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Marching behind one of the original Jarrow Crusade banners from the Town Hall to Christ Church today really did feel like being part of a long chain of protest across the years. Then sitting in the church from where they set off 75 years ago was very moving, and standing to sing Jerusalem, imagining those men and their families right there, with their class warrior MP “Red Ellen” Wilkinson.

In quite a radical address, the Archdeacon of Sunderland Stuart Bain, went through the history of the march and then made the link to the present, asking our current government “Is what you are doing going to bring hope and justice? If not, then think again.”

Well, I think it’s quite clear what the real answer is to that question, whatever the coalition might try to argue. For real hope and justice, what we need is a genuine Green New Deal to bring real jobs to Jarrow and the rest of the UK, rather than throwing money into a black hole courtesy of the banks.

BTW Jerusalem was chosen as an all time great protest song by Pauline, one of the people on the Rebel Radio programme on NE1 FM last Tuesday and you can listen to it all again. Pauline played a version sung by Paul Robeson, a great singer and political activist. I had suggested Gil Scott Heron’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised to another of the programme makers and was delighted to hear that played along with some other great songs – part of a whole hour of alternative news, political analysis and humour. This is going to be a regular monthly programme so you can get involved, send in ideas and news…

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