Our Message to the Families of the Hillsborough victims and the indefatigable Hillsborough Campaigners
To the families and campaigners who have fought and struggled for 27 years to bring out the truth of what happened to the 96 Liverpool fans that died at Hillsborough on 15th April 1989. On behalf of the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign we wish to send our heartfelt congratulations.
The Cover –up
The Hillsborough Justice Campaigners knew that their loved ones were not victims of ‘accidental death’. They faced the worst obstruction imaginable by the Government of the day. The cover up was extensive and could have only happened with the knowledge of the Government. Successive Governments ignored their pleas for truth and justice. It is to their everlasting credit that the families of the victims and those who survived those awful events did not give up. They bravely continued to campaign to bring about Justice for the 96 and would not be deterred in their quest.
There were two public enquiries. The first was set up under the Conservative Government in 1990, chaired by Lord Justice Taylor, the second under the Labour government in 1997 chaired by Lord Justice Stuart Smith. Both of these enquiries failed to bring out the truth of what happened at Hillsborough because they were working with one hand tied behind their backs. They did not have the documents, the notes, the records and the memos which were prepared by the police after the disaster. The campaign and the families were told that all the relevant documents had been disclosed to the inquiries! This was untrue.
Under pressure the Government released finally documents that showed clearly what happened on 15th April 1989. If these documents had been available 27 years ago it would have saved the families the awful heart ache they have suffered. It would also have been possible to prosecute those people who had been criminally negligent.
Shrewsbury 24- A Miscarriage Of Justice
The Shrewsbury pickets were prosecuted in 1973.We restarted the campaign after the premature death of the leading picket, Des Warren, in 2006. We have campaigned tirelessly for the past ten years for the Government to release all the documents relating to the prosecutions. The documents we have found reveal that the Government interfered in the case. Like Hillsborough we are told that all the papers are in the public domain. This is simply not true.
The Government is refusing to release documents which we have identified which would show:
a) who made the decision to prosecute the pickets; b) who decided to have them picked up five months after the strike; c) who gave the go ahead for the clandestine investigation in North Wales between September 1972 and February 1973; d) who authorised the conspiracy charge to be used against six of the pickets; e) what was the role of the security services and the Special Demonstration Squad?
The Government are using section 3(4) of the Public Records Act 1958 and section 23 of the Freedom of Information Act to withhold documents. They claim that to release these document would be a threat to national security. No doubt they considered the Hillsborough Campaigners posed a similar threat. Their work has shone a spotlight on the people in power, in Government, in the police, the local Council, the media and the civil service.
All the requests we have made for disclosure have been refused by successive governments. Currently the shadow Home Secretary, Andy Burnham, is helping us to obtain the documents that have been hidden from the public for over forty years.
We are determined to achieve justice for the Shrewsbury pickets. We will pursue this campaign until the miscarriage of justice is overturned. Please support us.