Orgreave, Yorkshire , miners' strike, riot police

Mounted police attack striking miners picketing the Orgreave Coking Plant, South Yorkshire. Photographed © by John Harris/Report Digital. The 1984-85 miners’ strike became a bitter industrial dispute and symbolic class struggle that saw picketing miners pitched against police officers, and colleagues — so-called scabs — who chose to return to work. The National Union of Mineworkers was protesting at the government’s plans for pit closures but the year-long strike proved a terrible defeat for the miners and for the coal industry. In 1984 there had been 170 coal mines open in the UK. By 2004 fewer than a dozen mines remained. The British trade union movement has never recovered.

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