THE SO-CALLED “Battle of Orgreave” is down in the history of industrial conflict in Britain as one of the most vicious acts of violence by the state against its own people.
Miners peacefully picketing Orgreave cokeworks outside Rotherham in South Yorkshire were charged by baton-wielding mounted police.
Police on foot followed through with dogs, beating fleeing miners from behind.
The attack was planned in advance. Miners arriving for the picket had been directed by police into an area where they were surrounded on three sides. The attack was then launched.
The miners rallied and understandably responded, hurling stones, wood and anything else they could lay their hands on. Notoriously BBC TV reversed the sequence of events in its coverage of the incident, showing film of miners attacking first, and police appearing to respond by charging.
Ninety-five miners were arrested and charged with riot – an offence which can carry a life sentence. Yet when the first batch of 15 went to court every case was thrown out. Defence lawyers showed that police had corroborated evidence. Police had to pay compensation to miners falsely charged.
Yet to this day no police officer has been charged with any offence. Now that may change. Read More…