At 12.30 pm on 6th January a banner was unfurled outside the Cineworld Cinema in Chesterfield. The banner read ‘The Real Iron Ladies’ Women’s Action Group Miners Strike 1984/85. This was in protest at the Hollywood re-writing of history in a film about Margaret Thatcher called ‘The Iron Lady’, starring Meryl Streep, which premiered in London in the first week in January.
‘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.
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.