October 26, 2016
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Jackson Marches In Detroit

DETROIT – Over 5,000 joined Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and Bob King, international president of the United Auto Workers, as they led the “Rebuild America: Jobs Justice Peace” march and rally in Detroit.


“We're focused on putting America back to work, rebuilding America,

with jobs and justice and peace,” said Rev. Jackson. “Detroit and

Michigan are ground zero of the urban crisis. It’s time to enact real

change for working families and all America. It’s time to reinvest in

America and put America back to work. Detroit is the epicenter of

America’s urban crisis – it’s time to fight back, and organize city by

city around the nation. Our people need jobs now. We need a

moratorium on foreclosures to save our homes now. We are in a state

of emergency,” said Rev. Jackson.


The march and rally were the culmination of a week-long bus tour that

took the Jobs, Justice and Peace campaign throughout the state of



Current UAW president Bob King stated, “The number one focus of our

national leaders should be putting Americans back to work. No group

has suffered more from America’s economic meltdown than working men

and women. We need industrial and trade policies that work to keep

jobs and manufacturing in the U.S. George Bush came into office with

a $127 billion surplus. He proceeded to give billions of dollars in

tax cuts to the richest Americans and wasted trillions of dollars on

useless wars while funding for schools and other basic services was

gutted. Bush and the Republicans left the American public with a

trillion dollar deficit, a crumbling infrastructure, and the worst

economic recession since the Great Depression.”


The Detroit/Michigan crusade brought together the civil rights,

religious and labor coalition so essential to progressive change in

America. Led by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, UAW, SEIU and AFSCME, Detroit’s NAACP and SCLC and religious leaders from around the state came together to organize bottom up, stirring the grass roots into action.


Elected officials took notice and joined the march for jobs and

economic justice. They included: Detroit Mayor Dave Bing; U.S. Rep.

John Conyers, D- MI.; U.S. Rep. John Dingfell, D-MI; U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA; and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptor, D-OH; U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow; state Sen. Hansen Clarke, D-Detroit, and Democratic gubernatorial

candidate Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and his running mate, Southfield

Mayor Brenda Lawrence.


Why did we march in Detroit and throughout Michigan?


Because there are 90,000 vacant lots and homes boarded up in Detroit, a

city suffering from record unemployment. Because’s there’s not one

chain grocery store still doing business in Detroit, and not one

national chain retail store.


Why did we march in Detroit, Michigan?


Because there are 19 million vacant American homes and 14 million of

those are rental units. But in East Point, GA/Atlanta area, when 455

housing vouchers became available, 30,000 showed up looking for a

decent home for their families. Because in Grand Rapids, when 48 housing

units became available, 3000 slept in line for 3 days and 3 nights hoping for

a home.


Why did we march in Detroit, Michigan?


Because Detroit’s agony is mirrored by labor’s decline. The US lost

one in three manufacturing jobs over the last decade. We suffered a

staggering $5.9 trillion in trade losses, running up deficits that

required borrowing $2 billion a day from abroad. Manufacturing

plants are being built in Mexico and China while those in Flint and

Dearborn are shut down.


“Businesses are “off-shored,” jobs are “out-sourced.” We need to revinest in America, revitalize manufacturing and create jobs here at home,” said Rev. Jackson.


Why did we march in Detroit, Michigan?


Because catastrophic corporate trade policies – embraced by both

parties – contributed to busting our economy and we are now threatened

by a possible second “double dip” recession. Corporate trade policies,

privatization, deregulation, cutting government investment, attacking

unions, celebrating CEOs, “liberating” finance – this toxic mix

produced not simply the hollowing out of Detroit, but the hollowing

out of America and now the Great Recession.


Why did we march in Detroit, Michigan?


Because, even as a hopeful president calls on America to build a new

foundation for its economy, conservatives in Congress and rightwing

talkshow hosts have obstructed progress every step of the way. The

banks got bailed out, and now Republicans vow to repeal what little

financial reform there was. The US owns 60% of General Motors, but

we’ve saved the company, not the workers. USA GM is building plants

in China and Mexico, while workers in Saginaw join the ranks of the

99ers, out of work for more than 99 weeks.


Rev. Jackson added, “Congress – Washington must move from destruction

and obstruction to the reconstruction of our economy. Coming

together across party lines to bring America back to its greatness.”


"Today's march commemorates one of the most important days in our

history," said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing "Our greatest challenge is

creating jobs, and that's something I will continue to fight to bring

to Detroit."


"Citizens of Detroit are hurting said Conyers. “But today we're

celebrating. We need jobs, foreclosure moratoriums and universal

health care -- cheer for that,"


Prior to Saturday’s march and rally, Rev. Jesse Jackson embarked on a

five-day bus tour – a Jobs, Justice and Peace crusade, traversing the

state of Michigan. Community events were held in Kalamazoo and Battle

Creek. Rainbow PUSH activists joined with auto workers at the plant

gates in Flint, Pontiac, and Dearborn. The jobs and justice crusade

also made stops at churches in Saginaw, Grand Rapids, Ypsilanti, and Inkster, and met with elected officials in the state capital of Lansing.


While in Ann Arbor and East Lansing, Rev. Jackson made appearances at

Michigan State University and the University of Michigan to drum up

student support and encourage them to join the march and campaign.


"It’s important that students participate in this march,” Rev. Jackson

stated. “It’s important that their voices are heard. Students are

dealing with the issue of guaranteed student loan debt without a

guaranteed job.”


Brittany Smith, a student reporter at U of M, wrote, “After talking with

him [Rev. Jackson], I walked away with a better understanding of him;

in fact, his words resonated with me. The way in which Jackson speaks

of the concerns of the day, such as the War on Terror, the loss of

manufacturing jobs, and the rising price tag of higher education, is

fueled not by an anxiety to complain, but with the invigoration of a

liberator for change.”


Rev. Jackson concluded, “We march to redeem the soul of America. When

our spirits are broken, our faith surrenders. So we must march. We can survive broken sidewalks and broken buildings. We cannot survive

the collapse of spirit. In these difficult hours, you can’t fight

fate, with fists and guns. You fight fate, with faith. Faith is the

substance of what is hoped for, evidence of what is unseen.

Even with our backs against the wall, we can see a new heaven and a

new earth – the old one passes away. We have been down. The ground

is no place for a champion. Through it all, Keep Hope Alive. So we




This march will lead to others, and culminate on October 2 with the

One Nation march and rally in Washington D.C. We will march for jobs,

for a plan to revive manufacturing in America, invest in rebuilding

vital infrastructure, invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy

– and to put people to work. We will march for justice, for one America,

to insure equal protection under the law and equal opportunity

for all.





The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization devoted to

protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic

and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930

E. 50th St. in Chicago.


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