Support the calls for a public inquiry in to Orgreave

THE ORGREAVE TRUTH AND JUSTICE CAMPAIGN is seeking truth and justice for all miners victimised by the police at the Orgreave Coking Plant, South Yorkshire on 18/6/84. Orgreave is part of a pattern of covers ups and lies by police in different forces which are now being exposed. We call for a full public inquiry to take place as soon as possible into the policing and the statements recorded by the police at the time. We want everyone who seeks truth and justice to support our campaign.

Only hours after the announcement on 12 June by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) that it would not be conducting a full investigation into events at Orgreave coking works near Rotherham on 18 June 1984 the Home Office issued the following statement:-

“The Home Secretary will consider any request she receives to set up a public inquiry into Orgreave.”

Backing for a public inquiry has been steadily built since November 2012 by the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC), which has worked closely with the National Union of Mineworkers’ in the process.

Backing from Hillsborough campaigners
Hillsborough families and campaigners have provided inspiration for OTJC members and on 12 June both the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and the Hillsborough Family Support Group stated their desire to see a public inquiry over Orgreave.

IPCC unable to locate key documents whilst highlighting police malpractice
The IPCC’s report into why it was standing aside highlighted that the organisation had been unable to locate a series of important documents including the policing operational orders that were drawn up in advance of 18 June.

Detailed analysis of the report also revealed that the IPCC – which cited the historic nature of events and limited resources as the primary reasons why it was unwilling to conduct a further investigation – had detailed a cover up by South Yorkshire Police (SYP) of malpractice it knew had taken place. The IPCC report largely conceded that only a public inquiry can eventually get to the truth.

The IPCC also overlooked that an important component of the “public interest” requirement is upholding public confidence in the police, particularly in South Yorkshire, and wrongly assumes that there is no new learning to be
taken into account.

Legal and political challenge ahead
In response to the Home Office statement of 12 June the OTJC is currently exploring legal avenues in our struggle for a public inquiry. Meanwhile, OTJC is appealing for ongoing public support such that the Home Secretary is pressurised into agreeing to a public inquiry.

If you haven’t already done so please get your organisation to pass the following resolution:
This (organisation) backs the call by the OTJC for a public inquiry into events at Orgreave on 18 June 1984 and requests the Home Secretary to establish just such an inquiry as soon as possible.

The OTJC would welcome invitations to speak at trade union and labour movement meetings, demonstrations, rallies and on picket lines.

Please download and share this leaflet widely: ORGREAVE_26888_Proof1

Next Orgreave T&J Meeting

Please come along to our next regular Orgreave Truth and Justice meeting, Tuesday 14th July, 7pm start at Chesterfield Labour Club, Saltergate.

This meeting is open to everyone interested in supporting the Orgreave Campaign.

Henietta Hill, Doughty St Chambers Barrister is coming along to talk about the legal issues relating to the Independant Police Complaints Commission report and decision and a Full Public Inquiry or Hillsborough style Panel Hearing (HIP).

This is a good opportunity to meet the other campaigners, hear what other things we plan or involved in, find out how you could play a part.

We are again at a crossroads with everything to play for in our fight for transparency, accountability and justice.

Louise Haigh secures meeting with Home Secretary over Orgreave

Louise, a delegation of MPs and the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign have today secured a meeting with the Home Secretary to press the case for a full public inquiry into the events surrounding the Orgreave coking plant in June 1984.

The shock decision by the IPCC not to investigate the serious criminal allegations surrounding the South Yorkshire Police Force, angered many and Louise had joined with fellow MPs to call for a meeting with the Home Secretary to press the case for a full public inquiry.

The Home Secretary has agreed to meet with the delegation of MPs and in light of the seriousness of the allegations against South Yorkshire Police, including perjury, perverting the course of justice, misconduct in a public office, and whether the actions of the police were influenced by the highest levels of government. Finally given the scale of public concern, the case for a full public inquiry into the events of Orgreave is clear.

Orgreave Rally Gallery

Picture gallery of images from Thursday’s rally at Old Bridge.

Louise Haigh MP requests urgent meeting with Home Secretary over Orgreave

From Louise Haigh MP’s website.

Louise Haigh MP, Ian Lavery MP (Chair of the Trade Union Group) and 60 other Labour MPs have joined with the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign to ask for an urgent meeting with the Home Secretary following the decision of the IPCC not to investigate serious criminal allegations made against South Yorkshire Police in the events surrounding Orgreave in June 1984.

The letter calls for a full public inquiry and asks the Home Secretary to meet with the campaign group and a delegation of Labour MPs to discuss the next steps forward for the campaign for justice, following the disappointing decision of the IPCC.

The letter and signatories are reproduced below:

Secretary of State for the Home Office,

We are writing with regard to the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s decision of Friday 12th June not to launch an investigation into the South Yorkshire Police’s handling of events at the Orgreave coking plant in June 1984.

As the IPCC Deputy Chair, Sarah Green, herself notes in the full decision rationale “the events of June 1984 marked not only a critical point in the miners’ strike, but also in the relationship with, and trust in, the police”.

However, Sarah Green states that to conduct a full investigation into whether “individual officers perjured themselves, there was controlling intelligence at a senior level, or a systematic integrity issue within the force which led to evidence being fabricated” would be “extremely challenging for the IPCC” involving “hundreds of witnesses, many of whom were relatively junior at the time” and “the fact that it has taken us two years to gather and read existing documentation – which is by no means complete – indicates the scale of the challenge”.

Given the IPCC have indicated they do not have the capacity to carry out such an important investigation and in light of the seriousness of the allegations against South Yorkshire Police, including perjury, perverting the course of justice, misconduct in a public office, and whether the actions of the police were influenced by the highest levels of government and finally given the scale of public concern, the case for a full public inquiry into the events of Orgreave is clear.

That case must surely have been strengthened by the view of the Deputy Chair of the IPCC herself in the full decision rationale that such questions can only be answered “if there is a full public inquiry or an exercise like the Hillsborough Independent Panel (HIP)” concluding that “nothing in this report precludes such an exercise”.

We are therefore writing to request an urgent meeting with the Home Secretary, a delegation of MPs, representatives from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, and victims to enable the representatives to make the case for a full public inquiry and to ask the government whether ministers will move to establish such an inquiry.

We look forward to hearing from you at the earliest opportunity.

Yours sincerely,

Louise Haigh, Member of Parliament for Sheffield Heeley

Ian Lavery, Member of Parliament for Wansbeck and Chair of the Trade Union Group

Joe Rollin, Chair of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC)

Barbara Jackson, Secretary of the OTJC

Paul Blomfield, Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central

Clive Betts, Member of Parliament for Sheffield South East

Michael Dugher, Member of Parliament for Barnsley East

Harry Harpham, Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough

Dan Jarvis, Member of Parliament for Barnsley Central

Sarah Champion, Member of Parliament for Rotherham

Dennis Skinner, Member of Parliament for Bolsover

Dave Crausby, Member of Parliament for Bolton North East

Ian Mearns, Member of Parliament for Gateshead

Grahame Morris, Member of Parliament for Easington

Richard Burgon, Member of Parliament for Leeds East

Dave Anderson, Member of Parliament for Blaydon

Rachael Maskell, Member of Parliament for York Central

Emma Lewell-Buck, Member of Parliament for South Shields

Steve Rotheram, Member of Parliament for Liverpool Walton

Kelvin Hopkins, Member of Parliament for Luton North

John McDonnell, Member of Parliament for Hayes and Harlington

Alex Cunningham, Member of Parliament for Stockton North

Stephen Kinnock, Member of Parliament Aberavon

Nick Thomas-Symonds, Member of Parliament for Torfaen

Ruth Smeeth, Member of Parliament for Stoke on Trent North

Barbara Keeley, Member of Parliament for Worsley and Eccles South

Ronnie Campbell, Member of Parliament for Blyth Valley

Paula Sherriff, Member of Parliament for Dewsbury

Thangam Debbonaire, Member of Parliament for Bristol West

Julie Elliott, Member of Parliament for Sunderland Central

Mary Creagh, Member of Parliament for Wakefield

Andrew Gwynne, Member of Parliament for Denton and Reddish

Wes Streeting, Member of Parliament for Illford North

Madeline Moon, Member of Parliament for Bridgend

Jo Stevens, Member of Parliament for Cardiff Central

Pat Glass, Member of Parliament for North West Durham

Emily Thornberry, Member of Parliament for Islington South and Finsbury

Jonathan Reynolds, Member of Parliament for Stalybridge and Hyde

Angela Rayner, Member of Parliament for Ashton-under-Lyme

Justin Madders, Member of Parliament for Ellsmere Port and Neston

John Woodcock, Member of Parliament for Barrow and Furness

Yvonne Fovargue, Member of Parliament for Makerfield

John Mann, Member of Parliament for Bassetlaw

Helen Jones, Member of Parliament for Warrington North

Lilian Greenwood, Member of Parliament Nottingham South

Melanie Onn, Member of Parliament for Great Grimsby

John Cryer, Member of Parliament for Leyton and Wanstead

Cat Smith, Member of Parliament for Lancaster and Fleetwood

Chris Matheson, Member of Parliament for City of Chester

Rosie Cooper, Member of Parliament for West Lancashire

George Howarth, Member of Parliament for Knowsley

Catherine McKinnell, Member of Parliament for Newcastle North

Fiona Mactaggert, Member of Parliament for Slough

Maria Eagle, Member of Parliament for Garston and Halewood

Diane Abbott, Member of Parliament for Hackney North and Stoke Newington

Paul Flynn, Member of Parliament for Newport West

Nia Griffith, Member of Parliament for Llanelli

Vicky Foxcroft, Member of Parliament for Lewisham Deptford

Ruth Cadbury, Member of Parliament for Brentford and Isleworth

Rob Marris, Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West

Andrew Smith, Member of Parliament for Oxford East

Barry Sheerman, Member of Parliament for Huddersfield

Valerie Vaz, Member of Parliament for Walsall South

Matthew Pennycook, Member of Parliament for Greenwich and Woolwich

HJC statement of support

THE HILLSBOROUGH JUSTICE CAMPAIGN (HJC) SUPPORTS CALLS FOR PUBLIC INQURY INTO EVENTS AT ORGREAVE DURING MINERS STRIKE IN 1984

The Hillsborough Justice Campaign wishes to add its support to calls for a public inquiry into the events at the Orgreave coking plant in the summer of 1984 that culminated in 95 arrests on 18th June that year. All those arrested and charged were subsequently acquitted. The IPCC has recently reviewed allegations of perverting the course of justice, perjury, assault and misconduct in public office, by senior police officers relating to those cases. Despite the existence of material indicating those offences may have been committed the IPCC have, nevertheless decided that it is not in the public interest to investigate further. The HJC shares the disappointment of the Orgreave Campaign with this decision of the IPCC.

The HJC would urge Orgreave people to maintain their campaign in the face of this recent set back. Hillsborough families and survivors suffered numerous setbacks over many years before their struggle for truth and justice was formally acknowledged. Recent and on-going investigations and Inquests into the deaths of the 96 Hillsborough victims stand testimony to such persistence. Based on our own experience we believe that a full judicial inquiry or HIP-style investigation would help those involved to establish the truth about the events at Orgreave, why 95 miners were arrested on 18th June 1984 and why despite the acquittal of all 95 no inquiry ever took place afterwards. The HJC notes that the IPCC report indicates that some of the records of key police witnesses had been dictated to them and senior officers knew of evidence given by officers during the trial, which may have been perjured and which they wanted to ensure would not get disclosed.

Given the ongoing Hillsborough Inquests the HJC are constrained from making any further comment until the completion of the Inquests.

 

 

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.”