Hundreds of picketers marched through Sheffield town centre in protest at the government’s decision not to open a public inquiry into the ‘Battle of Orgreave’.
Halloween night marked exactly a year since Home Secretary Amber Rudd ruled on the subject, denying the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) an independent inquiry into the events of June 1984.
Amongst the marchers were ex-miners, political figures and Union leaders. Many of whom believe that the behaviour of South Yorkshire Police officers at Orgreave was illegal. Joe Rollin, Chairperson of the OTJC, believes the campaign can have a similar outcome to that of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, where families of the victims protested for decades to clear the victims of any blame.
Mr Rollin said: “All the lies that were told about the Hillsborough victims and their friends and families. We don’t want anybody to believe the lies that were told about the miners – they were fighting for their jobs.”
Those who were at Orgreave during the industrial action of 1984/85 claim that miners were assaulted by Police officers, before they were taken to detention centres where evidence was destroyed, and files were wiped.
Another protester was former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, she said: “The people of Orgreave need an enquiry into what happened – it was state repression, police repression. We’re talking about history here today, but history that has not been dealt with and processed. But in terms of police repression, we’re also talking about very much a live issue.”
The march lasted for nearly two hours, protesters walked with a samba band and were encouraged by the OJTC to dress up in traditional “spooky” Halloween clothing to remind the South Yorkshire Police of the ghosts of their past.