Several thousand miners attended a strike meeting at Quarnegnon, a mining village outside Mons, Belgium, against the closing of eight uneconomic mines in the area.
M.S. Armed guard before bank.
PAN Along shuttered shops.
M.S. Another action...similar.
M.S. Road stones torn up, and road closed.
L.S. Street, pan up to pithead.
L.S. Marching broken in streets.
PAN ACROSS more barricades.
M.S. Big crowd walking behind leader with banner.
M.S. Seen from behind in place
L.S.TOP SHOT..arrival in place with banner bearers ..fifty thousand crowd.
M.S. PAN ACROSS dense crowd clapping.
M.S. Speech by Delattere.
L.S. Crowd listening.
CLOSER V. Ditto and listening, and clapping.
Initials ANH/S-D/PB MR/PB
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Background: Several thousand miners attended a strike meeting at Quarnegnon, a mining village outside Mons, Belgium, against the closing of eight uneconomic mines in the area.
Later five hundred miners marched to Mons where they fought police, in an attempt to free 17 of their comrades imprisoned earlier.
The "liberation army" was met outside the prison by ranks of armed gendarmes, supported by mounted police with drawn sabres. Fighting broke out and the miners were forced back by tear bombs and fire hoses.
During the clash demonstrators overturned a police car but the policemen inside escaped uninjured.
The imprisoned men were arrested after throwing bottles and marbles on the ground near police horses at a protest meeting against the closing of eight uneconomic pits in the area.
The general strike against the pit closures was virtually total in the Mons district by Feb 16. Shops and factories were closed, and overturned lorries blocked streets. About 21,000 miners in the Borinage coal basin came out on strike in the morning and other industrial workers struck in sympathy.
Belgium is threatened by a serious coal surplus and discontent is rife among the miners. The High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community has so far refused to declare a crisis in the coal industry bug the Belgian Premier, M. Gaston Eyskens, is to urge it to do so Feb 18. This declaration would enable production quotas to be fixed and imports reduced.