Columns

Jesse Jackson on Trump Rallies: ‘Nonviolent Disciplined Protests Work’

WASHINGTON – Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) told PJM the ability for the FBI to put anyone on the no-fly list is a “convenient excuse” for Republicans not to support “sensible” gun control.

PJM asked Kennedy if he agrees with Republicans who oppose prohibiting the individuals on the “no-fly” list and terrorist watch list from getting guns since the FBI has the authority to add any name to the list.

“Mike Thompson, who has put forth legislation on this for Democrats, has indicated there’s ways we can try to make sure we scrub the list and give people an opportunity to challenge that classification, so those objections I don’t think are insurmountable. It’s a convenient excuse for some of our colleagues to say as a reason not to support sensible gun violence legislation that 90 percent of Americans want to see,” Kennedy said outside of the Capitol Building after the House Democrats’ pre-recess sit-in over gun control ended.

A group of protesters joined “Moms Demand Action” on Capitol Hill to call for more gun control. One of the protesters told Kennedy, “Thank you for not being an accessory to murder.”

Another protester asked Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) if he believed a member of Congress who opposes tighter gun laws is an “accessory to murder.” He declined to answer.

Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), the vice chairman of the Democratic caucus, said his support for gun control is not political.

“It’s not about the politics because, quite frankly, for me personally, I’ll be here next year. I’ll be here a couple years after that and for me this issue is quite plain and clear. We have better gun laws in New York City,” he said.

“This is about doing the right thing for the American people. Too many people have died. How many more people have to be slaughtered before people come around to try to do something to change the picture? We’re not asking for a panacea. We’re not asking for the end-all,” he added.

Not all Republicans disagree with outlawing individuals named on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns.

“We have to make sure that people that are terrorists or have even an inclination toward terrorism cannot buy weapons, guns,” Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said on June 19.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsed Trump, who has vowed to protect the Second Amendment as president.

Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson attended a news conference on voting rights on Capitol Hill then joined the group of gun-violence protesters.

PJM asked Jesse Jackson if he agreed with columnist Michael Eric Dyson’s call for African-Americans to protest presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump at his rallies. In a recent column, Dyson said his words might be interpreted as a call for violence.

Protesters and Trump supporters have clashed on numerous occasions. For example, protesters burned the American flag, threw eggs and smashed car windows at campaign rallies in California and New York. Protesters were punched and kicked at primary season rallies, and Trump supporters pepper-sprayed protesters at a San Diego rally last month.

“I know that these words can be read as a call to violence unseen at a national political convention since Chicago in 1968. So be it,” Dyson wrote in a New Republic column. “As Martin Luther King Jr. taught us, it is a risk we must take. We have a positive moral obligation to protest the nomination of this racist demagogue for president.”

Jackson declined to address the question about the violence at the rallies.

“It’s a setup,” he responded. “What’s that got to do with me?”

Jackson’s handler told this reporter, “First of all, turn that off if it’s still recording.”

Since the camera was still recording, Jackson then walked back over and said, “Nonviolent disciplined protests work.”