In an interview with CNN Newsroom anchor T.J. Homes on Saturday, Jesse Jackson compared the Occupy Movement to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and blamed the violence in Oakland by Occupy Oakland protesters on provocateurs who threw some bricks.
Holmes: But to talk about it and get the attention, but at some point, is the Occupy movement going to have to get more organized to get results? Because you have them popping up in so many cities, and frankly, we’re seeing some ugly scenes, including in Oakland, that’s getting a lot of attention and taking away from the message.
Jackson: Well the common—but the common theme is economic disparity. The wealth gap, the health access gap, the education gap, the income gap, that’s the theme. Now, that incident in—in Oakland did not really describe the movement Oakland for economic justice, and when it did happen, those who are the occupiers stood between them and that activity. Now unlike Memphis, Dr. King leading a march for collective bargaining for sanitation workers, the back of the line was some provocateurs who threw some bricks in some windows. You see, the media would rather cover the bricks than the banks. This issue is about bank behavior, it’s about removing the Glass-Steagall where they have options to lend and invest, and choose investing over lending, as long as we have huge bodies of foreclosed homes, churches in sunken communities.
The violence in Oakland was not just the result of some people in the back throwing bricks. It was a full-scale assault on personal property as they smashed windows at banks and vandalized buses in the city, and shut down the Port of Oakland for one day, depriving people of earning a living.
Jackson doesn’t support the Occupy Movement because it compares favorably with Martin Luther King’s vision, but rather because it is an anti-American movement made up of mostly left-wing protesters who are closely aligned with his own political beliefs.
He may be trying to give them some cover but their actions speak for themselves.
Watch the interview here.