Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

83. Thursday August 30th, 1984.

In Uncategorized on August 30, 2009 at 10:53 am

No picket at Wearmouth today because the scabs leader, a twat called Seed,had promised they wouldn’t go in if there were only 6 official pickets on duty. Wearmouth officials agreed and we were sent to Monkton Coke works near Jarrow where a lone scab had crawled out of his dung heap.

We made a real attempt to stop him going in but the pigs were far too organised and 11 men were arrested. The pigs were vicious and the Monkton men had their first bitter taste of state violence.

The arrested men were dealt with very harshly by the Tory court and have been banned from every picket line in the British Isles! This is astonishing when you consider it was the first ever arrest for most of the men and they were only charged with Obstruction of the Highway. Local Labour MP’s have expressed their shock. Where have they been for the past 6 months??

Whilst we were fighting the pigs at Monkton, Seed and his mates went into work as usual, informing the official picket that they meant 6 pickets at every pit in the country. Bastards! We won’t get fooled again, I hope!


82. Friday August 24th, 1984.

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Wearmouth again and that bloody fence is still there. Despite it we had a good push and almost stopped the police van taking the scabs in. Only eleven of the bastards went in today and that proves picketing works if it’s sustained. 26 arrests though, which isn’t good.

The lads down in Easington are having it really rough and riot police virtually cut the place off. Men are being arrested for nothing and known militants are being beaten up. People’s houses are being invaded for no reason and the village is full of pigs in full riot gear. Thatcher’s Britain 1984! When are people going to take notice of what is going on in their own country? Dangerous precedents are being set. It’s us miners today but it could easily be the rest of the workers turn next if we don’t start getting the support we so desperately need.

81. Thursday August 23rd, 1984.

In Uncategorized on August 23, 2009 at 12:05 pm

The bloody fence was still there when we arrived at Wearmouth this morning so someone suggested we blockade the nearby Wear Bridge to highlight what is happening at Wearmouth. We all started to march off up the road to cut off the rush hour traffic into Sunderland at 8.15am. As we set off the pigs stayed where they were, hundreds of them, probably because they thought it was a tactic to draw them away. Just before we reached the bridge two motorcycle cops tried to block our progress. Someone lobbed a brick which hit one of the pigs on his crash helmet, causing the stupid bastard to lunge himself into a crowd of pickets in a vain attempt to nick the culprit. Unfortunately for him he tripped over an outstretched leg and crashed heavily to the ground where he lay apparently unconcious until someone stubbed their toe against his crash helmet, causing him to jump to his feet. When he saw he was on his own he fell down unconcious again. We marched past him, content that he had been given a small dose of his own medicine.

We stopped all the traffic but then men began to drift off towards the shipyards, enjoying the freedom to roam, stoning any police vehicle foolish enough to get too close. A car driver wound down his window and warned us there was a large body of police waiting for us up the road so we cut off down a side road that brought us out opposite the police station and the DHSS. Within minutes there wasn’t a pane of glass left in either building. Unfortunately the pigs got organised and charged at us, splitting us into two groups. I was lucky enough to stay with the largest group and avoided capture. The other group was not so lucky, with 13 arrests being made. One of the Westoe lads was chased down by the river by 3 pigs and was overjoyed when shipyard workers came out and started pelting the pigs with nuts and bolts, forcing them to retreat! Now that’s solidarity for you, and it DOES work.

The media have had a field day, calling us thugs and hooligans, and reported that, ‘A brave motorcycle policeman was dragged from his bike and beaten unconcious by violent thugs’. We know the truth and people should realise that what happened this morning was a reaction to all the shit miners and their families have been suffering for months.

The dock strike is on and already the media are trying to undermine it by calling it a set up job between Scargill and the TGWU leaders, and calling on ‘responsible’ dockers to scab. Bastards!!

MacGregor has offered the scabs a 5.2% pay rise if they agree to work overtime. I expect they’ll take it.

80. Wednesday August 22nd, 1984.

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2009 at 1:31 pm

An extra scab went into Wearmouth this morning and yet again we failed to stop the bus going in. The bastards were driven in on a Northern General Transport bus driven by a TGWU driver from the local depot. This really infuriated the pickets and men leapt over the barrier to try and get at the scabs. 9 men were arrested, including Keith Smoult.

A lot of the lads have been on to the Wearmouth officials to have the barrier around the car park removed at night. Lots of lads have been injured by that bloody fence and it really helps the pigs to keep control. It must be taken down!

Another national dock strike seems imminent due to scab labour being used at the Hunterston coal terminal in Scotland. Let’s hope the bastards stick it out this time.

79. Tuesday August 21st, 1984.

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2009 at 1:19 pm

The mass picket at Wearmouth was a fiasco, with only about 250 pickets facing over 500 pigs. The scab at Easington has split our forces and a lot of the men at Wearmouth were arguing that Easington is more important because it’s an NUM member involved. I tried to argue against them, saying 15 scabs could easily turn into 50 and then snowball from there. All scabbing has to be stopped and we should be asking for other unions to join us on the picket line instead of arguing over which one is more important.

Anyway 36 men were arrested at Wearmouth when the scab bus arrived. This is because the pickets are herded into a car park that has a shin high metal barrier surrounding it so we can’t push forward. The other thing that wound us up was that the bus that took the scabs in comes from Easington. We’ve been assured it won’t be used tomorrow.

Down at Easington there was what the media called a ‘riot’,with cars belonging to management being overturned in the pit yard and windows smashed. It was a rare victory for us.

78.Monday August 20th, 1984.

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Today was my first day back on picket duty after having time off to be with my family. The picket was at westoe in case anyone was daft enough to fall for MacGregors new ‘back to work’ plea. I ripped my letter up as soon as it came through the letterbox. No one tried to work but i did manage to sell 15 copies of Socialist Worker. There were about 200 pickets on duty.

   At Easington a lone scab tried to report for work but was prevented by over a thousand pickets, which is excellent, especially as a lot of the community turned out to support the miners. Of course the media are hailing him as a hero and are urging him to try again tomorrow and ignore the intimidation. I saw the bastard on the local news, Wilkinson he’s called, and he doesn’t look or sound like a ‘full shilling’ to me. He’s the first scab in the North East and let’s hope he’s the last.

   At Wearmouth Colliery 15 scabs, all COSA members, went in to work and took everyone by surprise. A mass picket has been called for the morning to try and nip the scabbing in the bud.

Tuesday August 4th, 2009.

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Just to let regular readers know that the next entry won’t be until August 20th. That’s because 25 years ago I was so battered and bruised from my last trip to Scotland my wife at the time insisted I spend time at home with her and our two daughters, Jennifer and Sasha. I didn’t really enjoy the time off and felt very guilty and hypocritical  but felt pressured into doing the ‘right thing’. Hard and bitter times!

77. Wednesday August 1st, 1984.

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2009 at 6:10 pm

I managed to get out again to attend a mass picket of about 700 men at the Philadelphia workshops to stop COSA scabs from going in. We failed miserably, mainly because not enough men were prepared to get involved.

Durham NUM seem to have adopted a new tactic of organising mass pickets at a different location each day. The theory is that this will confuse the police and keep them uncertain about our targets. The reality is the pigs aren’t stupid and all we are achieving is preventing boredom amongst the pickets. We should just select a target and stick at it until we achieve our aim.

Also today Nigel Lawson revealed to the nation what most miners have known since day one of the strike, namely that the Tories are prepared to spend unlimited amounts of public money to defeat us. he said the cost of defeating us is, ‘a worthwhile investment for the good of the nation’. Surely people can now see the issue of the so called ‘uneconomic pits’ is a smokescreen to smash the unions!!