Jackson backs anti-NATO march: ‘Our agenda will be heard’

April 11, 2012

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WBEZ/Chip Mitchell
Rev. Jesse Jackson says the goal is to get Obama’s attention, not embarrass him on the world stage.

Organizers of a protest march during next month’s NATO summit in Chicago are adding a powerful voice to their ranks. Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., is backing the walk to McCormick Place, a convention center where some 50 heads of state will hold their two-day meeting.

“Our world has become jilted by war, too much concentrated wealth and too much poverty,” said Jackson, an internationally known civil-rights activist and a two-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. “I’m hoping on May 20 there will be a large demonstration. And, if it’s nonviolent and disciplined and focused, our agenda will be heard.”

In this five-minute interview, I ask Jackson how he could march against NATO after supporting its 1999 bombing campaign against Serbian forces. I also ask whether the protest could damage President Barack Obama’s international standing or his reelection bid. The interview begins with Jackson’s take on the march’s significance.