Twenty-five years on – the lessons of the 1984-85 miners' strike

Twenty-five years ago on March 5, 1984 the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) embarked upon the most important class struggle in Britain since the general strike of 1926. A ferocious battle ensued. Billions of pounds were spent by the ruling class to crush the miners’ militancy. More than ten thousand miners were arrested; two were killed on the picket lines and countless others injured. Decades of so-called consensus were obliterated and the real and ugly face of British capitalism was exposed for all to see.

Twenty-five years ago on March 5, 1984 the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) embarked upon the most important class struggle in Britain since the general strike of 1926. Photo by afthunderwolf.Twenty-five years ago on March 5, 1984 the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) embarked upon the most important class struggle in Britain since the general strike of 1926. A ferocious battle ensued. Billions of pounds were spent by the ruling class to crush the miners’ militancy. More than ten thousand miners were arrested; two were killed on the picket lines and countless others injured. Decades of so-called consensus were obliterated and the real and ugly face of British capitalism was exposed for all to see. [Originally published as "Twenty years on – the lessons of the 1984-85 miners' strike" on March 5, 2004, on the 20th anniversary].

[NOTE: Sadly, since this article was written five years ago comrade Phil died. As a youth and son of a miner, having joined the then Militant Tendency, he actively participated in the solidarity actions with the miners. Republication of this article is also a tribute to Phil and the work he did in defending the genuine ideas of Marxism and building the forces of the Socialist Appeal in Britain and of the IMT internationally].

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