David Jones, the picket killed in Notts was buried this morning. His funeral was attended by over 4,ooo people from every coalfield in the country. I had to watch it on tv because even though a coach went down from Westoe, no one bothered to tell me about it.
Instead I attended a meeting in Newcastle at which Ken Livingstone was speaking. He spoke well and voiced his support for the NUM. It’s only a pity he couldn’t have put his money where his big mouth is because he only put £3 in the bucket I stuck in front of him. A trivial amount when you think about what he must earn in a year! Anyway we still collected £33,09p, not bad seeing as it was collected outside Newcastle Poly and it was mostly students who put in. As usual we counted in front of witnesses and had them sign the cash book.
I’ve just spoken to one of the lads on the phone and he told me how the Westoe coach had been stopped by the police on the A1 just outside of Durham. The police said they had reason to believe that the men were about to commit a breach of the peace by engaging in unlawful picketing.This was patently a load of bollocks because the lads were dressed in suits and ties, hardly picketing gear for a cold March morning! The police made the lads get off the coach while they searched it. One constable of normal police intelligence asked what the black case lying in the aisle was. A lad shouted,’Its a bloody bazooka!’ The PC responded by ordering that the case be removed from the coach so it could be searched! Incredible! It was yet another example of the misuse of police power, just like the other week when the Kent miners were stopped from going through the Dartford tunnel. Our lads were plainly on their way to a funeral which the police must have known about so the only conclusion is that they are trying to harrass and provoke us!
An official complaint has been made but I doubt anything will come of it. I’ve also heard that the union had a lot of trouble even getting a coach because local bus companies have been warned by police not to hire vehicles to the NUM. This is another outrageous abuse of police power and a threat to our ability to travel to picket lines. They won’t stop us because we can use cars, if the lodge will supply money for petrol. Its about time they started to use some of the funds they must have built up since 1974!!