30 years after the Great Miners’ Strike

THIRTY years ago Britain was convulsed by a major battle that had massive implications for the future.

Newly released Cabinet douments reveal that Thatcher, coal boss Ian MacGregor and the Tory media all lied about the number of pit closures – showing NUM leader Arthur Scargill was right that the Tories had a “hit list” of 75 pits to be closed. Had it been known at the time, it would have blown a massive hole in Thatcher’s propaganda. You only have to look at South Yorkshire’s mining areas to see the damage wreaked on whole communities.

The strike was a crucial battle. On one side stood 165,000 miners, their families and supporters, fighting to defend their jobs and communities.
On the other, stood Margaret Thatcher and the whole of the ruling class, determined to crush the most powerful group of workers in the country and unleash free market policies on the whole of society.
The might of the state and the media was used to crush the miners. Yet the miners defied the attacks for almost a year and, at crucial moments, came close to winning.
The Great Miners’ Strike showed how ordinary people can fight those who rule our world, and how they change in the process.
Commentators still repeat the myth that the miners were fighting a hopeless battle. Some people even say that the defeat shows that it is not possible to fight and win ever.
But at several points the government feared that it had lost.
Thatcher herself admitted nine years after the strike: “We were in danger of losing everything,” and that the strike “could indeed have brought down the government.”

Come to the rally to celebrate the Great Miners strike and learn the lessons for today’s battles.

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