Epic strike of 1984-5 to be remembered at With Banners Held High festival tomorrow

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The former leader of the French miners’ union will speak at a festival commemorating the year-long strike against UK pit closures of 1984-5.

Daniel Dernancourt, who led the French Federation of Miners, will speak at With Banners Held High, a day-long festival at Wakefield’s Unity Works tomorrow (March 5).

Louise Distras will headline the evening benefit gig

Louise Distras will headline the evening benefit gig

Mr Dernancourt helped organise donations of money, children’s toys, clothing and toiletries for UK pit workers and their families during the strike.

There will be exhibitions, debates, music, poetry, and films at the venue on Westgate from 10.30am, followed by a benefit gig headlined by singer Louise Distras from 7.30pm.

Also speaking at the day time event will be Tony Garnett, film produce of Kes, Cathy Come Home and The Price of Coal, and Tosh McDonald, president of the rail union ASLEF.

And a new book which tells how the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike still resonates today will be launched.

Pit Props, edited by Granville Williams, covers the solidarity of 1984-5 right up to the present day closure of the last deep mine at Kellingley.

Chapters from Ian Clayton, Jeremy Tranmer and Julian Petley focus on the links between protest, music and strike politics.

The story of international support is told by Mr Williams and former BBC correspondent Nick Jones.

Pit Props also deals with unfinished business and the campaign for an inquiry into police tactics at the Battle of Orgreave.

It concludes by analysing the privatisation of the electricity industry.

The evening benefit gig will be compered by Attila the Stockbroker, with performances from Louise Distras, Jo Solo and The Hurriers.

For tickets and more information log on to www.unityworks.co.uk