Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 June 2018

Orgreave - no justice, no peace

Orgreave marchers, 16.6.18, photo by Alistair Tice

Orgreave marchers, 16.6.18, photo by Alistair Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Joe Diviney and Chris McAndrew, OTJC and Sheffield Socialist Party

On the outskirts of Sheffield on Saturday 16 June, around 300 people assembled under the banners of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC); insisting that the government hold a full public inquiry into the events at Orgreave 34 years ago, when miners striking to protect their jobs and communities were beaten up, locked up and fitted up.

On a route circling the new-build housing estate of Waverley (built over the scene of the crime), our procession, which included Orgreave veterans, lined up behind Unite's brass band.

We began by marching through the same terraced street where mounted policemen rode down people attempting to escape an ambush planned by the state during the 1984-85 miners' strike.


On 18 June 1984, at a mass picket outside the Orgreave coking plant near Sheffield, thousands of unsuspecting miners were confronted by thousands of well-prepared policemen. Tooled up with truncheons and riot shields, Maggie's uniformed masters of thuggery chased miners through summer fields, indiscriminately clobbering anyone within their reach.

95 were arrested on trumped-up charges of unlawful assembly and riot. The BBC reversed the order of events in its news footage to corroborate the police cover-up, that violent miners launched an unprovoked attack.

However, the trial collapsed in 1985 because the police's 'evidence' was so obviously fabricated that even the British judiciary weren't fooled. Wrongs remained un-righted over decades of denials. But in 2012 South Yorkshire police referred themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Since then the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign's demand for a full public inquiry has reverberated round the meeting halls of the labour movement, becoming one of Jeremy Corbyn's manifesto commitments for the 2017 general election.


During the intervening years the OTJC has been busily working its way through Conservative home secretaries. Before Theresa May became better-known as an omnishambles prime minister without a parliamentary majority, as home secretary May proclaimed that the "principal obstacle" to rectifying historical injustices, like Hillsborough, was not "the passage of time" but the fact that "due process was obstructed".

On Halloween 2016, May's successor Amber Rudd tried her utmost to prove conclusively that obstruction was indeed the greatest barrier to justice, by making her ghoulish announcement that an inquiry into the truth about Orgreave was unwarranted because "there were no deaths".

Unsurprisingly, nobody's been deterred by this embarrassingly transparent effort to patch-up a three-decade old establishment stitch-up. It's an open question whether Rudd even read the OTJC's legal submission; but Rudd's claim that she "didn't see" the leaked Windrush memo hints that paperwork isn't exactly her strongpoint.

If Rudd's replacement Sajid Javid happened to be labouring under the misapprehension that the OTJC would conveniently go away, Saturday 16 June's defiant demonstration was a shot across the bows that'll deprive him of his delusions.

Orgreave is a Conservative Party conspiracy whose days are definitely numbered. Earlier this month the Scottish Parliament announced an independent review into the policing of the miners' strike. Following suit, the Welsh Assembly has also decided to write to the home secretary requesting an independent review.

The long-awaited full public inquiry into the events at Orgreave is fixed firmly within our sights.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 20 June 2018:

What we think

Desperate divisions in Tories - Corbyn and unions must act


Tory cash boost not enough - save our NHS

No to Trump's climate change chaos

Universal Credit delivers claimant misery

Refugee suicide scandal

Them & Us

What We Saw

International socialist news and analysis

Seattle council repeals Amazon Tax

1000 issues of the Socialist

1000 issues of the Socialist: A vital weapon standing in proud traditions

Greetings from readers of the Socialist

How do we produce the Socialist?


DWP surrenders to union pressure - now vote Yes to smash pay cap for everyone

Rolls-Royce: fight all job cuts!

GMB union: NHS reps reject Tory pay offer

McStrikers and young workers take centre stage at bakers' union 2018 conference

Northern Rail strike reaches 21 days of action to save guards

Miners demand end to pensions robbery

Yorks NHS workers fight outsourcing

Unite agrees NSSN affiliation - come to the NSSN conference!

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tamil Solidarity Day: intense, lively, thought-provoking

Grenfell disaster: one year on, still no prosecutions, still no adequate housing..

Organisers' school - an opportunity to educate and discuss

Leeds: Disability campaigners force council to retreat

Wrenford centre: Stop heartless Tory cuts

Knowsley council pushed back on cuts and privatisation

Orgreave - no justice, no peace


Inspirational account of young Marx's political battles

Rousing, funny take on Marxism - from the man himself

The Socialist inbox


Home   |   The Socialist 20 June 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleDurham Miners' Gala

triangle35th anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave

triangleOrgreave injustice - 35th anniversary march and rally

triangleIn the words of Amber Rudd, "no one died at Orgreave"

triangleTory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated


triangleTV review: Mrs Thatcher vs the miners

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Road to Wigan Pier

triangleBooks that inspired me: Germinal

triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"


triangleBristol: Police to blame for protest violence

triangleDalian Atkinson - police found guilty of killing ex-footballer

triangleCan Biden reform the police?


triangleSt Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike

triangleFootball abuse scandal: Reclaim the game for justice and democracy


triangleSheffield Socialist Party: Onward from the elections - continue the fight for socialism

Conservative party:

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



New left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now



Public sector pay - NHS, teachers - Prepare for action!



Government departments move to impose pay cuts: Fightback needed



Football: Smash racism


Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party



Build a mass movement for LGBTQ+ liberation and socialism


Bin workers

Workplace round-up



St Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike



Telecoms workers angry at CWU deal with BT



GKN Birmingham workers rally against plant closure



We need councillors who will end housing crisis - vote TUSC in Staines on 22 July



Stop Pimlico gentrification


Socialist Party

Everyone can spot Socialist Party in Stoke


Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings say: We're ready to go out and campaign


Youth Fight for Jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs is back

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021