Consortium News: 18-06-2024,

The Battle of Orgreave during the 1984 British miners strike took place exactly 40 years ago today, when police attacked pickets at a coking plant outside Sheffield. 

Cameras: Cathy Vogan & Joe Lauria; Interviewer & editing: Cathy Vogan. Text by Joe Lauria.

Marking the occasion at Sheffield City Hall on Saturday were miners who were on strike, some of whom were beaten by police on June 18, 1984. They were addressed by Arthur Scargill, who led the miners’ union during the strike, Gareth Pierce, an attorney who represented arrested Orgreave strikers, and a host of other speakers.   

On this day 40 years ago, 8,000 picketing miners were confronted by 6,000 police officers at the Orgreave coking plant. Historian Tristram Hunt wrote in The Guardian the confrontation was “almost medieval in its choreography … at various stages a siege, a battle, a chase, a rout and, finally, a brutal example of legalised state violence.”

A report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in 2015 cited “evidence of excessive violence by police officers, a false narrative from police exaggerating violence by miners, perjury by officers giving evidence to prosecute the arrested men, and an apparent cover-up of that perjury by senior officers.”   

Nearly 100 picketers were charged with riot or violent disorder, which carried potential life sentences. All of them were acquited. The human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield told The Times it was “the worst example of a mass frame-up in this country,

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