In 2018, Scotland finally secured an independent review of Policing during the 1984-5 miners’ strike. This was due to the unrelenting efforts of many ex-miners working with the National Union of Mineworkers and supporters including Neil Findlay MSP.
Today we learned the conclusion of the review and it recommends that hundreds of Scottish miners, who received criminal convictions during the 1984/5 miners’ strike, should be pardoned. This will also cover miners who have since died.
Kate Flannery, Secretary of the OTJC said:
“Today is an emotional and uplifting day. The independent review chaired by John Scott QC and established by the Scottish Government has proposed this move and we send our heartfelt solidarity to all who will benefit from this. It has been a long time coming”
Opposition to the miners’ strike was led by Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government to try to break the NUM and the power of the trade unions in Britain.
The Review Team have reported that most of the miners’ actions were unlikely to lead to prosecution today and felt those miners affected were punished in a grossly excessive manner.
John Dunn, OTJC activist and ex miner arrested in Derbyshire said:
“Miners are obviously still angry about the abusive treatment meted out to us by the police and courts during the strike. We were targeted by police under the directions of the Thatcher government. Many of us were consequently dismissed and blacklisted from getting future work. The impact of this went beyond us miners, it affected our families and communities and had severe financial consequences for us all.
Kevin Horne, OTJC activist and ex miner arrested at Orgreave said:
“We now need the Home Secretary Priti Patel to declare a full public inquiry into the police riot at Orgreave on 18th June 1984. This will allow ex-miners, and those from mining communities to have the opportunity to present evidence and seek justice. The Tory Government must not delay any longer. We need to know the truth and get justice for all British miners”