Mass Demonstration against Voter Suppression in Benton Harbor

Voter suppression led by Whirlpool Corporation and Berrien County Sheriff Department. Protest all injustices being forced on our town, your town and all around the country! It is not one thing it is everything. The murder of Benton Harbor residents, gentrification by Whirlpool, Governor Snyder’s Emergency Manager dictatorship. Find it on the ActivateHub community calendar!

May 24, 2014 11:00am - City Hall, 200 Wall St., Benton Harbor, MI, 49022 (11:30am - press conference)


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

"The public needs to understand how Harbor Shores/Whirlpool treats its neighbors"


PRESS RELEASE
April 2, 2014

New Products Corporation Updates Website, WhatIsTheBigSqueeze.com, to Detail Ongoing Encroachments by Whirlpool

Company Seeks to Rally Public's Support



BENTON HARBOR, MI, Apr 02, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- New Products Corporation (NPC), Benton Harbor's longest surviving manufacturer, has re-launched the website, www.WhatIsTheBigSqueeze.com , to provide more information about how Whirlpool-backed Harbor Shores has attempted to squeeze NPC's operations and threaten its future.
The website was first launched in 2011, after NPC filed a lawsuit against Whirlpool and Harbor Shores for taking the company's property, without compensation for what became the 18th fairway of the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.
"The public needs to understand how Harbor Shores/Whirlpool treats its neighbors," said Cheryl Miller, NPC's president and CEO. "Taking our property isn't the only strategy they've used to bully our family-owned business. That's why we've used the website to publish our legal complaint and many attempts to squeeze our company's operations. We support 100 local families. We are strategic to thousands of jobs in the U.S. and worldwide. We need the public's support."
The website's home page was redesigned to feature a cartoon of Whirlpool and Harbor Shores disregard for NPC's manufacturing facility adjacent to the Harbor Shores Golf Course and residential development, which will be the site of the 2014 Senior PGA Tournament in May.
The new website also includes photos, maps, and descriptions of Whirlpool's planned development for Harbor Shores' golf course community, dating back to 2005. These include numerous plans to develop a Town Center on New Products' headquarters property and a beach front hotel on Jean Klock Park property that was removed from the park boundaries in 2004. The website details more recent issues NPC has battled including facility access during the 2014 Senior PGA, a media blockade, proposed special assessments, denial of protection through Protective Covenants for a special use for overnight accommodations, and significant water rate increases that dramatically impact area business growth and NPC directly.
"Whirlpool/Harbor Shores act as though the end justifies the means, but stealing our property is never justifiable," added Miller. "Whirlpool is clearly pursuing plans to eliminate NPC from their Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and luxury development."
NPC's lawsuit filed in September 2011 in the Circuit Court for the County of Berrien, is still pending. In 2013, Harbor Shores petitioned the Berrien County Circuit Court for a bench trial to deny NPC's Constitutional right to a jury trial. Attorneys for New Products Corporation (NPC) filed an appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals after Berrien County Circuit Court granted Harbor Shores' motion to limit a jury trial. NPC is awaiting a court date.
Founded in Benton Harbor, Mich. in 1922, NPC is a global supplier of custom, precision die cast aluminum and zinc parts for thousands of applications in a variety of industries, including automotive, military, industrial machinery, medical instruments, household appliances, transportation equipment, furniture and fixtures, and more. Today, NPC is a TS 16949 certified, woman-owned small business, recognized for its "world class" quality. The company currently employs 100 people, a third of which are Benton Harbor residents. For more information about New Products Corporation, visit www.newproductscorp.com.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Breaking News: Rev. Pinkney, FBI, and ACLU talking

New Buffalo is having a recall election on May 6, 2014. The Mayor of New Buffalo along with a Council member were recalled. However, the Berrien County sheriff and his deputies are not roaming the streets of New Buffalo intimidating voters.  In the last 2 weeks, they have knocked on over 200 doors in Benton Harbor, under the guise of an "investigation." They have not knocked on one door in New Buffalo.


All citizens have the civil right to recall or initiate a referendum by way of petition. To intimidate, harass, accuse, or use gestapo tactics to infringe on a citizens civil rights is a federal crime.

This practice was used in the 2011 mayoral election in Benton Harbor.  Emergency Manager Joseph Harris deployed police officers to voter precincts to intimidate residents. 

Now, the Berrien County Sheriff's department have created a police state surrounding the legal recall of mayor James Hightower. 

The Benton Harbor City Clerk verified 440 recall signatures as valid. The Berrien County Clerk verified 409 recall signatures as valid. The required amount to recall James Hightower was 392.

In spite of these results, the Berrien County Prosecutor is conducting a false investigation. 
Unfortunately, the media has turned a blind eye. There have been numerous Herald Palladium stories on the Benton Harbor recall, and none on the New Buffalo recall. There is a clear double standard that exists. Is this an issue of race. Benton Harbor is predominantly Black. 

These issues will be addressed in a class action lawsuit against James Hightower, Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey, Prosecutor Mike Sepic, and County Clerk Sharon Tyler.

More information will be forth coming. 

Sincerely, 
Rev. Edward Pinkney
BANCO
269.925.0001

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cops are kicking in doors of Benton Harbor voters


Here's what people who don't live in Benton Harbor will not believe is happening, but it is:  the sheriff and his deputies are kicking in doors, and surrounding the homes of people who signed a petition to recall Mayor Hightower, Whirlpool stooge.  This is violent voter suppression and intimidation.


Berrien County sheriff's dept. is up to their old tricks.  Voter suppression is being carried out so it will be harder for the elderly and poor black residents to vote and sign recall petitions.  These efforts are hardly a secret in this city.  


Mayor Hightower is corrupt.  This is the same mayor who filed a false campaign report, a criminal action, after he received $4000.00 from Whirlpool vice president Jeff Noel.  Hightower, in a desperation move, is challenging a recall election which would remove him from office.  The petitions for recall were filled with more than enough valid signatures than the required number. 

Hightower has filed a false report with the Berrien County sheriff and with prosecutor Michael Sepic in an effort to save himself.  He forced friends, who signed a recall petition, to claim they didn't know they were signing a recall.  But the petitions clearly stated the campaign was for a recall of Mayor Hightower.

The egregious violations of civil rights that kept so many from voting are still alive in different forms.  We no longer have poll taxes, nor do we force black people to recite the Declaration of Independence before being given a ballot.  But those who dare to register to vote and sign recall petitions can easily end up in the lake or in the Berrien County jail. These horrors are happening today in Berrien County.

The right to vote and to sign a petition is protected for all citizens.  Harassing and intimidating voters who sign recall petitions is illegal.  Why is it permitted in Benton Harbor?

The politicians and corporations behind this must be stopped.  Voter suppression is an old tactic which has gotten worse today in Benton Harbor.  Whirlpool is protecting their interests.

Please call US Attorney Patrick Miles Jr., 616-456-2404, and ask for a complete
investigation of Sheriff Bailey and Prosecutor Mike Sepic as soon as possible.

Rev. Edward Pinkney