Rev. Jesse Jackson has not retired his marching boots. In response to an Illinois factory’s move, Rev. Jesse Jackson joined a number of people outside of the factory to protest the move. Police officers placed the Civil Rights leader under arrest for criminal trespass. Sensata Technologies, a factory that manufactures and sells sensors and controls for auto companies, is moving to China which will leave at least 170 Illinois residents unemployed. Company officials say most of the plant’s revenues are generated in Asia, making the move a logical decision.
According to a spokesman from Rev. Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Rev. Jackson was taken into custody with a approximately a dozen workers yesterday for an alleged act of civil disobedience in Freeport, IL. In response to the factory’s decision to move, Rev. Jackson said: “This is the essence of the American struggle. The fight to keep our jobs. This is not a fight for severance pay; it’s a fight for the salvation of our jobs. There is a war going on today for the soul of our nation.”
After Rev. Jackson’s arrest was processed at Freeport Fire Station, the 71-year-old Civil Rights leader was even more defiant. He told an online publication “Now, you’re looking at an economic terrorism.” He continued: “The plant has taken jobs away to China. They expect on November 5, the day before the election, to close the plant. You vote in a democracy to be protected from terrorism.” He said protests will continue next week with greater numbers.
Rev. Al Sharpton also made noise in Freeport, where he recently held a rally in response to the loss of jobs.
Rev. Jackson has been very vocal about both presidential candidates’ neglect to address poverty. He criticized both candidates for failing to address the issues during their debates. “[In] each of three debates, [the candidates] spent an enormous amount of time arguing about reconciling 5 trillion dollars, a number so vast it’s incomprehensible. They’re arguing about the 5 trillion dollars and the tax plan but not about the impact of foreclosed housing driving the middle class into poverty,” he said.