Rev. Jesse Jackson and 13 other employees of Sensata Technologies in Freeport, Maine were arrested Wednesday evening after stepping onto company property, in an act of civil disobedience Jackson said he hopes will get Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, to rethink its campaign of “economic terrorism” against American workers.
Jackson’s arrest Wednesday is just one of many for the protesters, who’ve committed to regular acts of civil disobedience. Six people were arrested a week prior for trespassing after they went to their former worksite to request severance pay. Three more were arrested the week before that, sitting in a driveway and blocking a shipping truck’s exit.
The civil rights leader first appeared at the protest site, which has become known as “Bainport,” on Monday, telling workers that Bain’s strategies represent new world corporate trade policies. “We must draw the line here in Freeport,” he said, according to The Rockford Register Star. “The Chinese are not taking jobs from us. We are taking jobs to them. We all look the same in the dark. It’s time to turn the lights on.”
Speaking to workers on Wednesday, Jackson was even more fired up about the situation. “Now, you’re looking at an economic terrorism,” he said, according to The Journal Standard.
“If you use your most basic right, your right to fight back, if you use that right, they’ll threaten to fire you,” he continued. “How do you fire someone from a plant that’s closing? The plant has taken jobs away to China. They expect on November 5th, the day before the election, to close the plant. You vote in a democracy to be protected from terrorism.”
This video is from CBS affiliate WIFR News 23 in Illinois, published October 24, 2012.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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