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40 years No Justice for Orgreave Rally in Sheffield 15th June, 2024

Arthur Scargill, former NUM leader with Gareth Peirce, solicitor and human rights activist in Sheffield

Arthur Scargill joined the 2024 Rally fighting for justice for the infamous Battle of Orgreave where riot police, horses, shields, trucheons took on unprotected miners picketing the delivering of coal to Orgreave. He himself had led from the front but at some point was felled by a police shield landing him in hospital. He made it clear that he wanted pickets to remain in place on site as had happened in 1972 at Saltley Gate in Birmingham when the combination of pickets and 20,000 Birmingham workers compelled the police to shut the gates. It was a famous victory, but one that haunted Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher all those years later. She devotes a chapter in her autobiography to it. There is absolutely no reason why Orgreave have the same outcome as Saltley had Scargill's wishes been followed. The police have not challenged that view.

Gareth Peirce, the lawyer famed for her involvement in high profile cases, including Orgreave and Hillsbrough, spoke along with Scargill. The police brought prosecutions against 95 miners but thanks to the eminent legal representation led by Ms Peirce their cases were all dismissed with the comment "one police force, two disgraces". This included senor police ordering officers to change their statements. The BBC also assisted by running a news report backwards so it looked as if miners were moving forward on the attack while they were actually retreating.

The BBC reported that while Arthur Scargill was in attendance he was not a speaker. In fact there were speakers in the afternoon as well as the morning and he spoke to wind up the day. At this point I'm waiting see what was said during the day. Arthur has already spoken at packed meetings at a number of former mining sites and received standing ovations each time, such is the continuing feeling of injustice among the communities affected by the Thatcher Government's actions and lies as they killed of mining along with so much of competitive British Industry. Many of the pits were profitable and certainly cheaper than the inferior and dirtier coal which was, and is still required to provide our energy needs.

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