Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/674/12193
Protests grow as young people say: 'We want a future!'
Cédric Gérôme, International Socialist Resistance
"We are not commodities in the hands of politicians and bankers!" say Spanish protesters. Their "real democracy" movement expresses genuine aspirations for a society in which people have control over their lives.
Young people are fighting against conditions that threaten to make them the "ni ni" generation - no job, no house. The town square occupation and protest movement of the 'indignados', which spread like wildfire across Spain, has appealed to many young people and workers across Europe.
While frightening the ruling elite, this movement represents a rallying cry for all those who refuse to bear the brunt of a capitalist crisis for which they are not responsible.
These protesters reject a hopeless future of mass unemployment, "trash contracts", low-paid jobs, squeezed services, reduced benefits, inaccessible education, soaring prices and police repression.
In Greece, hundreds of thousands of workers and young people have occupied the main cities' squares. This has helped bring forward the next general strike in Greece to 15 June, the same day as a major anti-cuts demonstration in Barcelona.
Across Europe, the impact of this new wave of resistance has been felt by solidarity protests and occupations, with young people inspired by the revolutionary movements in Egypt, Tunisia and across the Middle East.
Almost half of Spanish youth are unemployed. Devastating cuts are planned and are already being implemented.
Capitalist politicians are more concerned with bailing out their big business and banker mates than the lives of the majority of the population. Young people in Britain are also experiencing unemployment, education cuts, low pay and cuts in much-needed services.
But, as indicated by the student protests in 2010, we can also take the road of Spain, with a mass fightback that says no to all cuts, no to mass unemployment, and demands the right to determine our own future.
- We don't want to be slaves of this system!
- Decent jobs and contracts for all!
- For free education and healthcare
- Nationalise the big companies and banks under democratic working-class control
- For Europe-wide and international solidarity action on 15 June
For more on 15 June protests, see: internationalsocialistresistance.wordpress.com
Sixth union backs Jarrow march
Employers will attempt to use mass unemployment to hold down wages and attack conditions in work. People desperate for a job could be used to undermine strike action and ultimately lead to worse conditions for all.
That is why Youth Fight for Jobs seeks to link all young people fighting against the cuts to the wider anti-cuts and trade union movement. Many of our members are helping to build support for public sector strike action on 30 June.
And that is also why we are organising the Jarrow to London 2011 march, 75 years since the first Jarrow unemployed workers' march, to say we won't be a lost generation, and to fight for jobs and education!
At its recent conference, the University and College Union agreed to support this march for jobs. UCU is now the sixth national trade union to back the march, joining the FBU firefighters' union, RMT and TSSA transport unions, PCS civil service union and Bectu media and entertainment trade union.
The march starts on 1 October. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8558 7947 to take part in or support the march.
Ben Robinson, Youth Fight for Jobs
In The Socialist 8 June 2011:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party women
International socialist news and analysis
Young people fighting back
Socialist Party news and analysis