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Jackson Urges City-Farm Unity in Fight Against Foreclosures

April 01, 1985|Associated Press

GLENWOOD, Minn. — The Rev. Jesse Jackson urged farmers today to unite with city groups to get the message to Washington to improve farm prices and stop foreclosures of family farms.

"We must choose farms over arms and give peace and justice a chance," he told about 1,000 farmers, union members and local civil rights leaders gathered at a foreclosure protest rally in this west-central Minnesota town.

The rally originally was called to try to stop a foreclosure sale of the farm of Jim and Gloria Langman. But the foreclosure was called off after authorities said they feared Jackson's appearance would draw thousands of people and possibly jeopardize public safety.

Today would have been the third attempt by the mortgage holder, Travelers Insurance Co., to sell the 480-acre farm.

On March 18, an estimated 600 farmers, chanting "No sale, no sale," shouted down the sheriff as he attempted to sell the Langman farm from the county courthouse steps. Previously, the sale had been postponed in February to give the Legislature time to pass farm relief bills.

Calling today's postponement "a kind of victory" for financially strapped farmers, Jackson said he sees similarities between recent farm protests and the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

"The one mistake the farmers have made so far is they have allowed their plight to remain rural and isolated. The struggle to save the farmer must be a city issue, because farmers feed the city dwellers," he said.

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