(Blacklist Support Group) posted on Facebook
This is Labour’s Shadow(y) Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds (Daily Mirror puffery). Until his appointment by Sir Keir Starmer, Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB), I had never heard of him.
As a convicted striking miner, and member of the Orgreave campaign, I thought, given the magnificent support given to us by his predecessor, Diane Abbott, he was the person I should contact for support in clearing my name, tarnished by the Thatcher’s govt for over 36, long, long years.
Given the fantastic news that Neil Findlay, MSP, had secured an amnesty for miners in Scotland, convicted in our Great Strike, I thought the time was right for the same to happen in England.
Remember , over 11,000 of us were arrested, framed and convicted on trumped up charges!
I wrote to him OVER ONE MONTH AGO and other than an automatic reply, followed by a sarcastic invitation to listen to Starmer’s ‘leaders’ speech, I HAVE HAD NO FUCKIN’ REPLY AT ALL!
It looks as if, ONCE AGAIN, we miners have been abandoned by the Labour Party! Thank (imaginary) god for my comrades in OTJC and our supporters and fellow fighters for justice.
!!!NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!!!
My letter to Nick Thomas-Symonds:
I am sure, like me, you will be delighted that comrade Neil Findlay MSP has, through his constant and magnificent campaigning, secured a proposed amnesty for all miners framed as a result of their struggle for jobs and communities in Scotland. I am a campaigner with the Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign, but I write in connection with my own ‘conviction’ during our Great Strike. I was a Derbyshire miner, and on 9th April 1984 I was part of a peaceful picket of Cresswell Colliery. As the picket was breaking up I was violently struck from behind by PC Moss of the Lancashire police. I am sure you are well aware that police regulations say strikes to the head by truncheons should not be used. I was dragged to a police vehicle where a police sergeant told me they were going to allow me “to fucking bleed to death”. Only the intervention of my late brother resulted in me being taken to hospital, where, surrounded by police, a surgeon was persuaded to stitch the back of my head without anaesthetic. I was put in a cell in Chesterfield police station where a colleague of mine, who was a doctor, examined me and informed the police I had severe concussion and should be taken immediately to hospital. The police refused and, eventually, the police surgeon gave me 2 aspirin for the pain. Next day I was taken to Chesterfield Magistrates court, where I found I was charged with threatening behaviour and, like many others arrested during the strike, placed on bail that prevented me from being anywhere near Coal Board property. At no time was I ever formally arrested or given my ‘rights’. In September 1984, I appeared before a stipendiary magistrate where I was given a 2nd charge of watching & besetting. In the meantime, following my ‘arrest’, my union, Derbyshire NUM, had taken out private prosecutions against the Chief Constables of Derbyshire & Lancashire, together with my ‘arresting’ officer. This was an attempt to create a precedent to expose the gratuitous violence being meted out to pickets after PM Thatcher had instructed the police “to get tough” on striking miners. I was faced in court with a number of police officers who were ‘witnesses’ for the prosecution. Despite every one of them blatantly lying and all giving conflicting evidence, together with my ‘arresting officer’ admitting using his truncheon, but not on me, I was found guilty of those two charges. I firmly believe that a conviction had to be obtained in order to destroy the private prosecutions. For 36 long years I have been trying to clear my name. A FOI request to Derbyshire Police found NO RECORD of my arrest or conviction. As Shadow Home Secretary I would, therefore, request your assistance in clearing my name and overturning those convictions. Our campaign for a public inquiry into the police riot at Orgreave on June 18th 1984, is an integral part of our party’s manifesto commitments, and you will be well aware that your predecessor, Diane Abbot, was a committed supporter of our cause. Given the proposed amnesty in Scotland, I feel, that if I could expose the Thatcher state conspiracy against my union, by having my convictions quashed, it would be a great step forward for all of my fellow pickets, also arrested and framed like me. I look forward to your reply, and support regarding this important issue.
Yours sincerely John Dunn.
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