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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 December 2009

Youth Fight for Jobs organises demo in Barking

Youth Fight for Jobs demonstration 28 November 2009, photo Dave Carr

Youth Fight for Jobs demonstration 28 November 2009, photo Dave Carr   (Click to enlarge)

The London borough of Barking and Dagenham is an area particularly blighted by capitalism's failure. A whole estate in Becontree was built up around the Ford factory. In the past, 40,000 people worked there, directly providing jobs and training for generations of young workers; and work for thousands of others in supply industries.

But over the last few years the world crisis in the car industry, and the ruthless pursuit of profit, have eroded the vast majority of those jobs. Now around 4-5,000 work there. An entire community has been destroyed and the future snatched away from generations of young people.

Unemployment in Barking and Dagenham has risen from 5.2% in July 2008 to 8.6% in July 2009. None of the main parties offer anything to the working class and young people of Barking. Their policies of cuts and privatisation - their policies of giving free rein to big business to exploit and destroy - have created the situation in Barking.

At the 2006 Barking and Dagenham council election, the far-right racist BNP won 12 councillors. Now BNP leader Nick Griffin intends to stand in the general election against Barking MP and New Labour minister Margaret Hodge.

Nick Griffin will pretend to be the champion of the white working class in Barking, but as a land-owning millionaire he knows nothing about the lives of unemployed workers and young people. Meanwhile, his councillors - like BNP councillors in Huddersfield - will call for and vote for severe cuts just the same as all the other parties.

Youth Fight for Jobs demonstration 28 November 2009, photo Rob Emery

Youth Fight for Jobs demonstration 28 November 2009, photo Rob Emery   (Click to enlarge)

To combat the cancer of long-term mass unemployment we need action. Young people need to come together to organise and fight back. Too many mainstream politicians and media hacks tell us that young people are apathetic. Yet already hundreds demonstrated for jobs when the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign was launched in April. Two weeks ago over a thousand marched on Downing Street.

Recently, bus drivers working for East London Bus Group went on strike, and hundreds formed picket lines across London. They were fighting to defend hard-won conditions such as decent pensions and holiday pay. The picket in Barking was big, lively and very mixed - working people of all races and religions were united to defend themselves. The BNP would make this impossible, because they try to come in between workers and drive us apart.

This is why Youth Fight for Jobs plans to hold a Youth March for Jobs in Barking.

Youth March for Jobs: 13 March 2010. Come to the demonstration to say: We want real jobs and we want free education! We will not be divided - we want unity, we will fight and we will win!

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