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Rev. Jesse Jackson sleeping on floor at shelter

The Rev. Jesse JacksSr. checks inPacific Garden Missi1458 S. Canal where he will spend night speaking praying with shelter residents.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. checks into the Pacific Garden Mission at 1458 S. Canal where he will spend the night speaking and praying with shelter residents. He is staying overnight to highlight poverty issues on the eve of the Martin Luther King Holiday. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: February 17, 2012 8:21AM



The Rev. Jesse Jackson planned to sleep in a bed in a shelter to put the spotlight on homelessness for Martin Luther King’s birthday, but said he will end up sleeping on the floor because all the beds were taken.

Jackson spoke to reporters outside the Pacific Garden Mission on South Canal Street as homeless men lined up outside in the cold waiting to get in.

“I’m not taking a bed,” Jackson said. “Instead I’ll be sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag because conditions are such that they need every bed.”

Jackson said that on Monday he will try to revive King’s war on poverty and Poor People’s Campaign, ideas that Jackson said the civil right’s leader discussed with him on King’s last birthday, in 1968.

His birthday is Jan. 15 but the federal holiday commemorating his birth is Monday.

“[King] was preparing to go to Washington to ‘occupy’ the mall,” Jackson said.

Of his night on the floor, Jackson said, “If we can somehow dramatize this, maybe we can test the conscience of the state and our city and maybe something will be done about it.”



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