The OTJC Steps Up Its Campaign: Anniversary Event Planned at Orgreave
The issues raised by the conclusions to the Hillsborough inquests last Tuesday continue to make headlines a week later. Andy Burnham, the Shadow Home Secretary, in his powerful Commons statement last Wednesday said, ’I promised the families the full truth about Hillsborough. I don’t believe we will have that until we have the full truth about Orgreave.’
The South Yorkshire Police, he continued, ‘used the same underhand tactics against its own people in the aftermath of the miners’ strike that it would later use with such deadly effect against the people of Liverpool.’
He referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission report on Orgreave, published in June 2015, and noted that part of the report had been redacted. ‘It has been put to me that parts of this contain evidence of direct links between Orgreave and Hillsborough,’ he said. ‘This is a time for transparency not secrecy, time for the people of South Yorkshire to have the full truth about their police force. So will the Home Secretary now accept the legal submission from the OTJC and set up a disclosure process?’
In the wake of the IPCC report the Home Secretary met with members of the OTJC in July 2015 and, at her request, presented its evidence for a public inquiry to her in mid-December 2015. A response was expected by March this year. When we asked about progress on this, we were told that the evidence was still being examined.
In the wake of the Hillsborough verdicts the OTJC believes urgent priority needs to be given to the Home Secretary reaching a decision on the public inquiry.
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.