He’s been a civil rights activist for more than half a century, and Jesse Jackson told PEOPLE that he attended the Women’s March on Washington Saturday in part because he’s concerned about turning back the clock as we enter the Donald Trump era.
“50 years of civil rights have been threatened,” he said.
But that’s not all he feels is potentially at risk for the next four years.
“The right to vote is threatened,” he said. “Trump’s first act is to attempt to stop healthcare for 30 million poor people and the thousands of workers who service them.”
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Jackson, 75, worked directly with Martin Luther King Jr. and ran for president himself in 1988, and says he feels that thousands flocked to Washington D.C. Saturday out of hope rather than despair.
“My sense is that people here are not so much anti-Trump — they’re pro-American,” he said. “We’re not going back. Women aren’t going back to the back alley to make their health choices. We’re not going back to having our right to vote denied.”