Civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson was arrested on Wednesday (24Oct12) for criminal trespass after joining protesters at the site of a doomed Illinois factory.
Jackson was taken into custody alongside a dozen workers for alleged civil disobedience at the Sensata Technologies plant, which manufactures and sells sensors and controls for auto companies.
The Baptist minister marched onto the property in Freeport holding a banner reading "Full Severance" in reference to the company's decision to relocate its manufacturing to China, costing 170 jobs.
Jackson was taken to the Freeport Fire Station for processing and after being released, he insisted the protests will continue next week (beg29Oct12) with greater numbers.
He tells JournalStandard.com, "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. We're at the heart of that war. We have a military surplus; the Chinese have a trade surplus. We have the guns, they have the jobs. It's not a good trade off. There is something painful about this struggle.
"Now, you're looking at an economic terrorism. If you use your most basic right, your right to fight back, if you use that right, they'll threaten to fire you... You vote in a democracy to be protected from terrorism."