Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/690/12988
We are the 99% - Fighting for our future
75 years ago 200 unemployed men from Jarrow marched from their home in the North East to London to demand jobs and an end to their poverty conditions. Throughout October Youth Fight for Jobs is marching their route again.
As an unemployed prospective nursing student who can see the NHS being cut back and privatised to the point of being unrecognisable, I see the Jarrow march as an important campaign to highlight all the effects of the government's plans.
The NHS provides crucial services to young people, including mental health, sexual health etc. These supposed 'non-vital' services are being faced with almost total eradication. This, alongside rising youth unemployment to almost a million, the scrapping of EMA and the rise in tuition fees has left young people fighting for a future.
The Jarrow march aims to fight back against all the cuts to give young people a future.
As we have travelled down the country the support has been inspiring. In Jarrow 500 people joined us on the demonstration and applauded the march. One man who saw the original Jarrow march set off was in tears.
Financial support has also been overwhelming. One woman pulled up her car and gave us £100 as we passed.
This crisis is a systemic, international crisis and the march sees the occupation of Wall Street, the student protests in Chile and the anti-capitalist movement as vital aspects of the worldwide fightback.
The Jarrow March sends its support and solidarity to all those in struggle.
Kerry Hitchen, Jarrow marcher
On 17 October the Jarrow March was featured on BBC One's The One Show. Henry Winkler, who played 'The Fonze' on Happy Days, gave his support to the march and said that, just like the Occupation of Wall Street, the movement will grow in response to rising unemployment. The episode is available until 24 October on BBC iPlayer.
The Jarrow marchers demand:
- A massive government scheme to create jobs which are socially useful and apprenticeships which offer guaranteed jobs at the end - both paying at least the minimum wage, with no youth exemptions
- The immediate reinstatement of EMA payments, expanding them to be available to all 16-19 year olds, and the scrapping of university fees
- The immediate re-opening of all youth services that have been closed, including reinstating sacked staff
- The scrapping of 'workfare' schemes - benefits should be based on need not forced slave labour
- A massive building and renovation programme of environmentally sound, cheap social housing
Join the demonstration on 5 November
Welcome the marchers to London at the end of their 330 mile journey
12 noon Embankment, marching to Trafalgar Square
Speakers include an Occupy Wall Street activist; Bob Crow, general secretary RMT; Matt Wrack, general secretary FBU; Paul Murphy, Socialist Party MEP; Jarrow marchers and many more!
See www.jarrowmarch11.com for more
Get your Jarrow march t-shirt now!
£10 (+ £2 p&p)
Available in sizes:
Men's S, M, L, Xl, XXL and women's M, L
Order online at www.jarrowmarch11.com or send your order with a cheque made out to 'Youth Fight for Jobs' to PO Box 858, London E11 1YG
In The Socialist 19 October 2011:
Socialist Party news and analysis
What we think
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review