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Justice for the 96

Discussion in 'The Atrium' started by PackAttackUK, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. PackAttackUK

    PackAttackUK Cheesehead

    Sep 2, 2008
    Today marks the 21st anniversary of the Hilsborough Disaster.

    21 years ago today, 96 people went to watch a soccer game, and didn't return home to their loved ones. It's been 21 years, and still the families are fighting for justice here in Britain.

    If you have a few moments, and you don't know about what happened on that dreadful day, then please see [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsborough_Disaster]Hillsborough Disaster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] and have a read about it.

    Being from Liverpool, a Liverpool fan, and having family there that day (but luckily were not taken from me), then this is something I hold very close to my heart, and I would like to educate as many people as possible on this subject.

    Thank you
    You'll Never Walk Alone
  2. PackAttackUK

    PackAttackUK Cheesehead

    Sep 2, 2008
    Here is an article which people may be interested in

    As we remember the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough, survivor and journalist Adrian Tempany examines why the long and tortuous search for justice could finally be coming to an end.

    Has the Kop ever used its voice to greater effect? In the two decades that the families of the 96, the survivors and Liverpool fans have called for justice, Andy Burnham's silence was perhaps the most intelligent response from anyone in government. Within days of the 20th anniversary, the home secretary Jacqui Smith announced that confidential files relating to the disaster would be released 10 years ahead of schedule.

    The South Yorkshire police agreed to co-operate, claiming they had nothing to hide. Then, last December, came the breakthrough we'd been waiting for: an independent panel, chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool would be set-up to oversee the widest possible disclosure of the documents relating to the disaster. So how did we get here? And why, after 20 years, did the government finally sit up and listen?

    It is often said that, on average, it takes around 17 years to overturn a miscarriage of justice in Britain. Last April marked 18 years since the dubious inquest into Hillsborough delivered a verdict of accidental death. OK, we haven't got justice yet, but we've taken huge strides to establishing beyond doubt the truth about what happened that day. History might record that if it took 18 years, we got here on schedule.

    But why 2009, and not 1999 - or 2003, or 4? Last year there was a sense of urgency I'd not seen before. Partly, it was because the 20th anniversary marked the fact that a generation had passed. We thought of the children who died, and never became adults. The bereaved parents who never got to call themselves grandparents. We remembered the survivors who have committed suicide. Last year, there was a sense that time was slipping away. It was now or never.

    The families of those who died have shown incredible strength and dignity. Their suffering through two decades of frustration is almost unimaginable. Many have sought to quietly rebuild their lives. Others have fought on, either within the Hillsborough Family Support Group, the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, or, like Anne Williams, independently. But I think it's fair to say that the families' campaign to get justice for their loved ones has been given fresh impetus in the past decade by survivors.

    As a survivor myself, I know how difficult it is to talk about Hillsborough, to come to terms with the trauma, the survivor guilt, and the nightmares. Some survivors found their voice in the late 90s, but in recent years, those who climbed out of the Leppings Lane, who fought to save the dying or collapsed and woke among the dead have come forward in numbers. Gradually, survivors have helped to remind the public that thousands of people are still living with Hillsborough.

    Their memories, though shocking, haven't been delivered in a partisan way, but in a calm, measured, dignified way. The survivors' truth has been a constant. What has changed is the way their truth has been reported.

    In the two years that followed the tragedy, those in power, those with vested interests, arrived at decisions and verdicts that wildly contradicted the experiences of thousands of eyewitnesses. They got away with this because of the limitations of the media then. Because Hillsborough happened in analogue. It was an era in which the tabloid press set the agenda. But the internet has changed the rules of the game.

    It's hard to remember life before the internet. In 1989, most people in Britain were stuck with just four TV channels. But the digital age has enabled families, survivors and other campaigners to share information on an unprecedented scale. Online, hundreds of thousands of people have been able to read the Taylor report, the 1998 scrutiny of evidence, the excellent HFD: Context and Consequences, and the experiences of our supporters at Hillsborough.

    Freedom of information and the digital disruption of the media by consumers is encouraging a new openness across society. From MPs expenses to the Iraq inquiry, it's no longer possible to conceal information which the public demands to be free. For all of us touched by Hillsborough, the crucial initial step towards justice is the full disclosure of evidence - the release of police records, previously hidden statements, and evidence that was ruled inadmissible. This appetite for full disclosure is the story of our age. And in this open, shared, digital era the press can no longer be the sole arbiter of the truth. There is a conversation now, and we are being heard like never before. So let's keep talking about Hillsborough.

    When I walked out of Hillsborough, at around 4.30pm on the 15 April 1989, I knew that we would be blamed for the disaster. Sure enough, within days we stood accused of killing our own fans; of thieving from the dead, and urinating on the police. But if 96 Liverpool supporters had been killed by our "drunken or ticketless" fans, we would have turned on those people who were allegedly responsible. As a football community, we would almost certainly have imploded. But we didn't turn on each other. Because we knew the truth.

    We had gone to that game together. When our fans were dying on the pitch, behind the West Stand, and in the gym, we were with them until the end. We carried them in our arms and on advertising boards; we held their hands and comforted them as they died. We were together that day. Together and, in many respects, alone.
    Twenty one years on, the panel has the chance to get the truth about Hillsborough out in the open, in full, and forever. So how did we get here -families, survivors and supporters - after two decades? We got here together.

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