CAMPAIGNERS will mark the 35th anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave with a march this weekend.
Undaunted in their bid to secure an inquiry into the confrontation between police and striking miners in Rotherham in June 1984, the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign will hold their annual rally on Saturday (15).
Following a march along Orgreave Lane at 1pm led by the Unite Brass Band, the gathering will be addressed by high-profile speakers and supporters including Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades’ Union, Chris Kitchen, General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Rotherham MP Sarah Champion and ex-miner John Dunn.
Kevin Horne, OTJC activist and miner arrested at Orgreave said: “Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, should have the decency to acknowledge previous Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s miscalculation and now commission an inquiry into police brutality at Orgreave.
“The truth will eventually come out and trying to conceal the facts clearly highlights that only a government with something to hide would prevent an inquiry.”
OTJC secretary Kate Flannery said: “The government has turned down our call for a public inquiry and has rejected a request from the Bishop of Sheffield to set up an Orgreave Independent Panel.
“We will carry on fighting for truth and justice. When the state has brutally attacked ordinary people, those in power have always covered up the truth as they did at Peterloo 200 years ago and have done many times since. We will ensure that the truth will come out about Orgreave.”
Ninety-six miners were arrested following clashes between police and pickets on June 18, 1984 but their trials collapsed and 39 were later paid compensation for wrongful arrest.
No police officer has ever been held accountable.
In 2016, then-home secretary Amber Rudd ruled out an independent inquiry into the violence or what the police watchdog called the “apparent cover-up” afterwards, saying their was no basis for a new probe as Orgreave had not caused any deaths or wrongful convictions.