Campaigns - boycott to minute's silence

Since forming, as a proactive collection of Hillsborough families, survivors and supporters in Feb 1998, the Campaign has struggled to bring Hillsborough and the continued lack of justice back into the public domain on many occassions.

Many people are aware that all clubs now observe a minutes silence on 15th April following the group's letter campaign. In this section you can read on this and other successes the group has acheived, as well as ongoing activites.

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Quick Find - Contact Us

The Hillsborough Justice Campaign
PO Box 1089
178 Walton Breck Road
L69 4WR
Tel / fax : 0151 2605262


Private Prosecutions of Duckenfield and Murray - Our Verdict

The private prosecutions of Duckenfield and Murray, which were held at Leeds Crown Court, were a total waste of time and the public's money. The Hillsborough Justice Campaign makes this statement with a heavy heart. Yet realities have to be faced in our quest for truth and justice. The trial at Leeds was a show trial. This is not a reflective viewpoint. We stated such at the time. We were proved right.

Our major contention was that it became a show trial when a pre-trial ruling of Justice Hooper categorically stated that the two defendants if found guilty would not lose their liberty. So whatever the dynamics of the negotiations prior to the case going ahead those two former South Yorkshire police officers were given an assurance that in the very unlikely outcome of them being found guilty they would not go to prison. We believe that Justice Hooper was wrong to give this assurance.

Although we believe that Justice Hooper should not have given this pre-trial ruling we are not really surprised. However what we find totally incomprehensible is that the fact that the Hillsborough Family Support Group agreed this. Yes a group that was set up to represent the interests of those bereaved at Hillsborough agreed that two of the main police officers responsible for their loved ones being killed should not go to prison. This is an unpalatable fact yet one which cannot be ignored. Eleven years on from the disaster and into a new millennium the HFSG had gone so far down the road of acquiescence that they were colluding with their children's killers so they wouldn't lose their liberty. How did this totally perverse situation occur- the rights of the dead being overlooked by the custodians of their rights (i.e. the HFSG)?

The Hillsborough Justice Campaign would welcome some response from the HFSG on this point as their actions impacted not only upon the ordinary decent people of the HFSG (who are not party to such decisions) but also upon the bereaved and survivors of the HFSG. We have tried to make sense of it. Was this the only basis on which the prosecutions would be allowed to proceed without the DPP stepping in? This is the most obvious reason. Yet what was the point of proceeding on such a limited basis? Not only was the evidence restricted in the extreme but also the outcome. How could the HFSG agree to this? How could they give such little consideration to the 96 dead? These are the same people who raised a vast sum of money from the Hillsborough Justice Concert with the battle cry of 'JUSTICE FOR THE 96'. We know that after the formation of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign this cry was altered to 'Justice for those who died at Hillsborough whose relatives are members of the HFSG and not that renegade group calling itself the HJC' But by the time of the trial they had totally abandoned not only the concept of justice but also the interests of all the dead.

In any event in spite of the outcome of the trial, the costs were met out of the public purse. We consider this an abuse of public money. No show trial should be at the expense of the public. So what exactly did the public pay for? They paid for a lengthy trial, which everyone knew, would not result in a custodial sentence. The public also paid barristers, solicitors, HFSG committee members and various selected entourage to stay at the Hilton Hotel in Leeds. It should be noted that 'ordinary' members of the HFSG were given 3 a day expenses for cups of tea and lunch (increased to 5 a day after protestations and it being noted that the HJC was giving families 10 a day). Moreover, when families from the HFSG wanted to stay over in Leeds when the jury retired to consider their verdict they were forced to stay in a bed and breakfast. No Hilton Hotel for them. Were their children's' deaths less important? Was their comfort not as important? This was clearly not the case. The Hilton was the exclusive preserve of those who had colluded with the establishment in trying to close down the entire Hillsborough issue. This was to be the final act and then 'Hillsborough ' would be over. Hillsborough would be consigned to memorials and pansy planting ceremonies.

How wrong they were. We are still here and the injustice of the Hillsborough Disaster is still being fought. We are still in the legal arena although we harbour no illusions about the justice system. The HFSG thought they had the definitive word on Hillsborough when after the Leeds show trial their Chair Trevor Hicks decreed: 'the legal fight is over'. Well at the risk of repeating ourselves we repeat: Trevor Hicks does not speak for us. Yes he suffered a terrible tragedy when his daughters were killed at Hillsborough and he fully deserves the respect of decent people for that loss. However, that loss does not give him an inalienable right to dictate on all matters pertaining to Hillsborough. He has no right to speak for Anne Williams, Dave Church John Glover, Terry Burkett who continue to fight and who, by the way he expelled from the HFSG.

The ordinary families of the HFSG are dominated by a few. We have stated that before and it is sad to have to repeat it. They go with the flow and sadly have to live with the consequences of that. They are not bad people. They have all suffered the worst imaginable loss. It is not easy to stand-alone and speak out. What is really sad is when they do find their voice they use it against other bereaved families. Ask John Glover about the comments made to him because he'dared' to directly confront David Duckenfield and accuse him of killing his son ("Shame on you John". "Be quiet. They'll think we don't know how to behave". "You're making a show of us". And all this after they had lost the case!) Or ask Anne Williams about the number of families who shun her when all she has tried to do is fight for justice for her dead son and his fellow dead.

The one positive thing to come out of the case ending was that the judge lifted the ban on the HJC's web site. Within five minutes we were on line. However within the week the ISP (internet service provider) had pulled the plug on us after being threatened with legal action by the Hilton Whores. At least this time they were more honest than hiding behind the name of the HFSG. The people who threatened the ISP and the HJC with legal action were: Trevor Hicks (Chair, HFSG), Phil Hammond (Secretary, HFSG), Ann Adlington, (Liverpool City Council Solicitor seconded to the HFSG), Kathy Durham, (assistant to Ann Adlington and paid employee of the HFSG). It should be remembered that Ann Adlington was responsible for stating in evidence that the bereaved did not want the defendants (Duckenfield and Murray) to go to prison!

Obviously they failed in their actions to suppress the truth. Of course they failed. They will always fail against those committed to the truth. The HJC did not succumb to the pressure they put on us.

In the grand scheme of things and the longevity of the Hillsborough struggle, the case in Leeds and the subsequent attempts of the HFSG to end the Hillsborough fight were no more than a diversion and distraction. Time consuming and inconvenient. Yet nothing we couldn't cope with and get over. It wasn't the first and we are sure won't be the last we encounter on the long road to justice.