Below is a letter of support for the call for a public inquiry into the events at Orgreave in June 1984 from Lesbians & Gays Support The Miners (2014).
22 July 2015
Dear Home Secretary,
CALL FOR A PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO POLICING AT ORGREAVE – JUNE 1984
Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners 2014 is a group of lesbian and gay activists that were involved in raising funds and support for the striking miners in 1984/85. Our story is told in the film “Pride”, released in September 2014 and we reformed last year primarily to respond to media and community requests for information on our work. However, this work has led us into a range of present day causes and campaigns and hence, my purpose in writing.
We support the call for a full public inquiry into the actions of the police at the Orgreave coking plant on 18th June 1984 during the miners’ strike of 1984-85.
With others who support this call, we have waited for nearly two and a half years for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to complete their “scoping” exercise on whether to investigate the actions of the police on that day.
We were disappointed by the IPCC announcement on 12th July 2015 that despite there being evidence of police officers using excessive force, manipulating evidence and lying in court, there would be no investigation into the events of 18th June 1984.
The IPCC report concedes that “the unwillingness to disclose evidence of wrongdoing by officers does raise doubts about the ethical standards of officers in the highest ranks of the South Yorkshire Police at the time”. That, in itself, should constitute sufficient grounds for investigation. Instead they have decided that no investigation will take place, due to the passage of time and the fact that there have been no miscarriages of justice in the form of wrongful convictions. This is entirely unacceptable.
We believe that this issue is of national significance. A full investigation into the military style policing used on that day is now long overdue and only a full public inquiry can properly put this matter to rest. Our members have been on multiple peaceful marches, demonstrations, parades and public events over the last four decades. In a mature democracy such as ours, the compact between the public and police at events of this sort relies on mutual trust and respect and a commitment on both sides to remain within the law. The policing of the Orgreave event in 1984 was a gross breach of this compact and damages the reputation of the police and any Government that gave sanction to this.
Only a full public inquiry into the events at Orgreave in 1984 can right the wrong and properly restore the relationship between the wider public, the police and Government today.
We therefore call on you, in your role as Home Secretary, to order a full public inquiry into the deployment and actions of the police on 18th June 1984.