Details for the reception of the Jarrow marchers:

Come and meet the marchers at the Greek-Cypriot Centre, 2 Britannia Road, North Finchley, Wednesday 2 November at 7pm

A welcome delegation of Barnet Alliance for Public Services will meet the marchers at 6pm at the Spires and walk with them (or take the bus) the 3 miles to the Greek Cypriot centre. All are welcome to join us there.

We want to offer the Jarrow marches refreshments, so if you can – please bring something to eat or to drink to share.

75 years ago 207 unemployed people marched 300 miles from Jarrow to London to appeal for investment for jobs. In a vain attempt to avoid offence, the organisers would allow no Communists on the march Even so, the Labour Party of the day opposed it, and the then Trades Union Congress circularised Trades Councils advising them not to help the marchers. All the marchers got was £1 each to pay for their train-fare back to where they came from. Investment only came a few years later with armaments and a new world war.

Today, unemployment, low pay, and casualised labour are at an all time high. Youth unemployment has practically reached 1 million. At over 20% this is the highest since records began – and is set to rise to 40%! A whole generation is being cast aside. These are the same young people who already figured in the infamous 2007 UNICEF study of children in 21 industrialised countries as ”the unhappiest [children] in the West…[who] rate their health as the poorest, dislike school more and are among the least satisfied with life [making] Britain a ‘picture of neglect'”.

Now 30 young unemployed people from the North East are retracing the steps of the original marchers. This time they are not desperate or cynical. Hosted by friendly tavern-keepers and sympathisers, they are marching in a colourful procession through the streets of England to honking car-horns and cheering crowds, calling out: “Bring back EMA! Make the greedy bankers pay!” and “Why have we marched all this way? Decent jobs with decent pay!”

On November 2nd they arrive in Barnet where the Barnet Trades Union Council and the Barnet Alliance for Public Services will host a welcome for them. We want a thriving Barnet community which respects and uses the talents and energies of its young people: a council which will end its policy of school privatisation, closure of youth services etc. and use some of its many £millions to launch a large-scale investment programme of real sustainable jobs with real training, to rebuild the local economy and mend our broken services.

We hope to host a reception for the Jarrow marchers. More details soon.