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Jackson Arrested at Labor March

September 02, 2003|From Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Rev. Jesse Jackson and 13 others were arrested Monday after they blocked traffic on the Yale University campus in support of striking university service and clerical workers.

Jackson led more than 1,000 people on a Labor Day march and rally in support of the striking workers before he was arrested.

"This is the site of national Labor Day outrage," Jackson said. "This is going to be for economic justice what Selma, [Ala.], was for the right to vote."

Meanwhile, in Detroit, union members and supporters marched downtown to celebrate Labor Day and call attention to the challenges faced by American workers in a struggling economy.

The parade ended at the recently unveiled Michigan Labor Legacy monument in Hart Plaza, which symbolizes the continuing spirit of organized labor and the importance of unions to the region's history.

"We're very concerned about this economy," said Patrick Devlin, secretary-treasurer of the Greater Detroit Building and Construction Trades Council. "People talk about the economy picking up, but we don't see it."

Democratic presidential candidates also criticized President Bush's handling of the economy.

Florida Sen. Bob Graham told a Labor Day rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines that "time after time, [Bush has] said one thing and acted in another way." He criticized Bush for the rising budget deficit.

More than 2,000 people turned out for the Des Moines rally sponsored by the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor.

In Iowa City, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean called Bush a poor custodian of the nation's economy and condemned the Bush tax cuts as handouts for big corporations.

"Guess who got the tax cut? It certainly wasn't anyone here," Dean told more than 200 union members at a Labor Day picnic. "I believe the way to improve the economy is to give working people a reasonable and fair wage and a decent set of working conditions so maybe they could put a little bit of money into the economy."

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