Ged Dempsey of the GPM Section of Unite, has been busy. This is the full text of his speech in support of Motion 72 at the Trades Union Congress 2013.
Motion 72 -1984/85 Miners strike – Inquiry into police actions:
Ged Dempsey, Unite, supporting this
Motion from NUM and GMB.
I feel strongly about this motion.
I come from a South Yorkshire pit community & family, close to Orgreave.
I witnessed police brutality first hand.
Many of the coppers were from the Met police ……shipped into the coalfields by Thatcher.
They later became the industrial killing fields of unemployment, poverty & despair
A way of life smashed.
I also work in the print sector and know comrades who were savagely hurt by the Police
during the Wapping dispute and the Warrington Messenger dispute.
We know that the police have used brutal tactics in other disputes and protests.
It took the family of Ian Tomlinson four years of hard campaigning to get the Met Police to admit to his unlawful death as he walked home from work during the G20 protests.
We know of the institutional racism of the police –
exposed after the brave campaign of the Stephen Lawrence family.
And we know that kettling perfected at Wapping – and its threat – is now used to intimidate protesters.
And last year – finally – the truth about the cover-up of Hillsborough was finally acknowledged, as other speakers have said.
Disgraceful actions by the same South Yorkshire police force that carried out the Orgreave injustice. A culture of injustice and cover ups on an industrial scale
The scale of the Hillsborough cover-up showed high level establishment collusion in trying to keep the truth about what had happened from coming out.
We have seen alleged Police and authorities involved in collusion, cover-ups and a deafening silence regarding the shocking Child sexploitation and grooming in South Yorkshire.
A dereliction in duty of care for safeguarding vulnerable kids.
The Miners Strike remains the largest and most potent industrial action in recent history, challenging the hated Thatcher government.
To have the truth about what happened to the miners and pit communities that took strike action and waged such a massive struggle formally investigated
and publicly aired is not only to get justice for those people,
It is part of reclaiming our labour movement history.
In doing this it makes our campaign against all police brutality and the suppression of protest and dissent stronger today.
Conference, I URGE you
please support this motion.”