Shrewsbury 24 | A victory for trade unions after a 47-year fight for justice
Watch Unite retired member Terry Renshaw tell how the Shrewsbury 24 campaign won its 47-year fight for justice.
6 September 1972 seemed like a normal day. There was a national building strike, but apart from workers exercising their democratic right to strike there was just a normal day's picketing, no battles, no fights, no complaints or even arrests by the police, but months later a selection of pickets were picked out and prosecuted by the state in a travesty that would take almost 50 years to overturn.
24 Shrewsbury pickets were arrested and charged with over 200 offences including unlawful assembly, affray, intimidation and conspiracy to intimidate, five months after the ending of the 1972 building strike. Following a series of trials beginning in October 1973, six of the pickets were sent to prison, with the remainder receiving non-custodial sentences. From then on the pickets fought to secure justice with Unite and its predecessor unions (T&G and Ucatt) major supporters of the campaign.
The convictions were finally 'put aside' by the Court of Appeal on Tuesday 23 March 2021 following new evidence unearthed at the National Archives that showed that police officers had destroyed witness statements in support of the convicted trade unionists that would have exonerated them.