Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/602/8373
Youth march for jobs
Saturday 28 November 2009
Assemble 12 noon, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY, nearest tube Euston or Russell Square.
The government has been patting itself on the back, claiming that the latest unemployment figures show that the UK labour market is performing better than most major economies. Official UK unemployment, at 7.8%, is lower than the EU average of 9.2%. Knowing that there are millions facing a similarly bleak future elsewhere in Europe will provide little solace to the one million unemployed young people in Britain.
University fees and delayed loan payments mean thousands of students are struggling. Hypocritically, the Liberal Democrats lambast the student loan company bosses' bonuses but they, alongside the Tories and Labour, refuse to consider free education.
With just over a week to go until the March for Jobs many people will be thinking about how to prepare for this important demonstration. A recent silly 'Ask Hadley' fashion column in the Guardian asks: "What should I wear to a protest march?" This is unlikely to be the main consideration for marchers, but here are a few last minute tips to make sure the demonstration is as strong as possible.
Get out there and do some campaigning! Hand out leaflets at schools, colleges, universities, job centres, shopping centres and anywhere there are large numbers of young and working people, students and anyone who doesn't want to see a generation on the scrapheap. Take along sign-up sheets so people can commit to coming and better still, make sure you have tickets for local transport with you. If you run low on any material contact email@example.com or call 020 8558 7947 to order more.
A press release for local papers, radio and TV, giving quotes of why people are attending from your area and what the campaign is all about, could help to publicise the demonstration. Model material can be found on the website www.youthfightforjobs.com
Talk to local trade union members and ask them to put out the leaflets through their workplaces. A special appeal letter can be used to help raise sponsorship through the unions, see our website.
There is still time to organise a meeting for the week or fortnight after the demonstration. This will give people from your area a way of maintaining their involvement after the march. You could hand out leaflets advertising it on your coach or minibus. Also let the national organisers know the details of when and where it will take place so your meeting can appear on the events section of the website: www.youthfightforjobs.com/action
What to bring: leaflets for your local meeting, warm clothing, local banners and placards (although placards and flags will be provided), your camera, and your local megaphone (and batteries) to ensure this is a noisy march that cannot be ignored!
Ben Robinson, YFJ chair
Why I support the march for jobs on Saturday 28 November:
Teachers want to help young people flourish and leave school with a real future ahead of them. We don't want to be educating youth for a life of unemployment, low pay and crippling student debts. That's why Lewisham NUT will be supporting the YFJ march.
Martin Powell-Davies, Lewisham NUT secretary
The scale of what is happening to young people is going to affect everybody, now and in the future. A whole generation is entering the working world with fewer rights and worse terms and conditions than many older employees. We're speaking out about this on 28 November and we need anyone who feels similarly to stand with us.
Kyly Wilson, CWU member
In the early 1980s, when unemployment was approaching three million I marched on demonstrations of hundreds of thousands organised by the Labour Party. There's no chance of that happening now! The trade unions should be protesting loud and clear but too many of their leaders are still tied to the Labour Party's coat tails. Come to this demo to force the trade union leaders to organise action on unemployment.
Kevin Parslow, Secretary Unite LE 1/1228 Branch, personal capacity
2009 has been the year when workers in Visteon, Lindsey and Linamar have fought back and won victories. But perhaps Vestas was the most important of the lot. Young, unorganised workers occupied their factory and joined the RMT. I became involved in politics 23 years ago when I went on the LPYS 'Tories Out' demo. Hopefully there'll be people on this demo who, in the not too distant future, will be leading workers in fighting back.
Rob Williams, Re-instated Linamar car components plant convenor, personal capacity
Mass unemployment and extortionate education costs are just two of the problems being faced by young people today. While fat-cat bankers continue to make billions, their political representatives (in all three parties) tell us that we will be the ones who pay for their crisis. But their pronouncement is not inevitable; with a coordinated campaign by young trade unionists and students we can make the billionaires who caused this recession pay for it. The YFJ march on 28 November will be an important step in developing this campaign.
Hannah Walter, Unison national executive, personal capacity
This demonstration will show the government that we, as trade unionists and young people, are not prepared to roll over and see our futures ruined by the greedy fat cats, but that we are prepared to fight back and in doing so encourage more young people and trade unionists to get behind our campaign.
Manny Dominguez, Leeds Unison member
In The Socialist 18 November 2009:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party feature
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party election analysis
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
Workplace news and analysis