Press coverage; MPs back new jarrow marchers

press coverage from the Shields Gazette local newspaper; for original article see here

MPs back the new Jarrow Marchers

// POLITICIANS from throughout the UK have backed plans to recreate the Jarrow March of 1936 – including the town’s MP.

Youth Fight for Jobs (YFfJ) will stage a 75th anniversary march from Jarrow to London, starting on Saturday, October 1.

Almost 20 MPs have so far signed a parliamentary early day motion backing the modern march, with Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn also expressing his support for the event.

Mr Hepburn said: “I will certainly be signing this EDM. Anything which highlights youth unemployment and the cuts is to be welcomed.”

But Mr Hepburn revealed he has not been contacted by march organisers, adding: “Obviously, they can’t walk down major motorways and I hope permission is being obtained from police and local authorities.”

Youth unemployment nationally has risen to a record high of almost a million and the aim of the 2011 march is to highlight joblessness among the young.

Ben Robinson, a spokesman for London-based YFfJ, which is backed by the Socialist Party, said: “Statistics reveal that there are currently one million young people who are out of work and we aim to use the march to highlight the issue of joblessness among the young.

“The plan is to set off from the centre of Jarrow on October 1, and march along the original route, as far as is possible, given the modern motorway system.

“The march will reach the centre of London on November 5, when we will stage a big demonstration through the capital.

“We hope around 50 young people will take part in the march from Jarrow, including a mixture of unemployed people and students.”

Other regional MPs who have already signed the EDM include Blyth Valley’s Ronnie Campbell, Wansbeck’s Ian Lavery and Gateshead MP Ian Mearns, plus the outspoken MP for Bolsover, Dennis Skinner.

Mr Mearns said: “As a young Labour Party member, I remember addressing the 50th anniversary protest march in Jarrow in 1986. I think it’s a good thing to commemorate the Jarrow March, as we must not forget history, or we will be doomed to repeat our mistakes.”

The original jobless Jarrow Marchers of 1936, led into London by the town’s then-MP Ellen Wilkinson, received no support from Stanley Baldwin’s government.

Jarrow’s crippling unemployment was not eased until the reopening of the town’s famous Palmer’s Shipyard several years later as part of the war effort.

The early day motion, sponsored by Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell, reads: “That this House expresses its support for the young people who are taking part in the March for Jobs which, in order to draw attention to the high level of youth unemployment, is retracing on its 75th anniversary the steps of the original Jarrow unemployed workers’ march; and calls on all honorable members to support the march, welcoming the marchers whenever they enter their constituencies en route.”

The original jobless Jarrow Marchers of 1936, led into London by the town’s then-MP Ellen Wilkinson, received no support from Stanley Baldwin’s government.

Jarrow’s crippling unemployment was not eased until the reopening of the town’s famous Palmer’s Shipyard several years later as part of the war effort.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Press coverage; MPs back new jarrow marchers

  1. Anthony

    How can I get involved in the march? I’m from Jarrow and am unemployed so this is something close to my heart that I would be interested in being part of

    • Youth Fight for Jobs

      Hi Anthony,
      It’s great that you want to be involved in the march. If you send your name, email and phone number to us- youthfightforjobs@gmail.com – we’ll put you in touch with our organisers in the North East. At the moment there’s a smallish organising committee which meeting fairly regularly in Newcastle- perhaps you’d like to be involved in that? If your interested in actually marching for some or all of the route we can send you some more information about what that will involve. Unfortunately there was a marchers meeting last weekend which you will have missed- but it’s not a big problem- we can bring you up to speed quickly.
      Hope to hear from you soon!

  2. david

    wow so a march to for the 75 anniversary .i myself was 1986 marcher i joint at chester le street .so all i can say is all the best to all that join this 75 anniversary

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