Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Monday, February 08, 2016

418th Day in Jail: Emergency managers seize valuable city assets

Today is the 418th day that Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan, sits in prison doing felony time (2 1/2 to 10 years) for a crime he did not commit. Benton Harbor was once a town with a population more than double what it is now and thriving with jobs. When the Whirlpool Corporation, the main employer in the area, stopped production there, poverty increased and the population fell.

Today, Whirlpool is now attempting to kick out the poor people it created and turn Benton Harbor into a haven for the rich. Emergency managers were sent in by the pro corporate governor to seize valuable city assets, that could be used for the residents, and give them to Whirlpool and other corporations for pennies on the dollar. Rev. Pinkney organized the people against this and has been a consistent and courageous voice for the growing poor in Benton Harbor. It is for that reason he was convicted without evidence in a kangaroo court by a rigged jury not of his peers and a prejudicial judge.

FREE REV. PINKNEY NOW!

Saturday, February 06, 2016

417th Day in Prison: A Political Lynching

Friday, February 5, 2016, was the 417th day that Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan, sits in prison doing felony time (2 1/2 to 10 years) for a crime he did not commit. Rev. Pinkney was wrongly accused, charged and convicted without evidence that he changed dates on voter recall petitions. Yet Mark Demet of Racine, WI, plead guilty to actually forging names on petitions in 2013 and was only given a fine of $2,500 without going to prison.

The difference in these two cases is that Rev. Pinkney's recall petition actually had enough signatures to force an election that would oust Mayor James Hightower of Benton Harbor, MI, as evidenced by Hightower coming in second place in the primary of August 4, 2015, and then his crushing loss to Marcus Muhammad in the final election. Rev. Pinkney's imprisonment is a political lynching for successful activism. Spread the word.

Join the effort to FREE REV. PINKNEY NOW!

Please send letters to:
Marquette Branch Prison
Rev. Edward Pinkney N-E-93 #294671
1960 US Hwy 41 South
Marquette, MI 49855

Contact:
Central Coordinating Committee
At: Justice4Pinkney.com

Please donate at http://bhbanco.org (Donate button) or send checks to BANCO:
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Thursday, February 04, 2016

416th Day in Jail: You Can Help by Spreading the Word

Today is the 416th day that Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan sits in prison doing felony time (2 1/2 to 10 years) for a crime he did not commit. In early August 2015, the Michigan Court of Appeals denied Rev. Pinkney's motion requesting bond pending appeal in a two to one vote of the judges.

While militarized police who murder unarmed citizens on camera walk freely, enjoying all the benefits of bond, Rev. Pinkney, railroaded to jail by a kangaroo court that admits it has no evidence against him, is denied bail while he appeals his case. The facts in the Pinkney case speak for themselves; trumped up charges, no evidence, a prejudicial judge and a rigged jury. If you challenge the corporate take over of your town as Rev. Pinkney has, they will punish you in their courts. However, this case can be won in the courtroom of public opinion. Help spread the word.

Join the fight to FREE REV. PINKNEY NOW.

Please send letters to:
Marquette Branch Prison
Rev. Edward Pinkney N-E-93 #294671
1960 US Hwy 41 South
Marquette, MI 49855

Please donate at http://bhbanco.org (Donate button) or send checks to:      
BANCO
1940 W Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

415th Day in Prison: Exercising Free Speech Is Not Evidence of a Crime

Today is the 415th day that Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan, sits in prison doing felony time (2 1/2 to 10 years) for a crime he did not commit. "There are so many violations of Rev. Pinkney’s rights it’s hard to believe," says Michigan civil rights attorney Hugh Buck Davis. "The prosecutor in the case was allowed to use Rev. Pinkney’s community activism as evidence. This is a serious violation of the Reverend’s First Amendment rights and due process. When the defense attorney raised objections, the judge called his constitutionally-based arguments ‘emotional rhetoric.’”

Exercising free speech is not evidence of a crime. Without any evidence whatsoever, Rev. Pinkney was simply railroaded to jail. This clearly has nothing to do with crime and is a political prosecution. The real criminals are the corporate dictators and their emergency financial managers who have taken over the state of Michigan and poisoned the people of Flint.

JAIL THEM AND FREE REV. PINKNEY NOW!

Please send letters to:
Marquette Branch Prison
Rev. Edward Pinkney N-E-93 #294671
1960 US Hwy 41 South
Marquette, MI 49855

Please donate at http://bhbanco.org (Donate button) or send checks to:      
BANCO
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

414th Day of Unjust Imprisonment

Today is the 414th day that Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan, sits in prison doing felony time (2 1/2 to 10 years) for a crime he did not commit. When they first tried to arrest Rev. Pinkney they surrounded the block where he lives, blocked off his street to traffic and sent in a SWAT team. Why did they need that kind of force? Did they intend to silence him by adding his name to the growing list of those murdered by police terror? Luckily they just missed him. He had taken his wife out for her birthday.

The fact is no one charged with something as small as petition fraud, a misdemeanor, gets that kind of response. This shows the lengths to which corporate dictatorship in Michigan will go to crush anyone  who opposes them. Rev. Pinkney was the first one to warn the American people about the dangers of the Emergency Financial Manager system. The validity of those warnings have come true in the poisoning of Flint, Michigan. With the eyes of the world now upon Flint and the heartfelt outpouring of aid being sent there, let us not overlook or forget the plight of Rev. Pinkney.

FREE REV. PINKNEY NOW!

Please send letters to:
Marquette Branch Prison
Rev. Edward Pinkney N-E-93 #294671
1960 US Hwy 41 South
Marquette, MI 49855

Please donate at http://bhbanco.org (Donate button) or send checks to:       
BANCO
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

S.O.S. from Rev. Pinkney: Please Make Calls

Update 1/13/16: Rev. Pinkney appears to be okay for the moment, but is still in a hostile environment when Officer Schretter is on duty. Please keep calling daily to inquire about Rev. Pinkney's health, safety, and well-being.


We believe Rev. Pinkney may be in unusually grave danger and we are asking for your help.


Rev. Pinkney is now able to communicate by email using the prison email system (his phone privileges are still suspended). Today several supporters received two messages sent by Rev. Pinkney yesterday (Tuesday, Dec. 15). The first message, sent at noon, did not contain anything unusual. He wrote that he was happy that last Saturday's Emergency Conference went well; that he is still experiencing daily harassment, threats, and intimidation; and that he will continue to speak out to expose corruption and prisoner abuses at Marquette Branch Prison.

The second message, sent just six hours later the same day, had a very different tone. Rev. Pinkney's emails are likely to be read by prison officials and he may not be able to discuss in detail the threats he is coping with. We believe the message may be an S.O.S. alerting us to a sudden escalation in the level of danger in his current situation. While we do not want to alarm supporters unnecessarily, in an abundance of caution, we should take what actions we can to let MDOC know we are watching closely.

Please read on and see below for actions you can take to help ensure Rev. Pinkney's safety.


Rev. Pinkney's second message stated, in part:
I have been placed in a hostile environment. The Department of Corrections knew, or should have known, that the threatening, harassing, and intimidating behavior by Corrections Officer Schretter created a hostile environment and the Department failed to implement corrective measures to protect me.
The Department on purpose set me up for failure. Their action can never serve a legitimate penological purpose. The Department of Corrections has jurisdiction and power to promulgate rules and standards, but failed to do so to protect me.
They have continuously threatened, harassed, and intimidated me. I am even afraid they will plant a weapon in my locker.
We must make this known as soon as possible.
Rev. Pinkney concluded by mentioning the possibility of contacting the state police. We hope that Rev. Pinkney's attorney--the only individual currently able to speak with him by telephone--will be able to reach him and gain further understanding of the current level of threat Rev. Pinkney is facing.

In the meantime, please continue making these phone calls.


Sample script:
"My name is _______ and I'm calling from __________. I'm calling about Rev. Edward Pinkney, ID #294671. I am concerned about the Reverend's health and safety." (See below for specific requests).
  • Call Governor Rick Snyder at 517-373-3400. Tell him you are concerned about Rev. Pinkney's safety in an environment of harassment, threats, intimidation, and hostility. Tell him to restore Rev. Pinkney's phone access, to transfer Rev. Pinkney back to Lakeland Prison, and to remove Robert Napel as warden at Marquette Prison.
  • Call Legislative Corrections Ombudsman Keith Barber to demand an investigation into Rev. Pinkney's treatment: 517-373-8573.
  • Call MDOC Director Heidi Washington at 517-241-7238 (leave a message with Sandy Simon, Director Washington's assistant).
  • Call Marquette Branch Prison at 906-226-6531 and demand assurance that Rev. Pinkney is safe and not being mistreated or threatened by any staff members.

Marquette Branch Prison: Now I Believe I Know How It Felt

I am saying to you my friends that often the path to freedom will carry you through a prison, to sacrifice for another is the greatest thing in the whole wide world. In a real sense, the people are the conscience of America. We are its troubled souls, and we will continue to insist that right be done.

Now I believe I know how it felt to be a slave in Jamestown, Virginia during slavery. Now I believe I know how it felt to be black, when the commanders deployed K-9 dogs to attack you as marchers, who just want equal rights. Now I believe I know how it felt to be a Jew in Nazi Germany.

I am in Marquette Branch Prison, better known as the concentration camp, the weather is about -10 below zero, with a wind chill of about -40 below zero. This concentration camp must be in Siberia! No it is Marquette Michigan, with a deeply rooted, hidden, unrevealed, unskilled, unprofessional, uneducated, out-of-control group of rogue officers. The public, the tax payers, are paying the price of unchecked discretion. The major problem we face as prisoners is the threatening, harassing, and the intimidating behavior, which is basically white terrorism. It is up to the public, the tax payers, to stop the corruption and save tax dollars.

A correctional officer Sgt. Hoult stated: I don't talk to convicts. He forgot the prisoner is the reason he has a job. As a correctional officer you are just one step from being a convict yourself. One drink, one domestic assault, one murder, you are just one step from doing time yourself!

I received a letter from a tax-payer who lives in Marquette, Michigan. The public is waking up. She said: "I want to thank you so much for standing up to corruption inside Marquette Prison and for your bravery and courage inside the belly of the beast, to speak up and stand for Christ. You are a hero and you will be on our prayer list. I have for years believed that the prison system was in place to protect me, thanks to you and your wonderful work, you have educated the people in Marquette. My organization and the teacher union will be signing a resolution on your behalf. I just wish I could do more to help a wonderful man like you. We will be joining you to help close down the Marquette Branch Prison, also recruiting others to help with this project. I wish I could bring you a basket of good treats and encouragement. We the people of Marquette Michigan are in full support of your hard work. Thank-you." 

This was a tremendously heart warming letter. We must stop the Michigan Department of Corrections from stealing tax dollars from the tax-payers. The hypocrisy of Michigan Department of Corrections is unlimited.

Rev. Pinkney