Archive for the ‘youth fight for jobs’ Category

Busk For Socialism

November 26, 2013

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Jarrow March diary Oct 2011

October 31, 2011

Just finished a section of the Jarrow March from Nottingham down to Milton Keynes. Fantastic solidarity and support all along the route.


With the Jarrow march on its arrival in Loughborough - 17th Oct

Leicester protest with the Jarrow marchers

Arriving in Leicester with the Trades Council and Leicester Civil Rights campaign


After Nuneaton, the march took a detour into the West Midlands – through Coventry, where it was greeted by Dave Nellist and the Coventry Socialist Party. I couldn’t make this part of the route and rejoined later in Northampton.

Attila the Stockbroker - 29/10 in Northampton

We upset the Vice Chancellor and local Tory MP at Northampton University, by holding a noisy protest against the loss of the Philosophy Department and vital support staff. See report:

Youth Fight For Jobs stands against job cuts wherever they are happening – we need to invest in education and public services, not throw more people on the unemployment scrapheap. Young people deserve a decent future – that was why I was marching.

Finally in Milton Keynes on 30/10

Finally in Milton Keynes on 30/10

I also helped make up a chant ( to the tune of the chorus of that hopelessly optimistic football classic ‘Ally’s Tartan Army’ – ).

We are the Jarrow marchers
We are with the RMT (RMT!)
When we get to London Town,
We’re going to bring the government down,
‘Cos we’re not going to work for free! (For free!)

We are the Jarrow marchers
We are with the PCS (PCS!)
When we get to London Town,
We’re going to bring the government down,
‘Cos we’re not paying for the bankers’ mess! (Bankers’ mess!)

We are the Jarrow marchers
We are with the FBU (FBU!)
When we get to London Town,
We’re going to bring the government down,
‘Cos we’re with UCU, CWU and BECTU too! (BECTU too!)

We are the Jarrow marchers
We are with the TSSA (TSSA!)
When we get to London Town,
We’re going to bring the government down,
‘Cos we won’t let ordinary people pay! (People pay!)

We are the Jarrow marchers
We are with UNITE (UNITE!)
When we get to London Town,
We’re going to bring the government down,
When workers and students unite (AND FIGHT!)

Chant by Alex Moore, Iain Pattison and myself – composed on the Jarrow March from Northampton to Milton Keynes 30.10.11

Big thanks to all the marchers and everyone who helped: Becci, Bea, Nev, Dave Roberts, Attila the Stockbroker for a wonderful benefit gig and everyone in Nottingham, Leicester, Nuneaton and Northampton Socialist Party, who worked hard organising the route, designing flyers and banners, organising socials and accommodation, also the Trades Councils, and all who supported us and made us feel welcome en route.

Support the Youth Fight For Jobs Jarrow March

October 16, 2011

The Jarrow marchers are still on their 300-mile trek, which began in the North East on the 1st October and will finish in London on the 5th November. With 1,000,000 young people unemployed, tuition fees trebling and EMA axed, many of Britain’s young people face a future on the dole queue. It shows the disastrous nature of the capitalist system, that after 75 years, working people are still fighting for what should be a right – an education and a decent job.

This weekend, I was there to greet the march as it passed through Bulwell on the way to Nottingham. After 175 miles, the participants were obviously footsore and tired, but were still keeping up a good pace.

We received vital donations and well-wishes from the public in Bulwell, and then I joined the march for the four-mile journey to Nottingham. A great reception awaited us as we marched to a rally at Forest Recreation Ground, and then on to the Market Square, with support from Notts Against Cuts and the Trades Council in Nottingham. (See the Jarrow marchers’ blog for pictures).

A longer stint down the A6 from Nottingham to Loughborough awaits the marchers today, then it is on to Leicester. Download our leaflet  for more info.

The march arrives in Leicester on Monday at Abbey Park, 5.00pm, for a protest rally at the Clocktower. The next day, they will have a well-earned rest from bashing the tarmac, but will be having a protest at Leicester University and a public meeting (Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre, 7.30pm, Tuesday 18th October).

Hope to see any readers of this blog who can make it along.

Jarrow 2011

September 24, 2011

Following in the footsteps of our forefathers
Whose Jarrow-built ships plied the oceans.
Trading, they brought wealth to a few.
We are many.

Unemployed, with no hope of a future.
The clash of hob-nails on cobbles
Echoes down the years.
We are marching.

I am the spark of the nail on stone.
But I do not stand alone.
A million others are behind me,
We cry out for change.

All we ask are decent jobs;
The right to educate ourselves.
All these years of “progress” – for what?
We demand answers.

But softer than our words,
The poles of the old banner creak,
The gossamer breeze sighs
A lament for half-remembered heroes.
We will not forget.

Northern thunder marches on London,
Voices raised for jobs and socialism,
To save services and defend communities.
We are the youth, fighting for our future.

Young people united – Peace on the streets

August 9, 2011

Thanks to Becci Heagney for the picture.

On my way into Leicester this evening, I noticed a large number of young people wearing hoodies also making their way into town. There was quite a large police presence for a Tuesday evening in Leicester. However, there was no violence or rioting.

I was going with members of the Socialist Party – we always have our regular meeting at the Turkey Cafe on Tuesdays, where I was talking about religion and socialism. Halfway through, we heard a group of people chanting “Peace on The Streets”, emblazoned across a banner with a young person smiling, whilst wearing the ubiquitous hoodie. They were making their way towards the Clocktower. We immediately abandoned the meeting to join them, with copies of our paper advertising the Jarrow Youth Fight For Jobs March.

Then a small group (about 10) EDL supporters riled up the people with “E-E-EDL” chants. They pretend to be against Islam, but the people making up the demonstration were from all backgrounds. It was entirely peaceful. The police could have simply escorted the EDL away and left the youth to make their point peacefully. Instead they over-reacted completely – charging down the street with batons raised. One window of a clothes shop was smashed, but no-one even attempted to get in the shop.

Later there were some windows smashed, on Granby St and High Cross St, after the police provoked the youth. There were no press at the demo itself, other than radio Leicester – so the Leicester Mercury article is talking from hearsay.

The Socialist Party demands that cuts to young people’s services be reversed urgently. We are fighting for secure jobs for all – youth unemployment is around 1 million and amongst black youth the unemployment rate is as high as 50%.

We need a united fight against racism, police oppression and for a mass working class party to stand up for ordinary people. Otherwise, anger and frustration will continue to spill over into rioting. The answer, as we decided in our meeting, is working-class unity.

Nationalise Bombardier to save jobs

July 25, 2011

I went to the Bombardier demonstration through Derby last Saturday.

Around 6,000 people marched through the town in protest at the loss of 1,400 jobs at Britain’s last train manufacturer. Speaking at the rally, Bob Crow of the RMT made the point that he was on the side of German workers as well as English and this was not about “British Jobs for British Workers”.

Derby has links to the train industry for over 150 years. The bogies made at the plant are renowned as the world’s most environmentally friendly construction of their type, being light and strong – the two contradictory goals of any transport designer. However, the government awarded the contract for the expansion of rolling stock for the new Thameslink extension to Siemens, who are trying to poach skills from the Derby plant.

The reason for the decision? Siemens are more expensive than the British option and do not offer the same efficiency of rolling stock, but they can borrow money at a lower rate than Bombardier, having been given a huge contract by Deutschebahn. They also do not recognise trade unions, so this is an attack on workers’ terms and conditions, just to make a more attractive offer on the balance sheet. If you look at the state owned French SNCF, they award their contracts overwhelmingly to French firms, and likewise, perfectly reasonably, in other countries. Why can we not ensure the survival of manufacturing in this country?

Since the demonstration, the government has also been slammed by Bob Crow for lying, saying that it could not alter the contract, which was drawn up by Labour. In fact, Theresa Villiers was looking to cut jobs by awarding the contract to Siemens as a cost-cutting exercise. Siemens is only cheaper on paper, because it does not recognise unions and because it can pay the money up front, but there have also been questions asked about corruption within Siemens itself.

Click here for speeches made at the NSSN public meeting, after the demo – recorded by Dan Fahey.

The Socialist Party stands for the renationalisation of the train network and bus network, with subsidised fares to really tackle global warming. We would provide secure jobs, which could not be taken away on the whim of a government because some company is fiddling the books. We are calling on the government for nationalisation of the rail industry on the basis of workers’ control.

As I was walking round Derby, I saw this inspiring mural of the Derby Silk Mill Lockout of 1833-34. It reminded me of the ethos behind Workers’ Memorial Day – we need to remember the past, but fight for our future!

In October Youth Fight for Jobs will be recreating the Jarrow March against unemployment. It is scandalous that, 75 years since unemployed workers had to walk the hundreds of miles from the North East to London in order to present a petition to the King, we are still campaigning and marching against unemployment in the 21st century.

How can the empty words of the Fib-Dems, Tories, or the rhetoric of the Labour Party be believed? The Murdochgate scandal shows that the party of government and the party of opposition, both wined and dined in an attempt to curry favour with the press. We need to kick both of them out and build a real alternative to represent the interests of the vast majority of people struggling to get by, not a tiny elite. I support the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition, which is making an important start in this direction.