Hillsborough: Speak Truth to Power
If you gathered all of the families and friends of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster and asked them for their stories, you'd get a uniform shared sense of loss. Understandable. Predictable, even. But if you explored each individual's journey over the past 23 years, every complex story of grief, disbelief, betrayal, hurt, anger, loss and a myriad of other emotions would be quite unique.
Long term supporter of the families Phil Scraton spoke on Wednesday night at St Georges Hall about his own journey, specifically as a member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel over the last couple of years.
On Wednesday, there's a sense of satisfaction in the room. A true smashing of myths.
Liverpool is a self-pity city. Hardly; the panel's report says the families were right, all along. They were right.
Fans were drunk and brought the disaster upon themselves. Scraton points out the levels of alcohol in victims' blood were less than you'd find in the attendees at the theatre.
I won't go on. We know the facts, always have done.
Scraton talks about the panel's mammoth job of wading through mountains of paperwork, photographs, video footage, doctored statements, true statements, press releases, legal jargoned documents. Some of what he read had him shouting 'THEY KNEW!' in his sleep, others gladdened his heart.
Before Scraton gets up to speak on Wednesday, he confesses he's not sure if he can get through the evening without breaking down.
In the end, there were some tears. No one can blame Phil Scraton for that.
This article is duplicated on Writing on the Wall's website here
Cath Bore is an author. You can follow her on Twitter here