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Jarrow celebrates radical past

THE town of Jarrow in north-east England celebrated its radical past on Saturday with an annual rebel festival.

Jarrow is perhaps best-known for the 1936 march, in which 200 jobless workers headed from the town to London to call for help for the masses of unemployed people during the Great Depression.

But in 1832, Jarrow was home to seven men who were transported to a penal colony in Australia on trumped-up charges because of their union activity in the coalmining industry.

The Jarrow Rebel Town Festival celebrates the seven — and Jarrow’s later political and industrial history.

Vin Wynne, an organiser with the National Education Union and one of the festival’s organisers, said: “It is very important that we keep these celebrations of working-class history alive. 

"If we don’t remember the foundations, we will have nothing to build on.”

Speakers on Saturday included Arthur Scargill, president of the National Union of Mineworkers during the 1984-5 miners’ strike against pit closures.
 

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