Students condemn failure to launch Orgreave inquiry

The Wadham SU, OUSU, and OULC encourage the Home Secretary to launch an official inquiry after Rudd declares intention not to do so

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Wadham College, OUSU and OULC have condemned Amber Rudd’s rejection of a public inquiry into the events at Orgreave in 1984.

The Wadham Student Union motion, passed on Sunday, was proposed by Pete Morgan. It resolved to “write to the Home Secretary – simply and concisely – condemning her decision to reject any form of public inquiry into the actions of police at the Orgreave coking plant on the June 18 1984 during the miners’ strike of 1984-5 and calling for her to reconsider.”

It continued, “Regardless of what the Home Secretary says, a judicial investigation into the military style policing used on that day is now long overdue and only a full public enquiry can adequately investigate this.”

The Orgreave clashes took place between pickets and police at a miner’s strike near Sheffield in which campaigners say thev officers drafted in to police the picketing used excessive violence. There have also been allegations of fabrication by the authorities during subsequent investigation.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has claimed she is willing to appoint a lawyer next month to assess material relating to the violent clashes outside the Orgreave coking plant, but according to the times she does not want to push ahead with “something that could drag on for years”.

OUSU have also passed a motion in their fortnightly OUSU council meeting on Wednesday to, “write a letter to the Home Secretary condemning her decision to reject a public inquiry into the actions of the police at the Orgreave coking plant.”

Similarly, Oxford University Labour Club have passed a motion on condemning Amber Rudd’s refusal to launch an enquiry.

This news comes after the conclusion of the two-year Hillsborough inquests which ruled in favour of the victims’ families. This has caused calls for an offi cial investigation at Orgreave to gain momentum.

There were dozens of arrests and injuries at the trial but when 95 miners were prosecuted, their trials collapsed due to concerns over police evidence. Thousands of miners massed outside the Orgreave plant, met by around 6,000 police pulled from across the country.

Lucas Bertholdi-Saad, president of Wadham Student Union told Cherwell, “I think Wadham students recognise the historic solidarity that exists between the students’ and trade union movements; it is very obvious in the police responseswherever we try and organise or demonstrate.

“I am proud we passed this motion and I think it is timely with the home secretary’s rejection of an inquiry despite the 2015 IPCC report revealing evidence of major injustice.”

However, Altair Brandon-Salmon, a Wadham undergraduate told Cherwell, “Setting aside the merits of having a judicidal inquiry into Orgreave, the passage of this motion exemplifi es the worst traits of the Wadham SU, indulging in the kind of left-wing virtue signalling and self-aggrandisement which has made it notorious across the unviersity, when its chief priority should be undergraduates’ welfare.”

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