Jan. 5, 1985

WASHINGTON (UPI) – The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he is organizing nationwide protests against unemployment and poverty, including a rally outside the White House two days before President Reagan takes his second oath of office.

“This administration has refused to see the growth of poverty as a serious problem for our nation,” Jackson said Thursday. “It has, instead, pitched its policies toward the rich.”

Jackson, joined by Rep. Ron Dellums D-Calif., District of Columbia, Mayor Marion Barry and local leaders, announced plans for nationwide demonstrations Jan. 18 in industrial cities hard-hit by unemployment.

Another protest has been scheduled for Jan. 19, two days before Reagan’s inauguration across from the White House, the former Democratic presidential candidate said.

Jackson said his national Rainbow Coalition also will lobby Congress to resist cuts in domestic spending proposed by Reagan.

Blaming “slave labor” in South Africa for a loss of jobs in America’s steel and mining industries, Jackson said Reagan administration’s policies are encouraging U.S. firms to do business in the white-ruled nation.

“Where White and Hispanic copper miners in Arizona are struggling for $9 per hour, they are losing their jobs to slaves in South Africa working for 37 cents per hour,” he told reporters at the Shiloh Baptist Church.

Jackson praised the recent series of South African Embassy demonstrations against that country’s system of racial separation known as apartheid. “The new visibility being given to apartheid has allowed a volcano to explode. And now we see the lip of the iceberg as we develop a solid policy against South Africa,” he said.

Jackson said he plans to travel to South Africa to visit Nobel Peace Prize recipient Bishop Desmond Tutu in February and is scheduled to meet with Pope John Paul II to ask for more help in protesting South African policies.