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Manufacturing History


Guest Stephen Turner
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Guest Stephen Turner

ORGREAVE COKING PLANT, MAY 29TH 1984.

I realise that on the surface this has nothing to do with JFK, But it represents a personal recolection of how the state will alter history to suit their own needs...

In 1984 I was working as a Union organizer for the Confederation of health service employees. Because of the nature of this work, I visited many Hospitals, Clinics etc on a daily basis, and had for several months been organising a collection in support of the Miners strike, which by the middle of May exceeded £2,000. I was invited, by the strike committee to visit the picket line at Orgreave, and later make the donation at a union meeting. What I witnessed that day,and the foul lies that followed will remain with me for ever.

The picket line that day was manned by over 2,000 striking Miners, and secondary pickets. The aim was to close the coking plant by preventing lorries from entering, or leaving. I was warned by one of the stewards to stick close to the main body of strikers, "Dont let yourself get cut off lad" The day itself began quietly, and succsessfully, with most drivers agreeing not to enter the plant. About midday the mood began to change, there seemed to be a lot more police about than earlier in the day, and they had donned full riot gear, always a bad sign!!the police then formed themselves into a rank, and began beating their riot shields with their battons, and shouting insults at the pickets "Commie scum" Maggie Maggie Maggie, oi oi oi" F*** off to Russia" you get the picture, and at a given sign, broke rank at sections along the line to allow hundreds of armed, mounted Police to charge the picket. I have been lucky enough never to have fought in a war, but due to the carnage that day believe I understand what it must be like. Everybody, it seemed was a legitimate target, Men, Women, Children, Reporters, passersby, if you were unlucky enough to be in their way you got clubbed, and or trampled.After the mounted facists had done their work, the footsoldiers charged, some with alsation dogs, snatching people from the crowd to beat, and arrest. I saw one cop go down, under a hail of stones, and two by fours, but being heavily outgunned it was mainly one-way traffic..To cut a long story short it was a rout.by the end all you could do was drag yourself home, and weep for the state of Democracy in Merrie old England.

Now comes the interesting part. Back home that night I watched the BBC 9 o'clock news with my Wife, The lead story was of course the battle of Orgreave, as they were already calling it. Being relatively young, and nieve I expected a denounciation of the police brutality I had witnessed, instead, and with film to back it up, full blame for the day was laid at the door of the Miners Union (NUM)Scene after scene of Pickets throwing stones, hurling insults, and fighting with the Police, all the while being labelled hooligans by the reporter, it was in short a wonderful piece of State sponsored propoganda. Backed up later by that she wolf Thatcher, who branded the miners "The enemy within" And praised the Police for their "Courage in the face of overwelming odds" The day the scales fell from my eyes. And, in all papers, and reports this is still the official line. The question we as reseachers are often asked is "Do you really belive the State conspires to withhold the truth from the people" FROM ORGREAVE, TO DALLAS AND ALL POINTS BEYOND, THE ANSWER IS YES!!!!

A great book on the Miners strike is "The enemy within" By Sheamus Milne.

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Guest Stephen Turner
Now comes the interesting part. Back home that night I watched the BBC 9 o'clock news with my Wife, The lead story was of course the battle of Orgreave, as they were already calling it. Being relatively young, and nieve I expected a denounciation of the police brutality I had witnessed, instead, and with film to back it up, full blame for the day was laid at the door of the Miners Union (NUM)Scene after scene of Pickets throwing stones, hurling insults, and fighting with the Police, all the while being labelled hooligans by the reporter, it was in short a wonderful piece of State sponsored propoganda. Backed up later by that she wolf Thatcher, who branded the miners "The enemy within" And praised the Police for their "Courage in the face of overwelming odds" The day the scales fell from my eyes. And, in all papers, and reports this is still the official line. The question we as reseachers are often asked is "Do you really belive the State conspires to withhold the truth from the people" FROM ORGREAVE, TO DALLAS AND ALL POINTS BEYOND, THE ANSWER IS YES!!!!

A great book on the Miners strike is "The enemy within" By Sheamus Milne.

In view of Jim Feemsters thread on covering up true history, I thought I would revive this. Its now more than 20 years on, and the blame for the violence that day is still officially laid at the door of the NUM. It has also been revealed that many of the "Policemen" that day were in fact Soldiers, and government agents masquerading as police. Over 50 strikers served jail sentances, not one Policeman was even repremanded.

Edited by Stephen Turner
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Living in Lala Land, home of the LAPD, I've witnessed a few similar, although much more minor, incidents. For a short while LA had a yearly street scene, where the streets of downtown were closed off and free concerts were staged. One year The Ramones were supposed to play. I was in a crowd of maybe 5,000 that waited an waited for them to go on. Finally, after waiting about an hour, someone from the crowd climbed up on the stage and picked up a microphone. Someone else threw some trash on the stage. At that point, my friends decided this is lame and we turned to leave. Well, gathered around the edges of the crowd were 20-30 mounted police, who immediately took off into the crowd with their billy clubs swinging. Meanwhile, from the south a wall of cops in riot gear moved in on the crowd and pushed everyone away from the stage. I don't think anyone got killed, but a few certainly took a club to the head. The crowd took off in all directions.. I saw girls fall down and get stepped on, etc. Well, the next day on the news the local newscasters repeated as a chorus that an unruly crowd had refused to disperse after The Ramones didn't show up, and that the riot squad had to be called in. It was a TOTAL lie. NO ONE ever told the crowd The Ramones were not gonna play, and NO ONE asked the crowd to disperse. We were waiting and waiting and then Daryl Gates' stormtroopers charged in and beat people up. No final warning nothing. That was the final street scene downtown. That was the final year the city put on free rock concerts. I have NO doubt that Gates and his friends made sure of it. The city tried a country fest in a park a few years later, but alas that too got shut down.

As far as the media lying, I was in a peace march in 2003 that ended up at the CNN building in Hollywood. We were trying to draw attention to the media's lack of accurate coverage of the war in Iraq. Their "embeddedness". Well, CNN proved our point that night by reporting that there was a 5,000 man march in Hollywood against the war. They failed to mention that the protest was against them, and that their building was surrounded by angry protesters for half the day. They also got the number wrong. There were at least 10,000 protesters in the march. .

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Who ever has the microphone-- wins!

The BBC has always supported the government in a time of crisis. They still have a few journalists who ask awkward questions but they are few and far between.

However, Rupert Murdoch said in a speech this week that the era of the media baron is over. He admitted that the power of people like him is being undermined by the internet.

For example, it would not be possible today to kill a president and then cover it up as they did with Kennedy.

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Who ever has the microphone-- wins!

The BBC has always supported the government in a time of crisis. They still have a few journalists who ask awkward questions but they are few and far between.

However, Rupert Murdoch said in a speech this week that the era of the media baron is over. He admitted that the power of people like him is being undermined by the internet.

For example, it would not be possible today to kill a president and then cover it up as they did with Kennedy.

One would hope so, there's a hell of a lot of important stuff that's dealt with by ignoring it. Distractions are created and given a spin that prolongs its life and more important issues fade out of public view.

Then it's shuffled through the courts, other events overtake and the populace shrug it off and sinks back into apathy.

A dedicated few keep the real issues alive.

The internet is the medium where connections are made and information shared.

The first thing the polish gov did, when Solidarity stood poised on victory, was to cut the phone lines.

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