Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/687/12859
Jarrow march - council puts high price on right to protest
As the final preparations are made for the Jarrow to London March for Jobs, starting on 1 October, organisers face a massive threat to the right to protest.
Paul Callanan, Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) national organiser, explains: "South Tyneside council, which has the original Jarrow March banner and petition [from 1936] on proud display, is demanding that young, mainly unemployed people pay £2,500 to re-enact the march!
"This is a threat to the right to protest for all working class and young people. I have been told that I need to pay £2,500 for road closures in Jarrow on the opening day. I am personally liable for this fee. If South Tyneside council get away with this, what happens to trade unionists, students, youth and anti-cuts campaigners who want to protest against vicious Con-Dem austerity?
"Whatever happens, Youth Fight for Jobs will be marching from Jarrow this Saturday, with huge support from local people and trade unions. We will campaign against any attempt to charge us for doing so."
Lizi Grey, following in the footsteps of her great-granddad who took part in the original march, was quoted in the Sunday Mirror: "A generation is being wasted. We feel a long, long way from the politicians and decision-makers, just the way I'm sure that my great-granddad felt. We have to take our case to their doorstep. We have a message for politicians, like my great-granddad did."
We urge people to register their complaints with the council at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0845 1450 100
Stop Press: South Tyneside council appeared to be backing off from its earlier hardline stance; while a local newspaper poll shows over 80% of readers back the march.
In The Socialist 28 September 2011:
Building for 30 November strike
Jarrow march for jobs
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