Reverend Jesse Jackson swung through the area Tuesday: speaking out in favor of collective bargaining and budget fairness. The civil rights leader kicked-off a Solidarity Tour on the picket line with Red Cross workers. Then Jackson headed across the bridge to a rally at Walt Whitman Park in Camden.The blazing sun didn’t stop Reverend Jesse Jackson from pumping up the crowd of union members and curious onlookers.Jackson: “I said save the workers.”
CROWD: “Save the workers!”
Jackson: “Save the families.”
CROWD: “Save the families!”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has said cuts–as painful as they can be–are necessary. To balance the state budget, funding for Camden has been slashed. As a result, Camden Mayor Dana Redd said she had no choice but to go through with massive layoffs earlier this year.Jackson focused his ire on Christie. “You see some ugly toxic trends in the country, but we the people must fight back! There is in the case of Camden, in New Jersey, the need to stand up and fight back,” said Jackson. “You have the votes! You must not let this Governor break your spirit!”The budget cuts have changed the lives of many in Camden.29 year old Camden firefighter Asante Wilson was laid-off, then recently re-hired. “He’s out here trying to support us so I’m going to support him all the way,” said Wilson. “The unions help protect us and take care of the firefighters.” Camden County Council 10 President Karl Walko said it’s good to see Jackson speaking up against Christie. “He’s speaking out on behalf of Camden and the middle class,” said Walko. “I think it’s important that somebody says something in opposition. The city’s suffering. The residents of this city suffering from the cutbacks. He’s speaking on those issues, speakin’ on collective bargaining which I totally agree with and the importance of collective bargaining.”Walko said it’s good to have someone so high profile calling attention to Camden.