THE BATTLE FOR ORGREAVE puts the record straight, as miners recount their own history, their economic and political struggles over decades and the trial they endured for 48 days in Sheffield when charged with riot at Orgreave - facing life imprisonment.
Containing compelling testimonies, emotive cinematography, in depth analysis coupled with meticulous detail of the mass picket and the ensuing events of June 18 1984 at the Orgreave coking plant, the documentary also has unique footage of police violence – all these make this an historic and important document of our time. See the film at the British Film Institute, visit www.bfi.org.uk, view on YouTube or purchase from Journeyman Pictures at www.journeyman.tv.
"YVETTE VANSON'S grimly scathing investigation brings complicated political issues back to earth with a bump .... a grainy, punchy, emotionally affecting horror story, one concerned with shrinking freedoms and growing bitterness." Time Out
The significance of this event has again become newsworthy. On 14/11/2012, following a long campaign by David Conn in The Guardian re Hillsborough inspired by my film the Battle for Orgreave, he published an article about the falsification of witness statements by the South Yorkshire Police (also implicated in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989). Following all this adverse publicity, and amid allegations of assault, perjury, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office with regard to the events at Orgreave and the trial of miners charged with riot, South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The NUM has also asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to investigate. Nothing positive has been forthcoming. In the light of the recent Hillsborough inquest verdicts of unlawful killing and the HIPP Report (September 2012) it is evident there are shocking parallels between the police actions towards the Liverpool football fans in 1989 and the miners in 1984. Maybe after over 30 years the miners, like the families of Hillsborough, will be truly exonerated? Watch this excellent film by a BBC Yorkshire team which reveals the extent of the planning and cover up.
The Battle for Orgreave - The Sequel
Critical Eye, Channel 4, 1991
In 1984 at Orgreave coking works, police and miners clashed. Labelled 'thugs and bully boys', over 100 miners were charged with riot and faced life imprisonment. Six years later the tables turned and the miners won compensation from the police for malicious prosecution and wrongful imprisonment.
"VANSON WARDLE'S excellent sequel to their documentary ... what becomes very plain here is the cold, contemptuous fury exercised by a government obsessed with destroying one section of the British working class simply because it was unionised. Essential viewing." City Limits
"The film presents a powerful indictment of police behaviour, while raising wider questions of accountability." The Times