To add insult to injury – on the orders of Thatcher – they waved their overtime wage slips in front of the miners faces. And people wonder why the police are so unpopular.
SCOTTISH police forces’ conduct during the 1984-85 miners’ strike must be the subject of a public inquiry, campaigners have demanded.
Ex-pitmen, leading politicians and unions believe the case for a judicial hearing is compelling in the wake of the Hillsborough inquest.
Their demand to the Scottish Government to act comes as Home Secretary Theresa May considers a similar request around Yorkshire’s “Battle of Orgreave” in June 1984.
Officers have been accused of brutal tactics and wrongful arrests during the confrontation at Orgreave steel coke plant, as well as trying to cover up the facts in the aftermath.
Around 8000 police officers from around Britain were deployed against 6000 pickets.
But Scots campaigners insist the conduct of some police officers was worse at flashpoints north of the Border.
They want violent incidents at Hunterston ore terminal in Ayrshire and the giant Ravenscraig steelworks in Lanarkshire to be put under the spotlight.
Mick McGahey jnr – whose Lanarkshire-born father Mick was vice-president of the National Union of Mineworkers – says the parallels between the Scots incidents and what happened at Hillsborough and Orgreave are striking.
McGahey jnr, an official with health union Unison, said: “Hunterston was a mini Orgreave. Police behaviour here was just as shameful as in Yorkshire.
McGahey jnr, 58, added: “I’m convinced an inquiry will show just how young officers, special constables and lower ranks were intimidated and forced to cover up the truth
“And it will show just how deep the surveillance was of ordinary men who were law-abiding citizens.”
Controversy has long surrounded the behaviour of the former Strathclyde, Lothian and Borders, and Fife
Constabularies during the strike.
The confrontation at the Hunterston ore terminal near Largs came in May 1984.
Fearing for their own jobs, steel workers at Ravenscraig had voted to allow foreign coal to power their plant to be brought from Hunterston.
It was a devastating blow for the miners, already fighting a losing battle with Margaret Thatcher determined to crush their strike.
Miners and dockers who were supportive of the struggle tried to disrupt the transportation of the coal at both locations.
Mounted police were also deployed to surround pickets desperate to stop supplies getting to Ravenscraig steel works.
Pictures taken at the time show the striking miners pitched against grim- faced mounted police officers.
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