry into the police handling of the Battle of Orgeave have welcomed reports an official review is set to be approved.

Reports suggest Home Secretary Amber Rudd wants an investigation that delivers ‘complete’ answers but will not ‘drag on’. Eports suggest this we be an ‘will be an official inquiry’, but it is yet to be decided what format it will take.

Campaigners who met with Rudd said they welcome the news.

Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham, meanwhile, has called on Mrs Rudd to confirm immediately if reports of an official inquiry are true.

The official version of events – put forward by the police – was that the miners were to blame for the violence that erupted that day, and that the police were acting in self-defence.

But unions have always known that wasn’t the real story. Miner were faced by 6,000 officers in riot gear, some on horse back – with dogs set on pickets.

This was not a standard police action, and the use of an overwhelming force, is an example of what Labour MP and historian Tristram Hunt called “a brutal example of legalised state violence”.

For years striking miners – standing up for their communities and their livelihoods were described as mindless thugs.

The allegations against the police are serious – including officers filing reports on arrests they didn’t carry out. All point towards a corrupt culture within the South Yorkshire police.

After the outcome of the Hillsborough inquiry earlier this year, Unison said it now time the force is also held to account for what happened in Orgreave.

This was not the only wrong doing perpetuated by the police against striking miners, but it is perhaps the clearest example of police targeting striking workers in a seemingly pre-meditated and politically motivated attack.

Unison said the time has come for justice to be served and for the truth to be heard, in full, at long last.

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