The text below forms part of a petition in the UK. It was started by Ricky Tomlinson. Ricky is famous in the UK for his acting and comedy roles. He was a regular in Brookside, a vital player in the Royle Family and took the starring role in the film about football, Mike Bassett, England Manager.
Ricky also is an activist. Since his days of working on building sites he has remained a man of principles. A man who will fight for a cause.
Ricky was on of a group of building workers who were jailed in the seventies. They became known as the Shrewsbury 24. They were arrested during a building strike. Ricky and others have been fighting hard to have documents relating to their 'crimes' and jailing released into the public domain. Up to now the government has refused. The only conclusion as to why Ministers are insisting on sticking to the letter of the normal timescale is that they have something to hide.
The documents will not threaten national security but may answer some questions regarding the arrests and jail terms. Chris Grayling the current Government Justice Secretary has told the men that the documents will not be revealed until 2021. As the men grow old the chances are that by then some, or all of them will, no longer be alive.
What difference will such a short time make to national security?
Are they waiting for the Ministers involved to 'shuffle of this mortal coil'? Some surely already have?
The documents are being withheld under section 23 of the Freedom of Information Act, a section relating to national security. "The majority of papers relating to this case are already available from the National Archives. Where necessary material can be held for longer than 30 years under the Public Records Act."
The majority not all. Those workers, trade unionists, who were jailed, believe that information, being kept secret, will reveal that the Tory government of the day was behind their arrests and subsequent prosecutions.
Remember Hillsborough. Also a Liverpudlian travesty of justice. Documents kept secret until they had to be released. When they were they showed corruption by the police.
If the current Tory government has nothing to fear perhaps it could do the decent thing and release the 'secret' documents that pertain to the Shrewsbury 24. It is already 40 years since the events happened.
There have been many calls for justice for the Shrewsbury 24. The image was part of a protest in 2012.
If Ministers have nothing to hide why the continued secrecy?
The petition follows. If you would like to sign it please follow the links. For a government petition to be discussed by ministers it will need 100,000 signatures. I am still waiting for my acknowledgment after signing. Maybe the government are up to games once more?
In 1972, building workers held their first ever national strike for decent pay and health & safety at work. Five months after the strike ended, 24 trade union members were charged with offences allegedly arising from picketing in Shrewsbury in September 1972. They included individuals who were convicted of conspiracy and sentenced to imprisonment. Government files relating to the strike have been withheld from the National Archives even though more than 30 years have passed.
Based in Yorkshire, in the middle of the UK, almost, this blogger offers her own unique perspective on life in GB
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