Tyne & Wear

Youth jobs group plans to recreate Jarrow March

Jarrow March
The original Jarrow March took place in October 1936

The 75th anniversary of the Jarrow March is to be marked by a similar protest highlighting youth unemployment, activists have announced.

Youth Fight for Jobs plans to march from Jarrow in South Tyneside to London starting on 1 October.

The trade union-backed organisation wants action to help the near one million 16 to 24-year-olds out of work.

In 1936, 200 jobless men marched on the government with a 12,000-name petition calling for help.

Youth Fight for Jobs National organiser Paul Callanan said: "Young people now face the worst attacks on our rights and living standards we've seen in generations.

"We will be marching from Jarrow to London in October to show this government that we will not see all the gains made by working-class people over the last century blotted out of existence."

'Great regret'

Unemployment figures released last week by the Office for National Statistics showed an increase of 44,000 to almost 2.5 million in the three months to the end of December.

The unemployment rate is now 7.9%, with youth unemployment running at 20.5% - a record high.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said unemployment, particularly among the young, was "a matter of great regret".

The Jarrow crusaders as they were known were refused a meeting with the government of the day when they arrived in London.

The petition was handed in at Downing Street by the then MP for Jarrow, Ellen Wilkinson.

The last surviving Jarrow marcher, 93-year-old Cornelius Whalen, died in September 2003.

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