Speaking to activists in London about the U.S. civil rights struggle, Reverend Jesse Jackson has said that Jesus was an “Occupier.”
“Jesus was an Occupier, born under a death warrant, a Jew by religion, born in poverty under Roman occupation,” explained the veteran activist at the event near Saint Paul’s Cathedral, according to MSNBC.
Rev. Jackson continued, “Gandhi was an Occupier, Martin Luther King was an Occupier, [Nelson] Mandela was an Occupier.”
In his speech Thursday, the two-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination compared the Occupy Wall Street movement to the battle against apartheid in South Africa and the fight for Indian independence – discussing topics such as poverty, capitalism and homelessness.
The former Baptist minister was also an aid to Martin Luther King and played a leading role in the U.S. Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.
“We need a new bank policy, we have lost checks and balances in the system,” said Rev. Jackson, The Telegraph reported.
The Occupy London group of protesters has been camping on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral since October.
One Occupier, 34-year-old John, reported that protesters mostly supported Rev. Jackson, but some harbored doubts.
“I have mixed feelings – someone told me he’s quite a wealthy person,” said John who did not provide MSNBC with his last name. “You don’t know his agenda.”
Rev. Jackson’s appearance at London’s Occupy site ignited many responses on Twitter.
“Jesse Jackson seems to think that #Occupylsx and others have a valid point to make. Or should that be a lot of points?” wrote user @crossgreenman.
The Speak Network posted on the social media site: “We enjoyed listening to Rev. Jesse Jackson at Occupy on St Paul’s this afternoon.”
“Proof that Jesse Jackson goes wherever there’s a camera,” wrote @gaunfiltered. “Jackson extols the virtues of ‘Occupy’ in London, England.”