The Rev. Jesse Jackson led a small rally this morning for workers rights from the steps of the Walt Whitman Arts Center in Camden.
"Everybody is somebody . . . save the workers," Jackson chanted, while pumping up the crowd of less than 100.
With a big red banner behind him that read: "Fighting for bargaining rights & budget fairness," Jackson spoke out against cuts in New Jersey and all over the country.
Camden was the second stop of a "Solidarity Tour." He started his morning in Philadelphia, striking alongside Red Cross workers on the picket line. The tour will continue Wednesday in North Jersey.
"What's happening in Camden is part of a bigger, broader, national, toxic wind that is blowing," he said referring to the budget cuts, layoffs and unemployment.
Jackson used war anecdotes, from the Vietnam War to Iraq - saying that if the government can bomb cities and rebuild them overseas, it should rebuild cities like Camden that look as if they are bombed out. He encouraged public workers to take a stand and fight back.
He took a couple of swings at Gov. Christie, telling the crowd, "You must not let this governor break your spirit."
Camden was a homecoming of sorts for Jackson, he said, noting that he spent a lot of his childhood visiting his aunt on Walnut Street.
Jackson started his morning by striking alongside Red Cross workers on the picket line in Philadelphia.
The Red Cross blood collection workers went on strike a week ago today in what the union has described as a contract dispute over staffing, scheduling, training and collective-bargaining rights.
The striking union, Health Professionals and Allied Employees Local 5103, represents about 240 workers who staff blood drives normally held each day by the Red Cross' area collection arm, the Penn Jersey Blood Region. The Red Cross is still collecting blood using other workers.
Jackson, who was joined in Camden by leaders and members of local unions, including Communication Workers of America Local 1084, Camden County Council 10 and Camden Education Association, plans to continue his rally tour on Wednesday in Jersey City, Newark, and Trenton.