YLAL Minutes 12.10.2016
At our last London meeting we heard from Mike McColgan from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign about the need for a public, transparent, inquiry into the actions of the police against miners at Orgreave in June 1984. This is important to get truth and justice for the miners and families of those involved in the incident, to hold the state accountable in an open forum, to make sure that justice is done.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd is due to make a decision on whether there will be an inquiry or not by the end of October. Now is the time to apply pressure to show there is public support for transparent justice.
Please email Amber Rudd and your own MP about this issue. There is draft text you can use and personalise below. Please delete the square brackets if you are writing to Amber Rudd as these refer to your MP only.
Read more about Orgreave here: http://otjc.org.uk/
Watch these short videos for some more context:
Email Amber Rudd at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Email your MP via this site where you can copy and paste text to send a message for you: www.writetothem.com/
Dear Home Secretary/[INSERT MP NAME]
I am writing to you to ask you to [to write to the Home Secretary on my behalf to ask that she] set up an independent public inquiry or panel about the actions of the police at the Orgreave coking plant on 18th June 1984 during the 1984/5 Miners Strike. On that day dozens of truncheon armed mounted officers and snatch squads in riot gear brutally attacked picketing miners. Many miners were injured and 95 miners were arrested and charged with either riot or unlawful assembly. The trial of the arrested miners collapsed when the Prosecution abandoned the case after it became clear that the police had falsified evidence.
Some miners were later financially compensated but there was never any investigation into police conduct for assault, wrongful arrest, false prosecution and lying in evidence. Not a single officer faced disciplinary or criminal proceedings and no body was held to account for orchestrating attacking and arresting the miners. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have since stated that there are “doubts about the ethical standards of officers in the highest ranks of South Yorkshire Police at the time”.
The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) provided the previous Home Secretary, Theresa May with a lengthy legal submission in December 2015 calling on her to set up an independent public inquiry but they are still awaiting a positive response from you, now as the Home Secretary who has responsibility for this decision.
I ask you to take into account the words of Theresa May, addressing the Police Federation Annual Conference on May 17th, 2016. Referring to the outcome of the Hillsborough inquests, she said:
“I do not believe that there can be anyone in this hall who does not recognise the enormity of those verdicts. Nor can there be anyone in policing who does not now understand the need to face up to the past and right the wrongs that continue to jeopardise the work of police officers today.
Because historical inquiries are not archaeological excavations. They are not purely exercises in truth and reconciliation. They do not just pursue resolution; they are about ensuring justice is done. Justice: it’s what you deal in. It is your business. And you, the police, are its custodians.
We must never underestimate how the poison of decades-old misdeeds seeps down through the years and is just as toxic today as it was then. That’s why difficult truths, however unpalatable they may be, must be confronted head on.
And let’s not forget, when we look at Hillsborough, the principal obstacle to the pursuit of justice has not been the passage of time. The problem has been that due process was obstructed and the police, the custodians of justice, failed to put justice first.”
I believe that the issue of Orgreave is of local and national importance. A response to the OTJC about a full investigation into the violent and military style of policing on 18th June 1984, the demonising of picketing miners and the subsequent perjury by the police is now long overdue.
[Your address and postcode]