Campaigning at Ponty's Big WeekendThe campaign to build for the Merthyr to Cardiff march for jobs hit Pontypridd on Saturday and got a brilliant response.
Youth Fight For Jobs have organised a march from Merthyr to Cardiff starting on August 4th to highlight the lack of jobs for young people in the valleys and to hit back at the slur of Tory minister Iain Duncan Smith that unemployed Merthyr people should just "get on the bus" to Cardiff to work.
About a dozen campaigners hit the streets of Pontypridd to build support for the march which will leave Pontypridd on August 5th. We received a great response: "Why can't we march from Maerdy" asked one woman from the Rhondda.
A lot of older people signed to support the march. "If the government was really concerned about the unemployed they wouldn't be cutting jobs in the public sector" was a common response.
Many people had their own stories of unemployment or were worried about their future prospects, expecting to finish work soon or in seasonal jobs. One woman from the Rhondda reported that she was being paid just £4.50 an hour "I know its illegal" she said "But what can I do. If I report them they'll just get rid of me"
Unfortunately the sympathy for the marchers was not shared by Rhondda Cynon Taff (RCT) council who stepped in to prevent Youth Fight For Jobs from setting up stalls to get support. The excellent campaigning came to an abrupt end as council officials thretened to call the police if Youth Fight for Jobs did not pack up.
"We can't win, can we?" said one young campaigner "If we just stay at home then we're lazy, but as soon as we try and do something to fight for jobs the council threatens us with the police". "Labour in RCT showed its true colours today" said Rhys, joint organiser of the march, "They like to attack the Tories, but they when it comes to the crunch they make it as difficult as possible to oppose them".
The march leaves Merthyr Job Centre at 10.00 am on Thursday 4th August and arrives in Cardiff at the Nye Bevan statue at 12.00 noon on August 6th where it will lead a demonstration to the Cardiff Job Centre.