Categorized | Campaigns, UK

The Fight For Justice


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Dave Nellist <>


Today at 18:34
  • BL_A5asA4_Sept17_HIGHRES.pdf
  • October 14th blacklisting mtg A4.pdf


For almost 100 years a construction industry blacklist was operated in secret to systematically deny work to thousands of workers involved in trade union activity. Dave Smith, one of those blacklisted workers, has documented that history and is the secretary of the Blacklist Support Group whose work led to a Parliamentary debate early in September.
Today, Ricky Tomlinson is best known as an actor and star of BBC’s The Royle family – but 45 years ago he was a building worker who, in the summer of 1972, took part in a national strike against low pay and poor working conditions. In 1973 at Shrewsbury Crown Court six trades unionists, including Ricky, were sent to prison.
The strikers and their families have campaigned ever since for the release of government documents showing interference and manipulation in their prosecution, and for their cases to be
reviewed as a miscarriage of justice. In 2014 Theresa May, then Home Secretary, set up a judicial inquiry after it was revealed that undercover police ocers duped a number of women into sexual relationships to infiltrate law-abiding political groups.
MI5 also directed Special Branch to spy on a number of left-wing Labour MPs, including here in Coventry. 20 years ago Helen Steel was sued for libel by McDonald’s over a factsheet critical of the company’s practices. The police sent an ocer from the undercover Special Demonstration Squad to
become Helen’s partner. She and the six other women known to have been deceived into relationships with undercover policeman continue to battle for justice.
Secret government files released this year under the 30-year rule show that Margaret Thatcher’s government directly meddled in the internal affairs of civil servants’ union CPSA, the predecessor of the PCS. The government was concerned about the growing influence of marxists when the late
John Macreadie won the general secretary election in the CPSA in 1987. “Subversives …
cannot be tolerated in such jobs” one ocial memo has been reported as stating. Chris Baugh will explain the union’s call for a public enquiry into the monitoring of trade union activists.
What links these cases is the extraordinary lengths to which the ‘secret state’ will go, to defend the Establishment. Come and hear first-hand from victims and activists, and find out in workshops how you can join in the campaigns for justice.
The Fight For Justice Sponsored by Unite Tom Mann branch and Coventry TUC Who’s Watching Whom? The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights for all.
Guest Speakers:
Ricky Tomlinson
(Shrewsbury 24)
Dave Smith
(Author, Blacklisting)
Helen Steel
(McLibel & Undercover Police
Chris Baugh
(PCS Asst. General Secretary)
Saturday 14 October
Methodist Central Hall, Coventry
11am to 4


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