In 1984, a Conservative government under British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher declared war on its unions, with the help of notorious American union-buster Ian MacGregor, taking on the strongest union in the country, the National Union of Mineworkers. Following a secret plan, the government began announcing the closure of coal mines, threatening not just an industry but whole communities and a way of life. Against all the forces the British government could throw at them, 160,000 coal miners took up the fight. “The Enemy Within” – screening for free at 5p today at the AFL-CIO -- tells the story of a group of miners and supporters who were on the front line of that strike for an entire year. No experts. No politicians. Thirty years on, this is the raw first-hand experience of those who lived through Britain’s longest strike. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who led the UMWA’s strike against Pittston in 1989-90, will introduce the film.
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