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The end of coal mining - with banners held high

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There's a direct link between the last pit to close in France on 20 December, 1990, and With Banners Held High, an event to be held in Unity+Works, Wakefield on March 5 marking, with the closure of Kellingley Colliery on December 18, 2015, the end of coal mining in the United Kingdom.

The head gear of 9-9bis in Oignies, Nord Pas-de-Calais has been lovingly maintained by former miners, and around the area is evidence of the industry which once sustained the region. The “terrils" or “pyramides" (we call them slag heaps) have been preserved as monuments to coalmining.But close to the headgear of 9-9bis is a stunning new building, a music, drama and performance centre, Le Métaphone, which was the setting last year for Rock'n'Coal from March 27-29, an imaginative programme of exhibitions, films, debates and music.

It was organised by a group of young French people called La Berline Collectiv (la berline is the French term for the tubs used to bring the coal on steel tracks from the coal face) and I was there to speak on behalf of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign. It was a great weekend and it inspired us to re-run last year's With Banners Held High. That event celebrated the courage and resistance of the miners, their families and communities 30 years after the return to work at the end of the year-long strike.

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Don't let them pull the plug on public service broadcasting


Monday, 22 February, 2016, 18.00-20.30
House of Commons Committee Room 10

The NUJ's cross-party Parliamentary Group is holding a meeting about the future of public service broadcasting.

With concerns about the privatisation of Channel 4, the potential sale of ITV, the renewal of the BBC's charter, plus funding of S4C, the NUJ is bringing together supporters of a broadcasting service which serves all the UK's viewers and to join a campaign for quality public service TV and against privatisation.

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Cameron and Osborne meetings media bosses have returned to pre-Leveson level


David Cameron and George Osborne are now meeting journalism industry bosses as frequently as before the hacking scandal broke in July 2011, research by Press Gazette suggests. Following the closure of the News of the World, and the subsequent Leveson Inquiry, Cameron's close relationship with senior figures at News International (now News UK) came under particular scrutiny.

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FOI should apply to prisons and parking tickets, even if contractors hold the information


Information about prison attacks,penalty fares on London Overground, whistleblowing policies in the NHS andparking tickets has all been withheld under the Freedom ofInformation (FOI)Actbecause this information was heldby public authority contractors and not by the authorities themselves.

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Freedom of Information at risk?
Hard-won 'rights to know' might be restricted by future expenditure cuts in Whitehall and campaigners fear the Freedom of Information Act could become a target for efficiency savings. Listen to our latest podcast about threats to FOI, with Nicholas Jones.
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