Firefighters attending the FBUâ€™s education school were treated to a special screening of the documentary film Still the enemy within which tells the story of the miners who fought back against the Thatcher government during the 1984 â€“ 85 national strike.
The film, partly funded by the FBU, gives a frank, emotional and ultimately inspiring account of ordinary people at the centre of extraordinary events. From the infamous Battle of Orgreave, where miners found themselves in a brutal confrontation with over five thousand police officers, to the hardship endured after almost a year on strike.
Joyce Sheppard, whose journey from housewife to political activist was captured in the film, describes it as a historical document.
â€œStill the enemy within is an important film as this strike seems to have been hidden in history with many people unaware of what actually happened. 30 years on we need to remember this fight.
â€œIt is a working class historical document.â€
Many miners went on to join the fire brigade after the pits closed, making this a topic close to many membersâ€™ hearts.
Now an FBU national official but formerly a miner in South Yorkshire, Sean Starbuck said: â€œIt is extremely important to respect the dogged way in which members of the National Union of Mineworkers fought to save their industry against a government that was hell bent on destroying it and the communities that it supported.
â€œFirefighters and other public sector workers will recognise many of the signs as they continue to face challenges to their own industry by the current government.
â€œThe mottoâ€™s â€œThe past we inherit, the future we buildâ€ and â€œunity is strengthâ€ are just as apt today as they were 30 years ago, as our struggle goes on.â€
The film will be touring around the United Kingdom during November and December. Details of which can be found here.
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