Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/682/12556
Workers & youth unite!
Fight for jobs, homes & services
Suzanne Beishon, Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ), London organiser
It is no wonder young people are angry and that anger poured onto the streets of London. The bailed-out bankers, pampered parliamentary politicians, and anti-working class media and police are lining up to attack and criminalise young people, but these disgusting institutions that run our society are the most corrupt looters of all.
Rioting doesn't help working class communities, and, like the Socialist Party, YFJ does not condone it as a form of protest. We need to make sure that all the families who have lost their homes are immediately re-housed, that small businesses are compensated, communities are rebuilt and local services are invested in.
But the conditions facing youth must be transformed. For this we need to organise and fight for our future, linking with the wider anti-cuts and trade union movement in a united, determined and sustained working class fightback.
The borough of Haringey, where the anger initially erupted after the fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan, has the highest unemployment rate in London; 54 people chase every vacancy. It is criminal that across the country one out of every five young people can't find a job.
Even the meagre payment of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) has been stolen from students. In every area funding for youth services has been viciously looted, with Haringey's Labour-led council closing eight out of 13 youth clubs. Young people have got nothing to do. And many youth face harassment from the police every day.
Chancellor Osborne, back from his £1,000-a night hotel in LA, is now proposing the scrapping of the 50% tax rate for the rich - adding to their criminal under-payment of taxes. The economic crisis, the MPs' expenses and the phone hacking scandals show that the Con-Dems are not fit to run our society and cannot provide a decent future for young people.
While multi-millionaire prime minister Cameron and his rich co-thinkers blame the parents of people caught up in the rioting, they can afford sky-high university fees and expensive childcare. At the same time single parents struggle to find work and their benefits and support services are cut.
Young people are being dragged through the courts throughout the night. Solicitors are being asked to read through the case documents as they go.
The right to a fair trial is being flouted as the powers that be try to regain the upper hand. Five to six-month sentences are being given out to young people who 'looted' items such as bottled water and toilet rolls.
This brutal retaliation from a greedy corrupt government will isolate and anger young people further.
Youth Fight for Jobs has been out every day in Tottenham, alongside the Day-Mer Turkish and Kurdish youth organisation and the Socialist Party, building for a protest to demand the immediate re-opening of the closed youth facilities and, crucially, jobs. After the protest we have organised a meeting to bring young people together to discuss how we organise and how we can win.
YFJ nationally is building for a new Jarrow youth march this autumn, particularly to demand investment in job creation. This has the support of eight national trade unions.
Young people won't stand for the dictatorship of rich public schoolboys - we want a future for the millions, not the millionaires.
- For massive government investment in jobs and training opportunities for young people
- For the immediate re-opening of all the closed youth facilities. Investment in youth services - not cuts!
- For the right to a free, decent, high quality education
In The Socialist 17 August 2011:
The street eruptions and aftermath
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
Comments and reviews