Youth recreate Jarrow March for Jobs on 75th anniversary


“No return to the 1930s!”


This October will mark the 75th anniversary of the Jarrow March against unemployment. Recent figures have shown that the issue of unemployment still exists especially amongst youths. At present there are 965,000 16-24 year olds who are unemployed.


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.


“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!”


Youth Fight for Jobs



From the BBC:


Youth jobs group plans to recreate Jarrow March




The 75th anniversary of the Jarrow March is to be marked by a similar protest highlighting youth unemployment, activists have announced.


Youth Fight for Jobs plans to march from Jarrow in South Tyneside to London starting on 1 October.


The trade union-backed organisation wants action to help the near one million 16 to 24-year-olds out of work.


In 1936, 200 jobless men marched on the government with a 12,000-name petition calling for help.


Youth Fight for Jobs National organiser Paul Callanan said: “Young people now face the worst attacks on our rights and living standards we’ve seen in generations.


“We will be marching from Jarrow to London in October to show this government that we will not see all the gains made by working-class people over the last century blotted out of existence.”


‘Great regret’


Unemployment figures released last week by the Office for National Statistics showed an increase of 44,000 to almost 2.5 million in the three months to the end of December.


The unemployment rate is now 7.9%, with youth unemployment running at 20.5% – a record high.


Prime Minister David Cameron has said unemployment, particularly among the young, was “a matter of great regret”.


The Jarrow crusaders as they were known were refused a meeting with the government of the day when they arrived in London.


The petition was handed in at Downing Street by the then MP for Jarrow, Ellen Wilkinson.


The last surviving Jarrow marcher, 93-year-old Cornelius Whalen, died in September 2003.



Yesterday, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year, was a national day of action against corporate tax dodgers, such as the owner of clothing retailer Arcadia group and government adviser Philip Green, who channels his vast income through his tax exile wife, and Vodafone, which avoided a £6 billion tax bill with the agreement of the UK government. Whilst working class people are being forced to pay for a crisis not of their making through vicious cuts and job losses, this government – and the previous government – have been happy to allow the rich to swerve their taxes, leading to a tax gap of £120 billion per year, according to prominent tax expert Richard Murphy.


In Wrexham, Wrexham Socialist Party, North Wales Shop Stewards Network and North Wales Against Cuts called a protest against Vodafone under the UK Uncut banner. Heavy snow meant many who planned to attend were unable to make it, but nonetheless a dozen hardy souls arrived at around 11am and assembled outside of the Vodafone shop on Regent Street. The store manager was aware of the protest and had a security guard ready to lock the door – unfortunately leaving at least three customers stuck inside.


We were able to pass letters to the workers inside, to explain that our protest was not against them but against their bosses and the government. The police attended but, following a good natured discussion, they accepted our right to protest peacefully.


We managed to close the Vodafone shop for several hours, and the thousands of Christmas shoppers on the streets of Wrexham were extremely supportive of the protest. Wrexham Socialist Party intends to continue to campaign against corporate tax dodgers over the coming months, so if you live locally then please come along and get involved!


Make the Tax Dodgers pay!






Assemble at the arch way opposite the Horse and Jockey pub, Regent Street, Wrexham, at 11 am for a peaceful action.


From UK Uncut:

Over the past few months, protesters have staged sit ins, performance interventions, pickets, flash mobssuperglue stick-ons and intrepid one-woman protests against tax dodgers across the country.

Saturday December 18th is Pay Day, our next day of mass action. One week before Christmas, thousands of people across the country will be hitting the high streets to make sure tax dodgers pay.

Once again we will be targeting the multi-national and the multi-billionaire, Vodafone and Sir Philip Green. Both have been shaken up by the protests so far, but on December 18th they will face protests on a scale they could not have imagined just a few months ago. Vodafone and Arcadia will be targeted on every major high street in the UK. It’s up to you to make it happen.

Tell all your friends, family and colleagues. Come up with creative protest ideas. Start planning. Use our action centre to organise or join an action near you.

If you’re angry that the government is cutting services for the poorest and most vulnerable whilst letting the rich avoid billions in tax, then please join us, even if you have never been on a protest before.


This event is supported by North Wales Against Cuts, North Wales Shop Stewards Network, Wrexham Socialist Party, Wrexham Anti-Racist Network and others. See you there!



Walkouts organised in schools, colleges and universities across the country on 9th December


Walkouts have been organised by school, college and university students for 9th December – ‘Day X’ – when the government will be voting on fees.


These walkouts will shut down the education system across Britain in a mass demonstration of opposition against tuition fees and education cuts.


Tracy Edwards, the National Young Members Organiser for the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said: “Students have lit a spark in the anti cuts movement, bringing the brutality of the ConDem cuts and the attitude towards young people into sharper focus.


“PCS young members’ network is fully behind the students and will continue to link up and work with them to give young people the confidence to fight for a decent future.”




Clare Laker-Mansfield, Socialist Students national organiser said: “Most of the population supports the student protests.


“The Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament have already announced that Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) will be saved in their areas, and in Wales tuition fees will not go beyond £3,500.


“These are victories for the movement throughout Britain and shows that the pressure is having a real effect.


“The NUS should throw its full weight behind the demonstration on 9 December, organising ten, fifteen coaches from every area and as well as their own students, allowing all students from their area to come along, including school students.”


Ben Robinson, chair of the campaign Youth Fight for Jobs said: “These students, with a large proportion from working-class backgrounds are fighting for their future.


“The 24 November protests surpassed the hugely significant student walkouts against the Iraq war, and made it clear that this is a serious, determined movement with the potential to force back the government.


“The London region of the UCU have called for a demonstration, this should be backed by the whole of the UCU and by the Trade Union Congress as a whole.


“This fight of the students is a fight for us all.”

Visit the Youth Fight for Jobs and Education website. Read Day X – how to organise for a walkout when parliament discusses fees



In the midst of the frantic activity of the student movement, important meetings took place on 4th and 5th December.

Members of Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) and Socialist Students held their national conferences, and Youth Fight for Education, a new campaign launched by YFJ and supported by Socialist Students, was launched.

There has been an uprising of young people in recent weeks, since they exploded onto the streets on the NUS demo on 10th November.

This Thursday sees the culmination of this first phase of the student struggle with the vote on fees in parliament.

Youth Fight for Education is calling walkouts all over the country and joining with others in a massive march on parliament.

Young people are angry and determined to fight for their future. In just four short weeks lessons have been learned about the role of the police and young people have won the support of workers and communities.

At the moment there is no real leadership or organisation in this movement. But it will not be over, no matter what happens on Thursday.

These conferences were therefore extremely important, discussing the need for democratic organisation and strategy, and the need for students to be joined by the strength of the organised working class.

Discussions also took place on strengthening Youth Fight for Jobs in the trade unions and campaigning amongst unemployed young people.

In the massive anti-cuts movement that is brewing, Youth Fight for Jobs can play a central role.

More detailed reports will follow.



From the YFJ site:


Future Jobs scam: attacks on young unemployed

Vincent Leonard


The Future Jobs Scheme is the government’s new initiative aimed at getting young people back into work. But it appears to be more about driving the young unemployed off benefits.

Increasingly we are seeing claimants being forced to ‘work for their benefits’, which for those under 25, thanks to another scheme, will mean working 25 hours for your £50 a week, working out at £2 an hour.

Claims that young people will be given training, experience and skills and even the promise of a job at the end of it are normally warped pictures. The reality is effectively slave labour in such ‘fun’ places as call centres, care and hospitality and basic office admin.

To add insult to injury, refusal to take any of these jobs can be used as an excuse to sanction claimants, with threats to cut their benefits, their only source of income.

A qualified sound engineer, fresh out of university, has been struggling to find employment. After six months, the Jobcentre offered him six months’ work experience in a call centre, claiming he would get “vital call centre experience”. When he declined on the basis that he wasn’t looking for a career in a call centre and had to focus on music, he was told he had no choice and would have to take it, or face sanctions.

Rather than be forced into such a future-less job, he signed off benefits. This helps explain the fall in the number of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants and the record high number classed as “economically inactive”.


Few new jobs

The real twist in the tale is that the government pays employers, not just the wages of the person they take on, but also additional administration fees!

“But aren’t they making sure that young people get jobs? What’s wrong with that?” people may ask. Well, for one, few new jobs have been created. And what benefit is there in keeping on the same young person after six months when they can just simply take on another youth for free under the same scheme?

Some of the biggest supporters of the scheme are local councils which are guaranteeing up to 100 positions at a time. Meanwhile they are laying off workers. 100 positions at 25 hours each could mean 50 full-time £16,000+ a year jobs going. This is part of the race to the bottom, playing workers off against young people on these appalling rates to undermine working conditions.

The Flexible New Deal has seen further privatisation of the services required by job seekers. In some areas 90% of claimants have been refused Employment and Support Allowance, New Labour’s incapacity benefit.

Whichever of the main parties wins the next election we will no doubt see a continuation of these attacks on claimants and the unemployed.

Trade unions should intervene, not only to ensure that anyone brought in under the scheme is unionised, but to ensure they have a guaranteed job at the end. Youth Fight for Jobs aims to link up with both trade unions and the unemployed and claimants to reject these schemes in our workplaces and fight for real genuine investment into decent, well-paid jobs in our economy.