ACTOR Stephen Fry has voiced his support for the modern-day Jarrow marchers, as they prepare for a rally in London tomorrow at the end of their 330-mile crusade for jobs.
The TV and movie star is the latest personality to support Jarrow March 2011, a month-long protest to highlight escalating UK youth unemployment, which now stands at about one million.
After setting off from Jarrow on October 1, the 75th anniversary of the start of the original Jarrow Crusade in 1936, the young marchers will reach the capital tomorrow and assemble at the Embankment, before going to Trafalgar Square for the rally.
Writing on his Twitter page, Stephen Fry said: “Support the Jarrow marchers arriving in London today, after marching 330 miles against youth unemployment.”
Tomorrow’s rally will include several high-profile speakers, including Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn, RMT general secretary Bob Crow, outspoken Bolsover Labour MP Dennis Skinner, and student Lizi Gray, 17, the great grand-daughter of original Jarrow marcher Michael McLoughlin.
Miss Gray, a Newcastle College student, said: “We estimate there could be around 500 people at the rally, and it will be the biggest audience I’ve ever spoken to.
“I’ve made a few notes, but I just plan to speak from the heart about the brilliant sense of camaraderie there has been among the marchers.
“I think Jarrow March 2011 has given a sense of purpose to a group of young people who would otherwise be just stuck on the dole, looking for work.
“I’ve joined the march several times along the route, including half-term, and will be travelling down to London today.”
Miss Gray will be among the young Jarrow marchers handing in a protest petition to 10 Downing Street tomorrow.
Jarrow March 2011, organised by Youth Fight for Jobs, is calling for urgent help for the UK’s young jobless.