Women stage Iron Lady protest

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TRADE unionists are today holding a protest outside a cinema to coincide with the launch of new film The Iron Lady, about former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Members of Chesterfield and District Trades Union Council will gather outside Cineworld, at the Alma Leisure Park in the town, at 12.30pm to unfurl a banner reading ‘The Real Iron Ladies’ Women’s Action Group Miners’ Strike 1984/85’.

A group of veterans of the Women’s Action Groups from miners’ strike and their supporters will make their protest against ‘Hollywood rewriting of history’.

Toni Bennett, an organiser with the Bolsover Women’s Action Group during the strike, said: “The film suggests Thatcher stood up bravely against a male establishment and was a women’s champion.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Thatcher mobilised every arm of the state against striking miners and coalfield women who were defending their jobs, their children’s futures and their communities.

“The real ‘Iron Ladies’ are the women of the coalfields who defied Thatcher’s Government for a whole year during the 84/85 strike.”

Later this month, the ‘Real Iron Ladies of Chesterfield’ plan to stage a meeting in Chesterfield to bring together people involved in the strike and the battles of the 80s to share their experience with present-day trade union officials.