Monthly Archives: September 2011

Latest Press Release: Union leaders support 330 mile march against unemployment

Press release for immediate use 30/9/11

Union leaders support 330 mile march against unemployment

starting tomorrow

StartsSaturday 1 October, 12 noon, Jarrow Park, Jarrow

Youth Fight for Jobs is recreating theJarrow March of 75 years ago and will be marching 330 miles to London to demand a program of job creationnot job destruction. Marchers include great grandchildren of original Jarrowmarchers, unemployed young people, students and young trade unionists (allavailable for quotes/interviews).

The march will finish in Londonwith a mass demonstration on 5 November, assembling at Temple Embankmentat 12 noon.

BobCrow,general secretary of the RMT union said “If the trade union movement doesn’tstand by the young people in the frontline of the Con-Dem attack on jobs andservices we will witness a re-run of the Thatcher government’s cynical dumpingof a whole generation onto the scrap heap. This ideological government ofmillionaires, backed by big business, could not care less for those who gettrampled in their dash to drive a bulldozer through our communities.

The betrayal of Bombardier shows ingraphic terms what’s at stake – apprentices and a state-of-the-art trainingcentre sacrificed in order to appease global finance capital and the EU. RMT’sfight for the future of manufacturing jobs in train building, and the apprenticeshipsthat run alongside them, rages on.

RMT is totally behind the Youth Fight forJobs Jarrow march and will support it in the towns, villages and cities as itheads down from the North East. RMT will not be found wanting when it comes tosolidarity with the youth, and any other sections of our community, in thefrontline of the fight back.”

MarkSerwotka, general secretary of the PCS union said “Three-quarters of a centuryon, the young people recreating this famous march are sending an importantmessage that our communities must never again be abandoned to pay for aneconomic crisis they did not cause.

Instead of cutting jobs, pay and workingconditions – and hacking away at our public services and our welfare state -the government should be investing to provide work and clamping down on thewealthy tax dodgers who deprive our public finances of tens of billions ofpounds a year.

As we prepare for the largest publicsector strike in decades as part of our fight against these cuts, on behalf ofPCS, I send solidarity to the marchers and wish them well on their journey forjustice.”


Notes to editors

Youth Fight for Jobs was launched inJanuary 2009 to combat the effects of the recession on young people. We havethe support of Unite, RMT, PCS, CWU, UCU, Bectu, TSSA, FBU and many local tradeunion and student union groups.

To contact youth fight for jobs toarrange interviews or for further information, please contact

0208558 7947

07751 355616

PO BOX 858, London, E11 1YG

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Protest gets go-ahead in Jarrow; victory!

Jarrow march secures legal permission as council backs down

Launch of five week long march will go ahead safely, legally and as planned assembling at 12noon in Jarrow Park.

Youth Fight for Jobs is recreating the Jarrow March of 75 years ago and will be marching 330 miles to Londonto demand a program of job creation not job destruction. Marchers include greatgrandchildren of original Jarrow marchers, unemployed young people, studentsand young trade unionists.

South Tyneside council hasbeen forced to retreat from its threat to charge the Jarrow marchers, many whoare unemployed or students, £2,500 for marching through Jarrow.

Youth Fight for Jobs would like to thank all those who sent their solidarity to thecampaign and protests to the council to help get the decision reversed.

More coverage: Guardian

BBC Tyne & Wear


Financial Times

An excellent statement from PCS Euston – thank you to all who wrote in to South Tyneside Council



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Events on week 5 of #jarrowmarch11

Saturday 29 October

Demonstration, assemble Abington Street (outside BBC), 12


Sunday 30 October

Marching between Northampton and Milton Keynes

Details tbc


Monday 31 October

Marching between Milton Keynes and Luton

Details tbc


Tuesday 1 November

Marching between Luton and Hatfield

Details tbc


Wednesday 2 November

Marching between Hatfield and Barnet

Rally on arrival


Thursday 3 November

Social at the Bread and Roses pub, Clapham


Friday 4 November

3pm, March from College of North East London (CONEL), Tottenham to Iain Duncan Smiths surgery in Chingford


Saturday 5 November

National demonstration assembling at Temple Embankment, 12 noon, to Trafalgar Square

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Events on week 4 of #jarrowmarch11

Saturday 22 October

Demonstration through Coventry, assemble 12 noon at Coventry

8pm, gig at The Phoenix (also known as the Camberwell)


Sunday 23 October

Evening social in Bristol, tbc


Monday 24 October

Events in Bristol, tbc


Tuesday 25 October

March between Coventry and Rugby

Rally when we arrive at Clock Tower


Wednesday 26 October

March between Rugby and Daventry

Rally, details tbc

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition meeting in Rugby with Bob Crow, RMT, and Jarrow marcher


Thursday 27 October

March between Daventry and Northampton

2:45pm, rally outside All Saints Church


Friday 28 October

7:30pm, social at the Black Lion pub

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Events on Week 3 of #jarrowmarch11

Saturday 15 October

Demonstration through Nottingham

Assemble 1pm at Forest Recreation Ground


Sunday 16 October

March between Nottingham and Loughborough

3:30pm rally at Loughborough Market Place

7:30pm meeting at the Old Packhorse, 4 Woodgate,
Loughborough, LE11 2TY


Monday 17 October

Marching between Loughborough and Leicester

11:15 brief rally in Quorn

5:30pm demonstration, assembly Abbey Park, St Margarets way


Tuesday 18 October

12 Noon rally at University of Leicester

Jarrow marchers also speaking at a meeting in Cardiff, details tbc


Wednesday 19 October

Marching between Leicester and Hinkley

12 noon Stoke demo, Stoke On Trent 6th Form, Leek road, 12

3:15pm rally at the borough, Hinkley

7:30pm Birmingham public meeting, Briar Rose Hotel, Bennets


Thursday 20 October

Marching between Hinkley and Nuneaton

Rally at George Eliot statue when the march arrives

Fundraising social at the Railway Tavern

Stoke protests at 10am KUSU, Keele Uni, 11am Newcastle
College, 1pm Stafford College


Friday 21 October

Marching between Nuneaton and Coventry

4pm, rally at the Bull Yard, Coventry

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events on week 2 of #jarrowmarch11

Saturday 8 October

Demonstration through Leeds City Centre

Assemble 12 noon at Leeds University Parkinson steps

6pm Yorkshire PCS Young Members Network social at the
Fenton, Woodhouse Lane

Youth Fight for Jobs demonstration in Hull with Jarrow

Assemble 12 noon at the war memorial, opposite the train

Monday 10 October

Marching between Leeds and Wakefield

4pm Rally at the precinct by the cathedral

4:30pm meeting at the Wakefield Labour Club (also known as the Red Shed)

7:30pm gig at the Wakefield Labour Club (also known as the Red Shed)

Tuesday 11 October

Marching between Wakefield and Barnsley

5pm rally at Peel Square

Evening gig at the Pulse Bar, Wellington Street

Wednesday 12 October

Marching between Barnsley and Sheffield

4pm Protest at Job Centre

5pm rally at the Town Hall

7pm Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance meeting with Jarrow marcher speaking, 7pm, Sheffield University

Thursday 13 October

Marching between Sheffield and Chesterfield

2:45 rally at Chesterfield Market Place

Evening social event at Chesterfield Labour club

7pm in Lincoln, Lincoln Trades Council meeting with Jarrow marcher speaking

Friday 14 October

Marching between Chesterfield and Nottingham

12:15 rally at Shirebrook Market Place

2:30 rally at Mansfield Market Place

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Events on week 1 of #Jarrowmarch11

Saturday 1 October

Marching between Jarrow and Birtley

12 noon – demonstration through Jarrow, assembling Jarrow
Park; all welcome

6pm – rally in Birtley with AEI factory workers in dispute

7pm – gig at the Three Tuns Pub in Gateshead

Sunday 2 October

Marching between Birtley and Durham

10am – breakfast with AEI factory workers

Evening – social event at county hall; more details tbc

Monday 3 October

Marching between Durham and Newton Aycliffe

Tuesday 4 October

Marching between Newton Aycliffe and Darlington

Rally, details tbc

Wednesday 5 October

Marching between Darlington and Northallerton

5pm, reception with RPA

Thursday 6 October

Marching between Northallerton and Harrogate

12:30 reception with Ripon Diocese

5:30pm rally at the war memorial, by Bettys Tearoom, with Harrogate Action

Friday 7 October

Marching between Harrogate to Leeds

4:30pm rally at Leeds Trinity

5pm Meeting at Leeds University with a guest marcher

8pm reception at the Wellington Pub, Leeds

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FBU & RMT donate essentials to the Jarrow March!

Thanks to the RMT and FBU for donating hats, caps, bags, t-shirts etc. to the Jarrow Marchers!

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Rain jackets are here!

Beautiful Jarrow March rain jackets have arrived. As modelled by the lovely Ben Robinson Youth Fight for Jobs national chair.

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Ben Robinson, YFJ national Chair

On 1 October, Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) activists start a 330 mile march from Jarrow to London. Why? Because we’ve had enough, and we know that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Why should we let pro-big business politicians get away with condemning the young and the unemployed as a ‘feral underclass’? Why should millions of public sector workers have to strike against working longer while the job rejection letters pile up for a generation?

While universities spend millions on rebranding, new students have to live in caravans and temporary accommodation because there aren’t enough affordable halls. The government has cut EMA student payments to save a measly £500 million but fritters away huge amounts on consultants and PFI schemes.

We’re being made to pay for a crisis not of our making. And this isn’t the first time in history either. The great depression of the 1930s saw our grandparents’ and great grandparents’ living standards decimated. But there was also mass resistance then. In 1936, hundreds of unemployed workers marched from their homes in Jarrow to London. It’s in the traditions of such protests that YFJ is marching today.

No choice

The 1930s were a period of mass unemployment and few public services, with the vast majority of people forced into being dependent on the charity of the rich. It is exactly these conditions that the Con-Dem coalition is seeking to bring back into existence. They say that one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure, but there are few so low as to warrant comparison with Clegg and Cameron.

Young people have no choice but to fight back. In Spain, Greece, Chile, Egypt, Yemen and elsewhere young people are and have been to the fore of mass movements and revolutions. The Spanish movement of unemployed and angry young people is organising similar ‘long marches’.In Britain too young people have moved into action with the student movement at the end of 2010 and the thousands of new young trade union members taking part in demonstrations and strikes.

The riots over the summer showed that there is huge anger building up. The paths traditionally seen as routes out of misery and desperation turn out to all lead to dead ends. Graduate unemployment has risen dramatically over the last few years, and half of those on internships are receiving no pay whatsoever. Fees of up to £9,000 are a massive deterrent to all but the richest.

With the abolition of EMA college enrolment has already slowed down significantly. Government plans will push many 14-18 year olds into years of meaningless work experience. This will only add fuel to the fire. For those out of work, there are half a million jobs for over two and a half million unemployed – but even this national average does not reveal  the full scale of the problem. In some areas there can be over 50 Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) recipients chasing every single job.

The government’s plans are, unbelievably, to make these people work for free through ‘work experience’! Not only will this free labour be used by bosses to increase their profits, but will also lead to fewer paid jobs available. Cuts in careers advice, such as Connexions, and youth clubs mean young people have literally nowhere to go. After anger exploded on the high streets in August, a YFJ activist asked a young man in Tottenham where his nearest youth club was.  Pointing at the wall he was sitting on, “this is my youth club” was his reply!

Mass movement

But the riots only gave the government an excuse to heap more misery on the shoulders of the most-burdened. Instead we have to work together to build a positive movement that will tackle the root causes of the conditions we face. In doing that we have to use the best ideas of the past and the best ideas of today and tomorrow. With these and with a clear message, we can defeat these attacks and defeat this government.

We’re marching to demand the reopening of all closed youth services, creating jobs and offering a vital lifeline for young people. For a restoration of EMA and access to a decent education for all. For ‘workfare’ schemes to be scrapped, for a day’s pay for a day’s work. We demand that the government creates jobs rather than destroying them. During the course of the march youth unemployment is likely to go over one million. Public services are understaffed and facing cuts and there are millions of talented young people who are desperate to put their skills to use. As a start, a programme of building and restoring high-quality council housing would end the cramped conditions that many young people live in and create a huge number of jobs.

These are big demands. But battles like this are won all the time on a local level. Just recently, a mass campaign in Renfrewshire in Scotland, including a rally of a thousand and a successful ballot for strike action defeated plans to cut 60 teachers’ jobs. The trade unions have massive potential power. When the RMT and TSSA have taken strike action, they’ve brought the City of London to a standstill.


Since we announced the Jarrow march in February we have received the support of hundreds of trade union branches, anti-cuts groups, political organisations, student activists and many, many of those individuals who aren’t organised yet. We have received the support of eight national trade unions – Unite, UCU, Bectu, CWU, TSSA, RMT, PCS and the FBU. YFJ supporters have been on the TV, radio, newspapers and the internet. And this is just the start.

During the march, thousands will take part in local rallies and demonstrations, culminating in a big demonstration on 5 November, when we arrive in London. But that won’t be the end of the campaign. Afterwards we want to build on all the links we have made and all the young people that we meet during the course of the march. We need to develop mass campaigns around the country, taking up the demands of the march and building a movement that’ll force the government to listen to the powerful voice of young people, linking it in with the trade unions.

The 30 November could see three to four million workers taking strike action to defend pensions. Youth Fight for Jobs will be campaigning for support for these strikes, among young workers, the unemployed as well as among university and college students.

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