Calls for a Public Inquiry into Orgreave Intensify

The OTJC Steps Up Its Campaign: Anniversary Event Planned at Orgreave

 

In the wake of the Hillsborough inquest conclusions returned by the jury last week the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, assisted by Henrietta Hill QC, is stepping up its campaign to call for a public inquiry into events relating to Orgreave.

 

The ‘Battle of Orgreave’ took place on 18 June 1984 at the height of the miners’ strike.  Police officers from forces around the country were involved in what were said to be serious assaults on picketing miners, and the wrongful arrests of 95 of them.  The miners were charged with a range of public order offences including riot, which at the time carried a life sentence.  The trials of the miners then collapsed.  There was never any public scrutiny of how and why that happened, nor was any police officer disciplined or prosecuted for their role with respect to Orgreave.

 

There are clear potential parallels between Orgreave and Hillsborough.  Both have at their heart South Yorkshire Police.  Both involve concerns about the police manipulating evidence, and colluding with the press to present a false narrative of events and to unfairly vilify different groups (the miners at Orgreave, the fans at Hillsborough).

 

The Home Secretary met with members of the OTJC in July 2015 and presented its submission in support of a public inquiry to her in mid-December 2015.  Henrietta played a key role in drafting this.  The OTJC believes urgent priority needs to be given to the Home Secretary reaching a decision on the public inquiry in order for the truth to be learned.

 

OTJC Chair, Joe Rollin, said, ‘Hope and expectations are running high in mining communities that we will finally get justice for Orgreave, now that the jury has delivered justice to the Hillsborough families and survivors.  Orgreave remains an essential part of the background to Hillsborough and it is imperative that it is fully investigated if trust in the police is to be rebuilt.  We are now waiting to meet the Home Secretary for the second time and urge her to decide that there must be a full inquiry into Orgreave.  We also call on the IPCC to disclose an un-redacted copy of its report into Orgreave so that the public can understand the full scale of its findings.’

 

The OTJC is now mounting an imaginative social media campaign calling for this, and organising a public event at Orgreave on Saturday 18 June at 5.00pm. Speakers include Michael Mansfield QC, Henrietta Hill QC (who played a key role in preparing the OTJC evidence) and ASLEF President Tosh McDonald. The venue is The Old Bridge, Orgreave Lane, Sheffield S13 9NE.

 

Media Coverage:

Hear Henrietta on BBC Radio 4 click here – skip ahead to 53.30.

Watch Henrietta on Channel 5 here.

 

Learn more about Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign here or follow OTJC on Twitter @orgreavejustice.  

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