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VIDEO: Arthur Scargill returns to Orgreave site

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Former union leader Arthur Scargill has returned to a South Yorkshire coke works 30 years after the bloodiest clash of the miners’ strike.

In a YouTube video, the former President of the NUM talks about the day ‘Holy Hell was let loose’ and he was knocked unconscious.

Mr Scargill was one of 93 people arrested in June 1984, after a confrontation at a British Steel plant in Rotherham between 10,000 striking miners and 5,000 police officers.

He said: “On that day Holy Hell was let loose not by the pickets - mine workers dressed in plimsolls and T-shirts - but by a paramilitary police force armed with to the teeth with body armour, with dogs, with staves and with horses.”

He added: “It’s not a comfort to me to say that I told you so, but it’s a fact of life that 30 years on from 1984 to the very day the predictions that were made that the pits would be closed, jobs would be lost and communities destroyed has become a reality.

“If lessons are going to be learnt then they must be learnt by the trade union movement as a whole. 
“You can either roll over when you are threatened or you can fight, stand up and fight.”

Mr Scargill, wearing the same cap he wore three decades ago, said he was proud to have taken part in the struggle.

He added: “For the rest of my days I will be proud that I was at Orgreave in 1984.”

“I’m pretty proud to be at Orgreave in 2014 to tell you that the miners were right. 
“The Government, the coal board and all of the mass media not only got it wrong but misrepresented the views and the spirit and intentions of those who bravely fought on the picket lines like this to try and save an industry and try to save a way of life.”

 

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