British lesbians and gays still support miners

This video from England says about itself:

19 December 2015

UK: Thousands protest closure of UK’s last deep coal mine

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Monday 2nd February 2015

Miners launch fight for Britain’s last three collieries

MORE than 500 miners, ex-miners, their families and supporters took to the streets in Yorkshire to launch what they called “the last throw of the dice” for Britain’s deep coalmining industry.

The campaign to save the country’s last three collieries was launched on Saturday at Kellingley colliery in Yorkshire where local MPs — including shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper — joined National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) officials to brief the media on the campaign.

Union banners of Kellingley and Hatfield collieries in Yorkshire, and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire, were raised at the town hall in Knottingley to head a march to a social club built with cash raised by Kellingley miners.

Supporters of the campaign to save the three pits came from across Britain including representatives of former mining communities in south Wales, Scotland, north-east England and the Midlands.

Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM), which was formed during the strike against pit closures of 1984-5, also attended after the group was resurrected following the success of the film Pride.

All three collieries, the remnants of a once mighty industry, face closure this year unless the coalition government provides “bridging” funding to enable the pits to establish new faces.

UK Coal, which owns Kellingley and Thoresby, says that unless the funding is found in the next few weeks the two will close.

Half of Kellingley’s 500-strong workforce face redundancy in April.

The company was due to attend the meeting of MPs, union representatives and the media, but pulled out at the last moment.

Former NUM president Ian Lavery MP said intense lobbying was being carried out at Westminster, including meetings with ministers.

Yvette Cooper, MP for the former mining communities of Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford in West Yorkshire, said the next few weeks were vital if Britain’s deep coalmining industry, and the unique skills of the miners, are to survive.

But she repeatedly refused to be drawn on what policy Labour would have on the industry if it is elected in May.

After the march there was a rousing rally in the concert room at the miners’ social club.

There were stirring speeches from NUM general secretary Chris Kitchen, Ian Lavery, Mike Jackson of LGSM, Welsh MP Sian Jones, and Ms Cooper.

Bolsover’s veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner won a standing ovation for his usual fiery performance.

But he warned the crowd that the three pits — and the industry — are “hanging by a thread.”

Activists were treated to a screening of the film Pride — following the links LGSM made with mining communities in the 1984-85 strike — after the speeches.

This 2014 video from Britain is called Pride Movie CLIP – The March (2014) – Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton Comedy HD.

Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners — led by Young Communist League general secretary Mark Ashton, who died of HIV in 1987 — raised thousands of pounds to help mining communities in the Great Strike.

A Red Ribbon Fund was founded by Chris Birch in his memory to help people suffering from the virus.

“I was a close friend of Mark and set up the fund after his death,” Mr Birch told the Star.

“It reached £2,000, then it went up and up and up because of the film Pride and all the publicity.

“It was mainly £10, £20 and £25 donations, but then there was one of £1,000 and another of £5,000 and it is still growing.”

Yesterday, the fund stood at £15,011.81.

ED MILIBAND threw his weight yesterday behind efforts to ensure worker-owned Hatfield colliery remains open for at least another year. Mr Miliband raised the future of the pit in the Commons during energy questions. It was the first question he’s asked in Parliament since standing down as Labour leader in the wake of the party’s general election defeat: here.

7 thoughts on “British lesbians and gays still support miners

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