Rev. Jackson appears in court after Sensata protest
November 28, 2012 (FREEPORT, Ill.) (WLS) -- Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. appeared in a northwest Illinois courtroom Wednesday on trespassing charges.
Reverend Jackson was arrested with a group of other protesters at the Sensata plant in Freeport last month. They're upset with the loss of more than a hundred jobs at the plant when Sensata moved its operations to China.
In the town 120 miles west of Chicago where Abraham Lincoln famously debated Stephen Douglas about slavery, Rev. Jackson claimed a victory for workers by refusing to pay what he considered an unjust fine.
Sensata Technologies Is in the process of shifting 170 jobs to China. The employees were making automotive sensors and controls profitably. Mitt Romney's former firm Bain Capital was an early investor in Sensata. Workers blamed corporate interests for creating a business model that drives jobs overseas.
Jackson said he was prepared to go to jail to protest fines amounting to $339 per person for the protest October 24 that sought to preserve the jobs.
And after choosing to not take a reduced fine offered by Stephenson County judge John Joyce, the reverend deflected questions about the whereabouts of his son of former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and denied reports that his other son Jonathan may be preparing to seek the congressional seat
"We're not going to stop. This is a critical civil rights issue to have a job," Jackson said.
In the end, nine workers, the reverend and one of his associates will now go to trial, probably in late spring.
local, ravi baichwal
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