From British daily The Morning Star:
Miners mark twenty-fifth anniversary of bitter strike
(Thursday 05 March 2009)
FORMER miners recalled the bitter events of the 1985 miners’ strike on Thursday 25 years after it took place.
The anniversary marked the beginning of what went on to become the longest-running dispute since the 1926 General Strike.
The resulting hardship, violence and bitterness affected a generation and many miners still resent those who carried on working.
Ex-miner Roy Sargesson said that if he saw a non-striker now, he would still ignore them. “Once a scab, always a scab,” he said.
The year-long dispute pitted the National Union of Mineworkers, led by Arthur Scargill, against Margaret Thatcher‘s Conservative government.
Clashes between miners and police over pit closures began in Yorkshire but quickly spread across the country.
Former union official Mike Appleyard said that the police were “dreadful” and had “a lot to be forgiven for.”
“There were riot shields and batons against men in trainers and plimsolls. Young men, the salt of the earth,” he said.
“I was arrested and thrown in jail with shackles on me. The police officer just stood me up, gave me a number, photographed me.
“His first words were, ‘do you know any trade union leaders? Do you know any communists?’ Straight up.
“This was Britain, anybody would think this was South Africa or some fascist state, but this was Britain,” he said.
See also here. And here.
Billy Bragg: With 25 years’ hindsight, Maggie’s bitter victory over the striking miners unleashed forces that led directly to this economic crisis: here.
See also here.
Margaret Thatcher blocked Soviet aid for striking miners, files reveal: here.
How Margaret Thatcher planned to undermine miners’ union: here.