The Miners' Strike 1984/85

Orgreave: cops still getting away with it, 32 years on

Worried that it could return an indictment of the police as over the Hillsborough disaster, the Tory government has refused an inquiry into the “Battle of Orgreave”, when cops attacked striking miners outside a coking plant near Sheffield.

Bernard Jackson was one of the miners arrested on 18 June 1984, charged with riot and put on trial. He described the day:

The Tory government has refused an inquiry into the 1984 “Battle of Orgreave”, when cops attacked striking miners outside a coking plant near Sheffield.

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The Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the British labour movement

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Most of the Trotskyist organisations backed the Russians. Socialist Organiser was the only organisation in the entire “orthodox Trotskyist” political spectrum that condemned the Russian invasion and called for the troops to be withdrawn.

Most of the Trotskyist organisations backed the Russians in Afghanistan. Socialist Organiser was the only organisation in the entire “orthodox Trotskyist” political spectrum that condemned the Russian invasion and called for the troops to be withdrawn.

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Davey Hopper, 1943-2016

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Davey Hopper, General Secretary of the Durham Miners Association, died suddenly on 16 July.

The defeat of the 1984-1985 miners’ strike destroyed communities, lives and set back the cause of working class struggle for a generation. No one knew that better then Hopper, and he with others devoted the next 30 years of his life to turning the Durham Miners’ Association into a force which fought back for the community and the wider movement.

Davey Hopper, General Secretary of the Durham Miners Association, died suddenly on 16 July.

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Democracy, direct action, and socialism


There are decisive turning points in history that shape the future for many years ahead. The British labour movement was brought to such a turning point by the victory of the Thatcherite Tories in the 1979 general election and the events that came after it. The defeat of the labour movement then shaped the social, political, and ethical world we live in now. Was that defeat unavoidable? The revolutionary left argued then that it wasn’t: that if we mobilised our strength we could defeat Thatcher, as we had defeated her Tory predecessors in 1972-4.
Is direct action undemocratic? What methods should the labour movement use to defeat the bosses? Should we stick within the law? This new pamphlet discusses these issues and more.

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Ellen Meiskins Wood (1942-2016): a Marxist who put class centre

Author: 

Andrew Coates

Ellen Meiksins Wood, who has died aged 73, was a noted intellectual figure on the international left who influenced several generations of thinkers and activists.

Born in New York as Ellen Meiksins one year after her parents, Latvian Jews active in the Bund, arrived as political refugees, Wood studied in California before establishing herself as an academic in Canada, based at York University in Toronto.

Her writings were thought-provoking and luminous.

Ellen Meiksins Wood, who has died aged 73, influenced several generations of left academics and activists. She was a Marxist who combined creative and original thinking with a powerful defence of the centrality of class and class struggle to socialist politics.

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Orgreave: no time limit on truth

Author: 

Dave Kirk

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has announced it will not mount a formal investigation into the policing of the so called "Battle of Orgreave" and its aftermath during the 1984-85 Miners Strike.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has announced it will not mount a formal investigation into the policing of the so called "Battle of Orgreave" and its aftermath during the 1984-85 Miners Strike.

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The demand for a radically different society

The second edition of Class against Class, the miners' strike 1984-5 is now available. New items include a review of “The Battle for Orgreave” by the late Rob Dawber, an account of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, and retrospective analysis of the importance of the strike.

From the introduction:

Between March 1984 and March 1985, British miners fought one of the great epics of working-class history. In scope, intensity and duration their strike is unique in the history of the British labour movement.

The second edition of Class against Class, the miners' strike 1984-5 is now available. New items include a review of “The Battle for Orgreave” by the late Rob Dawber, an account of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, and retrospective analysis of the importance of the strike.

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We will not go down without a fight

Author: 

Karina Knight

I was born in 1974 and grew up in the north east of England in the 70s and 80s.

Part of a properly matriarchal family, my mother was one of six sisters, their deceased father and their mother had been solid Labour supporters. I was told stories by Lesley (my mother) of them stitching rosettes for the party when they were young “until their fingers bled” — there may have been some exaggeration, maybe not!

Becoming, and remaining, a socialist from the 90's to today.

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Pride! The power of solidarity

Author: 

Karina Knight

The writer, Stephen Beresford, first heard the story of LGSM from a friend. He told a pre-screening audience that it inspired him greatly — the film is clearly a work of care and love. The characters are the real members of LGSM. Mike Jackson and others input into the writing and production, infusing the personalities, lives and experiences of the LGSM activists.

A review of Pride, a film telling the story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners in the 1984-85 strike.

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