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Hi! My name is Ulrik, and this is my student blog. My posts will be based on tasks and subjects given to the class by my English teacher Ann. I am currently in my third year at Sandvika High School, Norway.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gay Pride Comrades and the Miners' strike

In 1984, the UK government under Thatcher decided to shut down twenty coal mines, leading up to one of the biggest strikes in UK history; picket-lines fighting police daily, as the government used many unfine methods, such as cutting gas lines to the villages. In order to keep a strike ongoing for a long time, you need support- as you are not given salary when striking-, and the Welch mining-community received support from a somewhat unexpected group; the Gay Pride Comrades. After a year, the strike was over, and the government had it their way; Margaret Thatcher remains a controversial figure after this, still hated by the mining communities. 

So, why did the gay community show support to the mining community, a conservative and not really gay-friendly group of people? One man who pushed the cause in the gay community was the gay activist Mark Ashton, who saw that the coal-miners were struggling with police and media the same way as the gays did. Mark met resistance when suggesting to support them, but after a while they had a support organization up and running, showing huge support to the miners. Despite huge donations, many of the miners and their wives remained hostile and conservative, fearing AIDS and poor influence on the children(the usual anti-gay stuff). 

Homosexuality was illegal in GB, and the gay cause probably saw that if they managed to stand hand in hand with another group, they could achieve higher support and understanding- in fact, the Labour Party manifestoed gay rights one year after these events, and it's probably not a coincidence. In addition to this the miners joined the gay-pride march, something that astonished GB; solidarity before anything became the way of thought. 

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