The thrust [of the Berrien county courthouse] is to physically remove and destroy families through the use
of the criminal justice system. Every person they can put in jail; every person whose voting rights they can
revoke with a felony conviction; every person they can cause to lose their job by putting them on probation;
every person they can cause to lose the ability to pay for basic necessities through imposing ruinous court
costs and probation is all part of the process. In the 1960s, it was called Negro removal. In Bosnia, it was
called ethnic cleansing. It could be called genocide, the removal of the minority population for the purpose
of redevelopment of the land. That’s what’s happening in Benton Harbor and the foremost leader
of the resistance is Rev. Edward Pinkney. --Civil rights attorney, Hugh "Buck" Davis
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Deputy Hooks went into Pinkney's cell, threw his legal papers all over the bed, and stole his notes and calendar. These contained information about all the incidents in the jail since he's been there.
On Monday the deputy removed a black man from his cell and placed him in the hole, but allowed 2 white men to remain in their cell.
Rev. Pinkney wrote to Sheriff Bailey about this racist move and the very next day he was locked-down.
Racism is out of control in Berrien County.
Jail (269) 983-7111 x7231
Gov. Granholm (517) 373-3400 (517) 335-7858
Sheriff Paul Bailey (269) 983-7141
Rep. John Conyers (313) 961-5670
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
People all over the country are alarmed that the Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor has been jailed for quoting Deuteronomy 28 in a newspaper article.
On Dec. 20 Judge Alfred Butzbaugh ruled that the quotation from Moses was inflammatory and threatening and therefore a violation of Rev. Pinkney's probation. Rev. Pinkney is a longtime community leader in the Benton Harbor area and an outspoken opponent of corporate oppression of the poor. He was convicted earlier this year of voter fraud in a hotly contested trial that many viewed as racially motivated and riddled with constitutional irregularities.
Judge Butzbaugh has made the profound error of confusing Biblical law and prophecy with human threats. Without exception, the role of biblical law and prophecy is to point out the very serious divine consequences for sinful and disobedient behavior. In his newspaper article, Rev. Pinkney stated that he believes the judge's actions are contrary to God's commandments. He then quotes from Deuteronomy 28: 15-16, 18, 22, and 45 to warn him of the consequences of his actions according to the Word of God.
At no time did Rev. Pinkney state, suggest or imply that he would commit any of these actions.
Indeed, the idea that a human being can cause another to be cursed by God or to be smitten with con sumption, fever and inflammation is a far-fetched and bizarre interpretation. The Mosaic law and virtually every prophet in the Bible – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Jonah to name a few – repeatedly predict dire consequences for those who disobey God. Even Jesus often uses highly inflammatory language and warns us starkly to "repent or perish." The Apostle Paul teaches that we will reap what we sow.
These are profound biblical truths.
To throw someone in jail for simply pointing them out is a fearful assault on the religious rights of every American.
Sandy Perry San Jose, Calif.
Copyright (c)2008 The Herald-Palladium 01/20/2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
In England, 1215, the Magna Carta came into being, assuring anyone charged with a crime the right to habeus corpus (safeguard against illegal imprisonment), along with other rights. We are living in a time when this document is being questioned, and in certain places like St. Joseph, has been all but ignored for too long. This book is a fantastic read for anyone interested in justice:
The Magna Carta Manifesto
Liberties and Commons for All
by Peter Linebaugh
View an interview with the author: http://joun.leb.net/ruspoli03142007.html
Book details: http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/10566.html
"There is not a more important historian living today. Period."--Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
"Ranging across the centuries, and from England to Asia, Africa and the Americas, Peter Linebaugh shows us the contested history of Magna Carta--how the liberties it invoked were secured and (as today) violated, and how generations of ordinary men and women tried to revive the idea of the commons in the hope of building a better world."--Eric Foner, author of The Story of American Freedom
This remarkable book shines a fierce light on the current state of liberty and shows how longstanding restraints against tyranny--and the rights of habeas corpus, trial by jury, and due process of law, and the prohibition of torture--are being abridged. In providing a sweeping history of Magna Carta, the source of these protections since 1215, this powerful book demonstrates how these ancient rights are repeatedly laid aside when the greed of privatization, the lust for power, and the ambition of empire seize a state. Peter Linebaugh draws on primary sources to construct a wholly original history of the Great Charter and its scarcely-known companion, the Charter of the Forest, which was created at the same time to protect the subsistence rights of the poor.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
There is no hot water in the jail.
Mrs. Pinkney went to the jail on two occasions recently and gave money to the jailers for Rev. P.'s account. Both times the money was taken away from Rev. P. This is now considered money stolen by the jail.
Berrien county jail phone #: 269-983-7111 x7231
Please make as much noise as you can wherever you can about the continuing harassment of this innocent man. This is right up there with the most obvious cases of people imprisoned for political reasons. Meanwhile, Benton Harbor has lost it's major voice for justice.
In jail, Rev. Pinkney was issued a search warrant for his computer last Friday, Dec. 28.
However, his computer was confiscated by the county sheriff without a warrant 2 weeks earlier on Dec. 14.
California reporting on Berrien County, Pinkney, etc.: