Red Tide #19
Unemployment Committees Lead Fight
[By Michael Letwin]
The Red Tide has begun an unemployment campaign this summer to fight for jobs for young people. The purpose of this campaign is to mobilize young people in different cities around the country to demand jobs. This has already proved successful in places such as New York and Los Angeles, both of which have seen demonstrations of hundreds of young people for jobs and which have received a good deal of attention.
The immediate goal of our campaign is to hold picket lines and demonstrations on August 7 at City Halls and various government offices to demand the following:
1) JOBS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AT DECENT WAGES
We believe that the government has the duty to make sure that everybody who wants a job has one. Young people today can’t find jobs. Even if they do occasionally, they are at poverty wages. We want jobs for everyone at decent wages[,] which people can survive on.
2) UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
There is no reason why young people without jobs shouldn’t have unemployment benefits. Though young workers haven’t usually had jobs for long periods or perhaps ever since school, we too need to survive. If the people who run this country can’t provide us with the jobs we need, then they can’t make us starve. We believe that they must pay us enough to live on, whether they can find a job for us or not.
3) FREE AND OPEN JOB TRAINING FOR ALL YOUNG PEOPLE. OPEN THE SCHOOLS TO ALL YOUTH FOR JOBS TRAINING AND RECREATION
Job training is something else that we are entitled to. We should receive decent training in the schools, but what we know may not be what we need for a job today. The schools should be open at all times to all for this training. There should also be a place [that] young people can come and use for recreation. The schools belong to us [–] we should be able to use them.
4) STOP ALL POLICE HARASSMENT OF YOUNG PEOPLE
This needs almost no explanation. With masses of young people in the streets this summer and in the fall, cops have been coming down harder than ever on us. We want an end to all of that harassment, including all special projects against youth.
5) END THE MILITARY BUDGET; USE THE MONEY FOR JOBS FOR PEOPLE
The government is spending about $90 billion this year so that this country can go around the world ripping off and wiping out people in other countries. This ain’t for “democracy and freedom.” The people that run this country don’t know the meaning of the words. It’s so that a few people here can get rich by straight and simple theft. These are the wars that our friends get killed in and that we have to fight. We want an end to that. If the money spent on the military was spent on giving people jobs to do decent things in this country, there would be a lot more jobs.
The demands above make it clear where we stand on jobs for youth. These are the demands of the Red Tide Unemployment Committees. These committees can be found at the addresses of all RT branches listed in the paper. If there isn’t one listed for your city, then write to the National Office, and we’ll help you set up one.
The activities of the committees include demonstrations and picket lines and also mass distribution of the leaflets and materials that make people aware that there is a fight going on. This is really important, because while most young people know how bad the job scene is, they don’t know that there are people organizing about it.
HAVE AN EFFECT
We don’t think that young people today are willing to sit back and starve because they don’t have jobs. We believe that with organization, the Red Tide committees can force the government to respond, to provide at least some more jobs. Join a committee in your area.
[Historical Note: The Red Tide was a revolutionary high school underground newspaper and youth organization that existed from 1971-1981. See:http://theredtide.wordpress.com/]