At 12.30 pm on Friday 6th January a banner will be unfurled outside the Cineworld Cinema in Chesterfield. The banner reads ‘The Real Iron Ladies’ Women’s Action Group Miners Strike 1984/85.
Friday lunchtime marks the first showing in Chesterfield of the film about Margaret Thatcher ‘The Iron Lady’ starring Meryl Streep which premiered in London this week.
A group of veterans of the Women’s Action Groups and their supporters will make their protest against the Hollywood rewriting of history.
‘The film suggests that Thatcher stood up bravely against a male establishment and was a women’s champion’ said Toni Bennett who was an organiser with the Bolsover Women’s Action Group during the strike. ‘Nothing could be further from the truth. Thatcher mobilised every arm of the state against striking miners and coalfield women who were defending their jobs, their children’s futures and their communities.’
The Women and their supporters contend that the real ‘Iron Ladies’ are the women of the coalfields who defied Thatcher’s Government for a whole year during the 84/85 strike.
‘If you look around you today with high fuel prices, the banking crisis and mass unemployment people need to remember it was the government serving under Prime Minister Thatcher who sold off our gas and electricity industries, deregulated the banks and destroyed our manufacturing base’ Toni Bennett went on to say. ‘Anyone watching this film needs to be able to distinguish the facts from the fiction. If your children cannot find work today, and there are 1 million out there, then remember what Margaret Thatcher did to smash our industries during the 1980’s. ‘
The real ‘iron ladies’ will be organising a meeting in Chesterfield later this month to bring together whose who were involved in the strike and the battles of the 80’s with a view to sharing their experience with those working to defend rights today.
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