From Mike Simons:
I just want to let you know that the film to mark the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike that we have been working on for the past year achieved a real milestone yesterday with our first semi-public showing of some of the footage.
Dartmouth Films, The Fire Brigades Union and The Communication Workers Union jointly hosted the launch of our new crowdfunding campaign and it went really well.
Jane Loftus, president of the Postal Workers’ Union spoke, as Did Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union – whose members were out on strike the next day. I was particularly pleased that Dave Hopper, the Durham miners’ leader, who now runs the Durham Miners’ Gala, came down and lent us his support. He pledged £1,000 to the film, which is a real honour because the Gala always needs money itself.
In the audience were many old friends and comrades alongside the young film makers who are working all hours, without pay to make this project a reality. It was great to see Mike Jackson, one of the founders of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, Nell Myers, the NUM press officer during the strike and for long afterwards, Gareth Pierce who acted for the Orgreave defendants, a number of leading trade unionists. Lindsey German from Stop the War was there and sitting quietly at the back, Ken Loach, who today made a contribution towards the film.
It was quite a nerve wracking event for us because we hadn’t really shown anything of the film to an audience. The reaction was brilliant, however. For those who were active in the miners’ support networks in 84 – 85, or who were miners on the picket line, the clips brought back all the anger and bitterness of the strike. For those who weren’t born when the strike took place it was a real eye opener.
Anyway, we need another £30,000 to pay for archive and do some more filming. Some of you will have given money already through the initial Kickstarter campaign earlier this year or in memory of Rosey. This appeal isn’t meant to be a further ‘tax’ on people who have already given, though anything you can spare would be most welcome.
What I would really like is for you to try and tap your networks for donations. If everyone got a donation from five or ten people we would be well on our way. If you were around in the miners’ strike it would be worth trying to dig out your old friends from the support groups. If you weren’t around in the strike, many people are interested in it and in seeing the story put across from a working class viewpoint.
If you are in a union branch or on a trades council, please try to get a donation and also think about how you can use the film next year. With official backing by the FBU, CWU, NUT and the Durham miners, with the support of Labour MPs Dianne Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn and the backing of Ken Livingstone, to say nothing of Ken Loach’s backing you should be able to win support.
Please send round the link to all your friends and also follow up with a direct approach, asking people to donate. We need money quickly – both to get our crowd funding campaign off to a good start, but also to feed the film crew who are turning down paying jobs to work on this project for free.
Here you go