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Youth march in Wales to demand jobs
17 young people marched from Merthyr to Cardiff to protest against the scandal of youth unemployment. The three-day march of Youth Fight for Jobs, Wales, ended on 6 August to a terrific reception.
The marchers, footsore and hoarse, were applauded into Queen Street in Cardiff where a rally was held by the Nye Bevan statue. Then more than 100 people, with the PCS civil servants' union prominent, marched through the city centre to Caradog jobcentre, which is threatened with closure by the Tories.
Tory 'jobs' minister, Iain Duncan Smith had criticised the unemployed of Merthyr for not just getting on a bus to jobs in Cardiff. But as the marchers explained, for every job in the jobcentres in Cardiff there are nine unemployed Cardiffians. The situation is so bad in Merthyr the equivalent figure is 84 unemployed chasing every job!
The marchers paused briefly at the Hoover factory which ended production in 2009 adding over 300 workers to the dole queue, before heading to Troedyrhiw and then Merthyr Vale, Treharris and Cilfynydd.
On the second day the march delayed leaving Pontypridd jobcentre, making a detour to show its support for the struggle of Remploy workers in the Rhondda valley who were occupying the Porth factory for 48 hours as part of their action to defend their plant against government plans to close it.
At a meeting outside the plant Youth Fight for Jobs and Remploy workers pledged support for each other's campaign.
The march continued, arriving at the Conservative HQ in Whitchurch where a young Tory boy in a suit was waiting to receive a letter of protest. Local young people joined in the protest at the Tories' policies.
The marchers arrived on day three at Cardiff city centre to a great reception, and a battery of TV cameras. The march had firmly put the issue of youth unemployment on the agenda in Wales. So much for lazy young people!
As one of the march organisers, Jaime Davies, a young shop worker from Caerphilly, said: "We will not be oppressed by capitalist society. We march for our future."
Socialist Party Wales
In The Socialist 17 August 2011:
The street eruptions and aftermath
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
Comments and reviews