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Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. Among Protesters Arrested At Sensata Plant In Freeport

By aaroncynic in News on Oct 25, 2012 4:20PM

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. was among those arrested in Wednesday's protests. (Photo courtesy of
Fourteen protesters were arrested Wednesday at the Sensata plant in Freeport after company management said it would close the plant immediately if any more civil disobedience took place. Workers at the plant, located west of Rockford, have been fighting to either save their jobs or at least get severance pay from the company, who plans to outsource their jobs to China in November. According to The Journal Standard, about 60 people remain working in the plant out of 170 planned jobs to be cut.

Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp, who has been supportive of the demonstrations against the company owned by Bain Capital, told the Huffington Post that he met with Sensata management and local police on Tuesday. Sensata management said it would close the plant if protesters breached security and entered the building.

After a rally at the nearby encampment demonstrators have dubbed "Bainport," workers marched toward the building and some entered. After being told by police they would be arrested for trespassing, 14 chose to stay and were handcuffed, taken to the local fire station and given citations. Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. was among those arrested, which also included Sensata workers, members of the United Auto Workers and Service Employees International Union. Jackson said:

“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. Here you are, you workers who have paid the dues, you all sit here as veterans of foreign wars, sit here as hard working, taxpaying, church going citizens. It seems that your best is not good enough and the policies are not fair.”

More protests are expected to continue throughout the week into the next.