Protesters Demand the Truth about Orgreave

Protesters gather opposite Wakefield IPCC office

Protesters gather opposite Wakefield IPCC office

On Friday 29th March around 100 protestors gathered outside the Northern Office of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in Wakefield to voice their anger at the continuing cover-up of the truth of the police operation to break the National Union of Miners outside the Orgreave coaking plant just under 20 years ago.
The protest was organised by the Orgreave Truth and Justice campaign, and as their spokesperson, Barbara Jackson introduce the speakers, she commented on the IPCC had moved at a “snail’s pace” to review the events around Orgreave after South Yorkshire Police referred themselves to the IPCC under pressure in the wake of the Hillsborough inquiry. She also pointed out the limitations of IPCC, larfgely staffed by former police officers and unable to compel police officers to testify – she called for putting as much pressure on the IPCC as possible but also for a public inquiry.
There were a whole array of speakers, including many trade union activists from South Yorkshire, but most memorable was an NUR member at the time who explained the solidarity that rank and file railway gave to the miners in refusing to move coal as well as Kevin, a Doncaster Care UK striker who had also been one of the miners arrested at Orgreave.
Protesters holding Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign posters

Protesters holding Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign posters

One of the NUM banners on the protest

One of the NUM banners on the protest

Care UK striker Kevin addresses the crowd

Care UK striker Kevin addresses the crowd

Yorks ambulance workers strike again

Unite pickets outside Wakefield Ambulance station

Unite pickets outside Wakefield Ambulance station

On 1 February, Unite members in the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust took part in a further 24-hour strike as part of their long-running dispute.

Iain Dalton

Unite members outside the Wakefield depot remained determined in their fight to force the Trust to re-recognise the union and stop the savage cuts which are currently taking place.

Meanwhile, more Unison members, frustrated at the union’s continued inaction in opposing the cuts, the latest being attacks on lunch breaks, are going over to Unite.

Terry Cunliffe, Unite regional officer, spoke to the Socialist:

“My understanding of Unison’s position is that for the last 12 months they have regionally supported Unite’s campaign for re-recognition.

“I have to say the local branch are not following that mandate and in fact have spoken openly, hostilely about the re-recognition of Unite.

“They don’t support us in the way that they promised at the TUC, the local branch activists are actively against our re-recognition.

“Unison have gone round the stations supporting the management plan, they have balloted their members and I have heard them, speaking about their ballot result. 70% of their members don’t agree with their branch position, rejecting the management proposal.

“As far as I am concerned, this completely vindicates the decision that we made to campaign and fight against these cuts.

“They are dangerous to patients and dangerous to our members, and Unison members feel the same. I’m hoping the Unison branch takes that mandate and joins the fight against these cuts.”

A further four-hour strike is taking place on 3 February to mark a year since the union was de-recognised by the former Trust chief executive.

Obituary: Peter Vasey, 1957-2012

It is with great sadness we are made aware of the passing of our comrade Peter Vasey, whose obituary is featured in this weeks edition of The Socialist, reproduced here.

Peter Vasey, called Pete by his friends, died on 17 July at the relatively young age of 54. Born in Batley, West Yorkshire in 1957 to a poor family, he instinctively fought any authority figures who tried to rule his life. He had a very keen and lively sense of humour and was generous to a fault. Much banter took place when he was around and you had to be on the ball not to get caught up in one of his jokes.

A member of the Labour Party Young Socialists and a Militant (forerunner of the Socialist Party) supporter in Batley in the 1980s, he used his artistic talent to good effect. He made a plywood effigy of Tory Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher, with a “Job Destroyer” notice around her neck, which had a good impact in the local campaign against unemployment. He will also be remembered for his adventurous approach. For example, he made a seven foot kite of Lenin to raise fighting fund, then tested it out on Bridlington beach in gusty conditions – terrorising those nearby!

After the defeat of the momentous 1984-85 miners’ strike, however, he lapsed into inactivity but always propounded Marxist ideas, especially those of his beloved Engels.The demoralisation of unemployment blighted his life at this time too and he developed a drink problem. But after years on the dreaded dole
he finally got a job and was determined to never return to the sub-life conditions of unemployment. Proud of the working class he belonged to and never corrupted by the greed of the capitalist system, he was an inspiration, especially to his brother.

May 3rd, Vote TUSC Against Cuts

Wakefield & Pontefract Socialist Election Flyer

Wakefield & Pontefract Socialist Election Flyer

Wakefield Coalition Against Cuts Relaunch

Socialist Party comrades, including members of our branch will be taking part in a public meeting to relaunch Wakefield Coalition Against Cuts this Tuesday and we encourage you all to attend. The meeting is set to take place at the Red Shed from 7:30.

The document bellow is a resolution passed by Wakefield & Districts Trades Council, which highlights how members of the branch have been campaigning against cuts for some time.

Wakefield and Five Towns District NHS Campaign Leaflet

Scrap McWorkfare – Protest for Real Jobs

The Wakefield branch of Youth Fight for Jobs & Education have initiated another protest in Wakefield, now to target Mcdonalds. The branch will be participating in the protest and are helping to organise it. Beginning Monday 27th just before 12:00 outside the town centre location.

We encourage you all to come along, and to sign up to the event page on Facebook.

Following on from the pulling out of the government’s workfare scheme by large companies such as Superdrug, Matalan, Maplin as well as Tesco’s offering those referred to it by the government a 4 week paid job with a guaranteed job at the end of it, Youth Fight for Jobs is calling a day of action on Monday 27th February to target another of the big companies taking part in the government’s workfare scheme – McDonalds

Protest Against Tesco’s

We will be supporting our friends at Youth Fight for Jobs & Education this Wednesday from 18:30 with a protest against the supermarket chain Tesco, for their continued participation in the governments unfair work fair schemes. Everyone will be then very welcome to attend our branch meeting at the Black Rock from 19:30. A Facebook event has already been set up and we encourage you to sign up and help this grow.