Shrewsbury pickets fight on for justice at Court of Appeal

Shrewsbury pickets
Back row (L-R) Mark Turnbull, Terry Renshaw, Kevin Butcher, Michael Pierce, John Bohanna and Joe Sim; front row (L_R) Ann Dobie, John McKinsie Jones, Eileen Turnbull and Harry Chadwick
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United Left sends its full support and solidarity to the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign which is back in court on 3 and 4 February.

They have had a long hard fight for justice, but have never given up.

The Criminal Case Review Commission decided in March 2020 to refer the historic convictions of eight members of the Shrewsbury 24 to the Court of Appeal.

See the full history of the Shrewsbury 24 here.

Unite has provided consistent support financial backing for the campaign, which was set up to overturn the convictions of the building workers arrested on trumped up “conspiracy” charges during the early 1970s while picketing over pay in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. 

The eight appeals apply to those who were jailed or received suspended prison sentences in 1973-74.

Read Des Warren’s famous speech from the dock.

Des continued to defy the state in prison.

He coordinated his campaign for justice from his prison cell, meeting with Labour MPs, union and Communist party leaders. He went on three hunger strikes, spent a total of six months in solitary confinement and was eventually accepted as a political prisoner by Amnesty International (which under pressure from .

The prison authorities administered the “liquid cosh” the drug largactil, known to cause Parkinson’s disease, which he subsequently developed.

Buy and read Des’ book about his experiences and the hard political lessons learned from them.

The campaign is requesting that you express support on 3 and 4 February – not by attending the court or demonstrating outside because of the COVID-19 regulations – but by tweeting @shrewbury24C