Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/14921

Posted on 24 July 2012 at 17:30 GMT

Austerity Games highlights plight of young people

As the world's eyes focus on the Olympics, one of the greatest events in the sporting calendar, young people and trade unionists from across the country arrived on Hackney Marshes, east London, to compete in the alternative Austerity Games.

Despite Hackney council's over-zealous banning of the games, closing the toilets and café and locking the car-park gates, the games were a huge success.

The council's attitude is just another example of what has been widely recognised as an officious clampdown on protest and extreme levels of security and protection of corporate sponsorship for the London 2012 Games.

The example of the bagel shop, swooped on for getting into the Olympic spirit and arranging bagels in the shape of the Olympic rings, shows the lengths these drones will go to to protect the likes of Coca-Cola, Samsung and Visa.

Property High Jump at the YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12 ,  photo by Paul Mattsson

Property High Jump at the YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12 , photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Free from the corporate restraints of the nearby high security-fenced Olympic park, wearing and drinking anything of their choice, the Austerity athletes lined up to highlight the plight of young people in Britain today.

Hardship hurdles and more

Through the eight events the young athletes illustrated the key issues raised in the new Youth Fight for Jobs manifesto, 'A Future for the 99%' - like the soaring housing rental market with our 'Property High Jump'.

The 'Student Debt Weightlifting' showed the crippling situation young people are left with after university.

Student Debt Weights at the YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson

Student Debt Weights at the YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The 'Job Jump' long jump showed the increasingly common cycle of young unemployed people being forced into unpaid work experience just to be thrown back on the dole queue.

Alongside these were a number of events - 'Hardship Hurdles' and 'Deficit Discus' for example - that challenged this system that has allowed a global elite to hide £13 trillion from the taxman whilst ordinary working people suffer. During the events we also offered a variety of solutions to the crisis.

Hardship Hurdles at the YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo by Paul Mattsson

Hardship Hurdles at the YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

But not all our events took up the serious issues and questions facing young people like the ones already mentioned.

The 'Toss the Tory' shot-put as well as the cheating and corrupt bankers' team in their 'trust me I'm a banker' t-shirts added a light-hearted and satirical side to proceedings.

Youth Fight for Jobs 'Austerity Games', 23.7.12, photo by Paul Mattsson

Youth Fight for Jobs 'Austerity Games', 23.7.12, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

When the curtains come down on the closing ceremony of the Olympics and Paralympics in six weeks time they will leave behind a legacy of increased repression of democratic rights, private housing, expensive and out of reach facilities and a transport system taken to the brink.

Meanwhile, the close of the Austerity Games is just the start of a fightback of young people against this government's brutal writing-off of a whole generation.

Up and down the country young people will be organising regional launches of the Youth Fight for Jobs manifesto and campaigning to bring out the simmering anger and helplessness felt by young people in a coordinated, organised movement for a decent future.

Suzanne Beishon, London Youth Fight for Jobs
YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson

YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

.

YFJ Austerity Games, the winning team, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson

YFJ Austerity Games, the winning team, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

.

YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson

YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

.

YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson

YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

.

YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson

YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

.

YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson

YFJ Austerity Games, 23.7.12, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 24 July 2012 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Youth Fight for Jobs:

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

triangleUnison Broad Left meeting

triangleNSSN lobby of the TUC: an urgent time for our movement

triangleBFAWU conference 2016: "A council of war"

triangleDay of action against poverty pay: £10 now!

Young people:

triangleTunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

triangleSweden: School strike against deportations

triangleMovement challenges Iranian regime

triangleMarch for free education! We demand a future!

Youth:

triangle4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

triangleFight for free education

Jobs:

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

trianglePlans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

London:

triangleHeating scandal on east London estate

Olympics:

triangleInvest in grassroots sports needs

Hackney:

triangleHackney school cleaners strike

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

17/1/18

Women

Socialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences

17/1/18

Newham

Packed Newham meeting against academies

17/1/18

Liverpool

Lobby pushes Liverpool council to oppose privatisation

17/1/18

Barking

Heating scandal on east London estate

17/1/18

Policing

Undercover policing legal challenge

17/1/18

Woolwich

No to the Woolwich monster block

17/1/18

Union

Workplace news in brief

17/1/18

Union

PCS union 2018 elections - nominate the left slate for a continued fighting leadership

17/1/18

Hackney

Hackney school cleaners strike

17/1/18

RMT

RMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

17/1/18

Yorkshire

Ferrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

17/1/18

Cuts

We must fight all council cuts!

17/1/18

Socialist Party

Southern Socialist Party conference

16/1/18

Birmingham

Home care workers to strike

12/1/18

Waltham Forest

Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

More ...

triangle23 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangle23 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2