Sunday, 25 September 2011

Why this years 75th anniversary of the Jarrow march matters today

Next weekend the weekend of the 1st of October protesters who are working class and many unemployed will be marching to London from Jarrow 75 years after the original Jarrow march. Where in their area where there was 90% unemployment to demand jobs for youth and decent pay. It is with great saddness that todays youth have to go through this and march again due to the lack of jobs and opputunities for young people still exists today in Britain as we sit on the edge of yet another financial crisis set to engulf the world once again.

Youth Fight for Jobs will bring the issue right to the fore by holding a march from Jarrow to London, starting on 1 October and ending on 5 November. We will be holding the protest to demand decent jobs and a free education for young people.

Youth Fight for Jobs National Organiser Paul Callanan says: “Young people now face the worst attacks on our rights and living standards we’ve seen in generations. The government is determined to push through cuts that will limit opportunities for youth even further. They also want to see unemployed youth used as slave labour for big business by putting people on work for dole schemes. With the brutal attacks being made on the right to an education as well, we really feel that every avenue is being closed off for people who want a decent future.

Youth Fight For Jobs 2011
“We will be marching from Jarrow to London in October to show this Con-Dem government that we will not see all the gains made by working class people over the last century blotted out of existence. We want to put the issue of youth unemployment right at the top of the agenda. As well as the march we will be building protests, demonstrations and rallies up and down the country in solidarity with the march, with the aim of linking up student activists, trade unionists, those fighting against the cuts and the unemployed.

“This is the time for young people to say; “we won’t be a lost generation! Fight for jobs and education!”

In today's Jarrow, u­nemployment is 5.7 per cent. Within a few miles are pockets of extreme poverty where a quarter of ­people are out of work. Like the rest of the country, the young are ­worst hit. UK ­unemployment among under-25s is 973,000 - and there's little to inspire hope at ­the nearest job centre.

Minimum wage jobs. Little aboutabout careers or ­apprenticeships. ­ Nothing to nurture young dreams.

Today's Jarrow still recalls the time when Michael McLoughlin - who died in the Seventies - and many like him made their voices heard.

A monument to the ­marchers stands outside ­Morrisons. In the town hall they keep one of the crusade ­banners in a showcase, its blue letters stitched on to white canvas, strung between two red poles.

But the efforts of the original ­marchers were ultimately futile. When they reached London with a 12,000-name petition, the Tory-led National Government refused to meet them.

And Matty Meaughan, 67, a former ­shipbuilder killing time with friends in Jarrow, fears history will be ­repeated for fellow marchers.

He says: 'Look at us, we're old blokes sitting on a bench. The sad thing is when you see youngsters doing the same because they've no jobs to go to.

'I wish them well on their march. It's great to see some fighting spirit. But will they listen to Jarrow this time? It would be a miracle if they did.'

The march this October has also found support from the national media including the Daily Mirror this is excellent news and we need all the publicity we can get for the march. Not just the march but the point it is sending to this con-dem government.

Kevin Maguire, columnist with the Daily Mirror, has praised the organisers of Youth Fight For Jobs the Jarrow March 2011, which is setting off on 1st October and should arrive in London on the 5th November, to raise awareness about soaring unemployment and the Conservative-Liberal complicity in axing jobs, services and opportunities for young workers and students. This follows previous positive coverage in the Sunday Mirror.

Walking in the footsteps of the Jarrow marchersby Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror 21/09/2011

THE Jarrow Crusade, 75 years old next month, is an inspirational chapter in our country’s history.
In the Great Depression, 200 hungry and desperate jobless men went on a 300-mile walk for work to London. Tories and Liberals on Tyneside and along the route backed the 1936 protest which, unfashionable as it remains to say, was an utter failure. PM Stanley Baldwin refused to see them and ironically it was Hitler who saved the shipbuilding town, war requiring warships.
I wish the best of luck to the plucky young people who, a week on Saturday, begin walking in the footsteps of the Jarrow men. Nearly one in five young people are on the scrapheap. But this trek doesn’t have the support of the Cons. Cameron’s Big Society only has room for the successful and well-to-do.

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