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We are Free but Not Equal': Jesse Jackson Compares Occupy Wall Street to the Civil Rights Movement

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Occupy Atlanta linked to Nation of Islam? ...Group denies affiliation

Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks to reporters after talking to Occupy Atlanta participants at an homeless shelter Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011. Jackson also participated in an Occupy Atlanta bank takeover Friday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Rev. Jesse Jackson joined the Occupy Atlanta protests this week and likened the ongoing demonstrations to the civil rights movement.

Speaking to protesters in a homeless shelter Thursday, he said the demonstrations that have spread across the country are an extension of the movement he helped lead.

“Do not let difficult times break your spirits,” Jackson said. “In all things, keep your eyes on the prize. Renew your faith, keep your hope alive and victory is assured.”

"Only when the foundation shakes does everybody make an adjustment," he continued. "The people are saying we need economic justice, we need shared economic security. We are free but not equal."

On Friday, Jackson was among a group of protesters that took over the lobby of SunTrust Plaza in downtown Atlanta for about an hour. According to the Associated Press, the group sang protest songs during the takeover.

The same day, Occupy Atlanta filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming it was arbitrary and unconstitutional for Mayor Kasim Reed to rescind his executive order allowing protesters to stay beyond Woodruff Park’s 11 p.m. closing time.

Reed revoked the order in late October, resulting in more than 50 arrests when demonstrators wouldn't leave at closing time, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The group plans to reoccupy the park Saturday. As The Blaze reported, it denied a report that it had sought assistance from the Nation of Islam, led by Louis Farrakhan, to aid in their efforts.

“We have not asked the Nation of Islam to provide protection for us,” Tim Franzen, a spokesman for the group, told the Journal-Constitution. "If they show up it's because they chose to be there, not because we invited them."

Franzen said Occupy Atlanta is not affiliated with any outside groups, though sounded less certain than in his previous assertion.

"I don't think the Nation of Islam is in any kind of agreement with [Occupy Atlanta]," he said.

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