The Socialist 1 June 2011 |
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Yorkshire meetings make Jarrow plans
Matt Whale, YFJ unemployed organiser
Yorkshire Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) held a successful weekend with a regional YFJ conference on Saturday 28 May and a national Jarrow marchers' meeting on Sunday 29 May.
The conference, attended by 30 people, brought together the most militant young trade unionists, students and unemployed young people in the region.
We had a detailed discussion on the plight of young workers and the need to support the proposed strike action over pensions on 30 June. Key points of action to come out of the discussion were working to unionise work places and to develop a proper network of young members' officers of trade unions in the region.
The conference then voted on democratic structures for the campaign in Yorkshire, electing a regional organiser and steering committee.
On Sunday around 35 people attended the Jarrow marchers meeting. Groups from across England and Wales met to discuss the Jarrow march for jobs and what needs to be done to organise it. Two journalists attended the meeting including a film director who wants to do a documentary of the march.
Paul Callanan, national organiser of YFJ, introduced the meeting on the current situation facing young people and why the march is needed.
A lively discussion followed with reports on how the situation is hitting all young people; graduates, school leavers and those in employment. A group from Barnado's children's charity in Newcastle proposed writing and recording a song to do with the Jarrow march which was well received.
Ben Robinson, YFJ national chair, then talked about the more logistical issues of the march. He also described the support we've received so far with £10,000 of our £26,000 funding target reached through support from trade unions.
Regions then reported on their plans to publicise and build support for the march. These included gigs, meetings, a 'mini Jarrow' in Wales on 29-30 July, and plans to approach trade unions for accommodation and food for marchers along the route.
The meeting then broke into regional caucuses to make detailed plans for the build up to the march and events during the march itself, particularly in areas that it will pass through.
There were suggestions for regional committees with Jarrow organisers in each city, feeder marches, Skype link-ups with the marchers at solidarity protests and meetings and making sure that marchers are mentally and physically prepared for the challenge!
The weekend was a huge success for Yorkshire YFJ and we raised more money for the Jarrow-meter. All who attended left looking forward to the Jarrow march and feeling prepared to spend the next few months working hard to make it a success.
Join the Jarrow march for jobs!
75 years ago, 200 unemployed men from Jarrow marched from their home town in South Tyneside to London. Youth Fight for Jobs is retracing their steps this October and marching for a genuine solution to youth unemployment.
We demand free, decent education and real training on trade union agreed rates of pay that leads to a guaranteed socially useful job at the end. If you want to help by marching, fundraising or organising a protest as part of the march, get in touch:
020 8558 7947