Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Three Voices from Benton Harbor

Jail or Concentration Camp?

In a waiting room for prisoner's families and friends at the Berrien County Jail in St. Joseph, Michigan, visitors discuss the condition of the jail - the MRSA virus, and the filth. Most disgusting, families say little black worms come out of the prisoner's shower-head, the shower drain and around the toilet. They say it's like sewage that was never cleansed. Everything inside the overcrowded jail is dirty, with poor air ventilation and inmates sleeping on the gym floor, meaning there is no daily exercise for the prisoners. GED degrees and even doctor visits are too costly for the poor who make up the jail population.

The concentration camp conditions in American jails await not only the victims of poverty, but also anyone who dares to speak out against injustice. We are slipping rapidly into a Nazi-type America. The stakes are high. Capitalism, a system based on the exploitation of human labor, no longer has any use for workers now that computers and robots are taking the jobs. Are jails and concentration camps our future? No. Our hope is in building a massive movement for a just society, but it has to be fought for.

- The People's Tribune Editors


Jail Visitor Speaks Out

By Patricia Johnson

"On our first visit, my son and I got to the Berrien County jail at 12:30 p.m. There was a long line of people waiting in the cold. One-half hour later the door opened and the people rushed in to get warm. It took almost an hour to sign in at one window. There were limited seats in the waiting area and many people stood for as long as two hours waiting to visit. We were told to go to the first floor and we had to wait about 20 more minutes for the previous group to leave. The telephones were filthy and there were interruptions on the phone lines. This is an unforgettable experience."


It's Not the Messenger who is a Liar

By Dorothy Pinkney

In America, we were given the right to free speech. That right is protected by law and the enforcers of the law. If someone should take away those rights, the government is to provide protection.
Not so with my husband, Rev. Edward Pinkney. His freedom of speech was violated on December 14, 2007 by his probation officer, James B. Pjesk and by Berrien Country government, which is run by the dominant corporation in the area, Whirlpool.

Remember, my husband is a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a strong leader and well-known activist in Berrien County since 2000. His message was against injustice, corporate power, racism, and a call to Repentance. Berrien County Government says his message was a threat and he therefore remains in the Berrien County Jail.

I ask, why did Berrien County allow the KKK the right to organize a rally in 1998? Why were they given the right to free speech? Why were they protected by law enforcement? And yet Berrien County can tell my husband that he has no rights to free speech or to organize citizens for a successful recall election against former commissioner Glen Yarbrough. One step further - they are saying that the citizens have no rights therefore we're discarding your votes. The message is that they have the right to take your rights, lock you up in inhumane jail conditions, serve cold food, put you on lock-down, take away visitation rights, block your phone calls, charge you $150 for a GED, $150 for medical fees, or $25 for a doctor fee. Judge Butzbaugh took a prophetic Biblical warning given in a newspaper article as a threat, therefore establishing his own law, sentencing my husband to a year. When a prophetic warning is given by God and it's rejected, when given by His messenger - it's not the messenger who is a liar. You're saying God is a liar. What Judge, government officials or anyone else can come against God's truth - the Bible? The Judge erred when he stated the article was intimidating and threatening, but the subjected of a listener can't create a threat where none exists.

We cannot allow the court system to take away our rights. We must stand together on Biblical Truth. We stand on the truth of the polygraph test proving my husband's innocence of all charges and that he's in jai for a crime he never committed.

The purpose of the speech-press clauses is to protect parties in the free publication of matters of public concern and to secure their rights to a free discussion of public concern, public events, public measure and to enable every citizen to bring the government to the bar of public opinion by any just criticism upon their conduct in the exercise of the authority, which the people have conferred upon them.


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Anonymous said...

This article is so insulting as to be laughable. If it was a quote from the bible directly then it would not have been a threat. It was a perverted version of a verse.

It was not God's word that put him in jail it was the using of God's word in a haphazard and threatening fashion. Besides that he wasn't jailed for that. He was jailed for rigging an election.

You ask why the KKK was allowed to demonstrate? They followed the rules. Free speech is a right, but you aren't allowed to yell fire in a crowded theater.


Anonymous said...

It appears that the Pinkney's either cannot, or will not, understand that the Ed's could've made his threats and curses all day long -- when not already serving a jail sentence. But the conveniently ignored part of Pinkney's story is that Berrien judges actually gave him the benefit of the doubt, and allowed him to serve his sentence outside of jail, among the very people he victimized for years. But he had to adhere to rules in order to enjoy his privilege. He failed.

The People need to stand up against this charlatan, who has victimized people in BH -- most recently by trying to rig an election.

The People's Front

Anonymous said...

It's easy to see why racists who have a lot invested in the continued Berrien County corruption would be "insulted" by the truth. Actually, the word "insulting" and the rest of the writing are obviously by people or a person
trying to convince readers the posts are untrue. Readers who are not racists can see through these comments. (Racists will recognize the attempted smoke screen and applaud.)

Anonymous said...

The posts are untrue. They are false. They spread falsehoods. They are lies. Is that clear enough? I didn't think I was clouding my judgement of the facts of the article in any way.

Here are a few facts that the article lied to us about:

1. "Berrien Country government, which is run by the dominant corporation in the area, Whirlpool." - utterly stupid lie

2. "And yet Berrien County can tell my husband that he has no rights to free speech or to organize citizens for a successful recall election against former commissioner Glen Yarbrough." - proven lie in court (they told him he didn't have the right to purchase an election)

3. "Judge Butzbaugh took a prophetic Biblical warning given in a newspaper article as a threat, therefore establishing his own law, sentencing my husband to a year." - lie that assumes you are a moron. He rewrote the bible verse to be a threat to the judge

Is that clear enough?


Anonymous said...

The jailers eat the same food as the inmates. It must be bad!

The public education system (K-12) is available and paid for by public funds. People can get a FREE High School diploma just by completing the school requirements. GEDs are for quitters. Any common citizen has to pay for the GED testing whether in or out of the jail. Why reward criminals over law-abiding citizens?

Regular citizens have to pay for medical care and/or make co-pays. Why reward criminals over law-abiding citizens?

Trustees clean the common areas, showers, toilets, and phones. They are excellent representatives of the skills and attention to detail taught by their parents. These skills where perfectly analyzed in the article.

If socialism is so good, as claimed by the People's Tribune and BANCO, then why not go to Venezuela, China, North Korea, or Cuba where it is working? They distribute the wealth quite well and have jobs for ALL people. It has great FREE social medicine as pointed out by Michael Moore in his movie on Cuba. They have FREE political and FREE regular school education. They are FREE of Nazis or KKK, as that wouldn’t be tolerated. The have great public housing which might be FREE. The wise leaders in these countries select non-corrupt judges so their people can remain FREE from corrupt Capitalism. Their economic system is FREE of the evil Whirlpool. There are so many FREEBIES in these other countries. If America is so corrupt, why stay there?

Idi Amin

Anonymous said...

Your hatred of black people and the poor is transparent in your writing. Your outdated and uninformed thinking about the way the world works screams out in your writing. Your defense of the indefensible Berrien County legal system reveal how clear you are about keeping Pinkney off the plate of the group of corporate land-grabbers,
golf-players, and greed-heads is of utmost importance.

Anonymous said...

The previous poster would not even debate my statements. They just claim racism and hatred of the poor in a general statement, unsupported by facts, which reflects the shallow depth of their reasoning, education, and debating skills. I said nothing about race or Pinkney, yet somehow that became the major claim of my outdated and uniformed thinking. Anonymous poster, please point out where my facts are wrong.

Idi Amin