Campaigners on jobs march

CRUSADERS ... a special service will be held to mark the 75th anniversary of the Jarrow Marchers.
CRUSADERS ... a special service will be held to mark the 75th anniversary of the Jarrow Marchers.
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CAMPAIGNERS will be walking through County Durham as they recreate a march for jobs which took place 75 years ago.

Youth Fight for Jobs (YFfJ) are to do their own version of the 1936 Jarrow March, when the town’s MP Ellen Wilkinson led jobless people on a walk to London.

Almost 20 MPs have so far signed a parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM) backing tomorrow’s march, which will pass through Chester-le-Street.

Jarrow and Boldon MP Stephen Hepburn is supporting the event.

He said: “I will certainly be signing this EDM. Anything which highlights youth unemployment and the cuts is to be welcomed.”

Ben Robinson, a spokesman for London-based YFfJ, which is backed by the Socialist Party, said: “Statistics reveal that there are currently one million young people who are out of work and we aim to use the march to highlight the issue of joblessness among the young.

“The plan is to set off from the centre of Jarrow on October 1, and march along the original route, as far as is possible, given the modern motorway system.

“The march will reach the centre of London on November 5, when we will stage a big demonstration through the capital.

“We hope around 50 young people will take part in the march from Jarrow, including a mixture of unemployed people and students.”

Gateshead MP Ian Mearns is also one of those backing the event.

He said: “I think it’s a good thing to commemorate the Jarrow March as we must not forget history or we will be doomed to repeat our mistakes.”

The Early Day Motion, sponsored by Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell, reads: “That this House expresses its support for the young people who are taking part in the March for Jobs which, in order to draw attention to the high level of youth unemployment, is retracing on its 75th anniversary the steps of the original Jarrow unemployed workers’ march; and calls on all honorable members to support the march, welcoming the marchers whenever they enter their constituencies en route.”

The original jobless Jarrow Marchers of 1936 received no support from then Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin’s Government.

Jarrow’s crippling unemployment due to the Great Depression was not eased until the reopening of the town’s famous Palmer’s Shipyard several years later as part of the war effort.

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