Richard Redmore (Nottingham YFJ)
On the 20th October the TUC have organised a march through London to protest a government whose policies have driven the country into recession. By cutting jobs in essential services and reducing funding across the board to the vulnerable and needy, the government has ruined thousands of ordinary peoples lives while defending big banks and cutting taxes for the rich.
The majority of the government's cuts are still to come: even if you haven't yet been affected by the current wave of cuts you soon will be, so it's vital to come along and show the government that you demand decisive change.
To lead up to the protest on the 20th, Nottingham Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) will be working hard to fight the cuts affecting young people in our local area and informing people about the devastating effect they have on them and the community.
On Tuesday 16th October at 12 noon, we'll be protesting to bring back EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance and Adult Learning Grant) in the city centre. EMA is a grant given to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them with transportation to college and course materials. By reducing and eliminating the grant poorer students will be unable to attend college and get a decent education that all people deserve – we've already heard stories of people walking 8 miles a day to get to college. We'll be protesting to bring back EMA and extend it to all students by getting signatures on a petition from concerned people to give in to the council.
The same week we'll be protesting outside one of the many companies that has decided to exploit young people by taking them on in unpaid positions in the Workfare program and other similar schemes.
Poundland (along with many others) is taking young people on Job Seekers Allowance, who are told their allowance will be stopped if they do not participate, and making them work for free under the guise of giving them “vital work experience”. These companies are exploiting young people by receiving government endorsed free labour to work for their already hugely profitable businesses instead of hiring and giving them a proper wage for their work.
YFJ will be outside Poundland, Clumber Street in the city centre of Nottingham on Thursday 18th October at 12 noon, exposing this injustice and calling on it to end its participation in the program.
We will be trying to organise young people in Nottingham to show our continued opposition to the government and its policies that are doing so much damage to people's lives. We will be calling on young people to attend the demonstration on 20th October. But we will also be following that up with further action to fight for a decent future for young people. YFJ is holding a public meeting to discuss 'How can we stop the Con-Dem attacks on young people?' with speakers including YFJ activists, student campaigners and trade unionists, taking place on Wednesday 25thOctober, 7pm at the ICC (YMCA), 61B Mansfield Road, Nottingham.