Jesse Jackson, Sensata workers arrested in Freeport - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

UPDATED: Jesse Jackson, Sensata workers arrested in Freeport

Posted: Updated:
FREEPORT (WREX) -

The Reverend Jesse Jackson is among about a dozen arrested in Freeport on Wednesday.

Jackson and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition were back in Freeport lending support to Sensata workers. 13 News Reporter Aaron Wright spoke with Jackson this afternoon to find out why these steps were necessary.

"The Chinese are not taking jobs from us, we're taking jobs to them using cheap labor to undercut organized labor and lower our living standard rather than raise our living standard," Jackson said.

He spoke to a crowd of about 50 people and was joined on stage by workers who will lose their jobs by the end of the year.

Freeport Police told 13 News that anyone who was caught crossing the property line at Sensata without an appointment would be arrested, and protesters said they were ready for those consequences.

Jackson and a handful of workers locked arms and walked onto company property Wednesday afternoon, demanding to speak with management. Instead, they were put in handcuffs. Everyone arrested was released shortly afterward.

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UPDATE: Rev. Jesse Jackson has been arrested for civil disobedience. Tune in to 13 News at 5 & 6 for more. A spokesman for the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition says about a dozen workers were also arrested.

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Sensata workers fighting to save their jobs get more support from Reverend Jesse Jackson as they risk arrest today.

Sensata employees tell 13 News they are demanding a meeting with the manager of the plant or else they will risk arrest during a demonstration set for 4:00 p.m. Wednesday. Rev. Jackson is among those vowing to continue the fight against the Bain Capital's plans to outsource the jobs in Freeport to China.

Rev. Jackson is at the site, now known as "Bainport", along with representatives from the UAW, Steelworkers, SEIU and NAACP and a group of Sensata workers.

Sensata has threatened to close the plant down if the protests continue to escalate. They did shut it down last weekend, over the same concerns.

13 News is in Freeport and will bring you updates on this story.

We also asked Rev. Jackson to also comment on his son, Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., after he went back to a mayo clinic in Minnesota for evaluation. Jackson Jr. was released from the hospital last month after inpatient treatment for bipolar disorder and gastrointestinal issues. Rev. Jackson told 13 News' Aaron Wright that his son is under supervision and asked everyone to pray for him.

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