3-day march from Stirling to STUC’s Glasgow protest begins as official figures expected to confirm young people continue to be hardest hit by austerity-driven unemployment


A group of young trade unionists, unemployed students and school pupils is beginning a 30-mile walk to join the Scottish Future That Works anti-austerity protest in Glasgow, on 20 October.

The March for Jobs and Public Services has been organised by Youth Fight for Jobs Scotland and the PCS Young Members Network and comes as official figures later today are expected to confirm young people continue to be hardest hit by austerity-driven unemployment.

Organisers expect 15 people will make the 3-day journey, which is scheduled to pass through some of the most significant landmarks of the area’s industrial past, including the former mining village of Fallin, where the 1984-85 strike was said to be so solid that pickets were not necessary.

The march is also due to pass through towns such as Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch, both of which have been blighted by high levels of youth unemployment.

March organiser, Matt Dobson, told UnionNews: “Today a hardy few, young activists from the workplaces, dole queue, colleges and schools are marching in the footsteps of the generation of the 1930’s, who suffered mass unemployment and the burden of capitalist crisis and took part in the hunger marches.

“We will not be forced to become another lost generation.

“As we leave Stirling, the news will once again be full of the latest unemployment figures showing the permanent scar of joblessness in society.

“Austerity policies and public sector cuts are wrecking the lives of the working class in Scotland and the future of young people.

“Along the road we will carry demands for real job creation, investment in public services, public works, free education and affordable housing.

“We are struggling against slave labour workfare, the pensions robbery, the wage freeze benefit cuts and student poverty.”

The marchers hope their 3-day trek will encourage others to join the STUC demonstration in Glasgow on Saturday.

The STUC itself was forced to organise a campaign among local trade unions to ensure that it was able to hold Saturday’s opening rally in George Square, next to the city’s historic council chambers.

The local authority had initially refused to allow protesters to gather at the city centre location, which has been the scene of generations of rallies and trade union demonstrations dating back to the early 20th century.

Separate protests are being held in Belfast and London under the Future That Works banner.

The marchers are planning to complete their first day in the town of Larbert, birthplace of the radical parliamentary reformer, Thomas Hardy, the founder of the London Corresponding Society of the 1790s.

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