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Demand a Scottish Public Inquiry into Policing of Miners' Strike 1984/5
In 1984/5, Scottish miners, their families and communities fought against the destruction and destitution imposed by Margaret Thatcher's Tory government. Well-documented police violence against strikers was unleashed, with recently published secret government documents confirming direct intervention by Thatcher and her government allies in policing operations, insisting on the escalation of arrests and prosecutions of miners who dared defy the loss of jobs and livelihoods. Nearly 500 Scottish miners were arrested and prosecuted, many of them not only fined, but sacked, left unemployable, their character stained, their livelihoods wrecked, even missing out on redundancy money. Scotland accounted for 10% of the mining workforce, but 30% of the arrests made. The decision by the current Tory government to deny an Inquiry into events at Orgreave in June 1984 makes it all the more urgent that the Scottish government initiate a full Public Inquiry into policing of the miners' strike in Scotland. To find the truth behind the particularly heavy level of arrests and prosecutions; reveal who made the operational decisions; uncover the role of the Tory government, including Thatcher; learn lessons on the dangers of a centralised, politically-controlled and unaccountable national police force; and clear the names and reputations of those arrested, in some cases posthumously. We therefore demand the Scottish government of Nicola Sturgeon urgently establishes a Public Inquiry on policing during the miners' strike, to seek truth and justice - and to thereby also assist those demanding an Inquiry into Orgreave by the Westminster government.