Orgreave justice protest planned

ORGREAVE campaigners are to picket the police watchdog to demand a public inquiry.

The Orgreave Truth and Justice  Campaign — which meets in Rotherham next Tuesday — will lobby the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s offices in Wakefield next Thursday (14) at 1pm.

The group aims to highlight its demand for a public inquiry into policing at Rotherham’s Orgreave coking works on June 18 1984.

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The date marks the first anniversary of South Yorkshire Police’s referral of itself to the IPCC to decide whether there should be a full investigation and there is currently no indication as to how long it will take the IPCC to examine all the police files.

Some 95 miners were arrested at Orgreave after thousands of police officers — many dressed in riot gear, with others on horseback — brutally assaulted miners participating in a year-long strike aimed at defending jobs and mining communities.

However when the subsequent court cases took place all of the charges — which included, in many cases, riot — were abandoned when it became clear that the police’s oral and written evidence was unreliable.

Each prosecution had been supported by two police officers making near-identical statements.

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Later, South Yorkshire Police paid out £425,000 in compensation to 39 pickets in out of court settlements.

But no police officers were disciplined for misconduct or charged for the injuries they caused to those they attacked.

South Yorkshire Police also came under fire last year after it emerged that statements of police officers present at the Hillsborough disaster were altered.

The OTJC was established in November 2012 to seek “truth and justice for all miners victimised by the police at Orgreave Coking Plant, South Yorkshire, on June 18th 1984” and call for a public inquiry.

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An OTJC spokesman said: “TV and press coverage further increased the pressure on SYP and the force subsequently referred itself to the IPCC to decide whether there should be a full investigation into what happened at Orgreave on June 18 and in the earlier picketing at the plant in May and June 1984.

“However, one year on there is no indication of how long it will take for the IPCC to examine all the police files and the OTJC remains concerned that no officers will face charges of assault, perjury, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office.”

The OTJC will be holding a protest outside the IPCC at 1pm. For more details go to [email protected] or ring 0114 2509510

OTJC meeting at Rotherham Trades and Labour club, Greasborough Rd, Rotherham S60 1RB, Tuesday November 12 7pm