Thursday, December 31, 2009

One Minute Video of a Congressional Hero

Greetings All,

If only Fred Upton had the heart and selfless understanding to address congress publicly and speak the obvious truths that Dennis Kucinich so clearly outlined in the one minute video linked to below. But no way, not our Freddie boy. Ending US foreign invasions and returning our soldiers home could cut too deeply into the investments and dividends derived from his $8 million+ stake (4th paragraph) in war industries.

This is so important my words can't begin to sum it up. Please take the sixty seconds required to watch. Then, even more importantly, invest the time and truly consider the gravity behind what Kucinich speaks of. This Cleveland congressman (or Texas Republican Ron Paul) ought to be in the White House, not the carpetbagger we put there a year ago: President CFR. Bilderberger Oblammo.

This new year let's finally send war-boy Upton back to where his heart truly resides: Harbor Shores, the Lake Michigan shoreline and riverfront development project, complete with a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, currently being constructed for Whirlpool executives and Fred's retirement - on Benton Harbor land acquired by highly questionable, to say the very least, actions.

Upton is no moderate. He's spending borrowed money (your heirs' future) way too freely on an unbelievably bloated 'security' sector. And he's freely spending the blood of American young people who can't find economically viable employment anywhere outside the armed forces in campaigns of the exact sort the Nuremberg Tribunals determined were war crimes. It has to be said once again: he's personally garnering a substantial profit by doing it.

What IS that awful smell?


PS. If you wish, consider forwarding this. Especially to those people you know residing in Michigan's 6th Congressional District - Upton's district. Better yet, call or write Upton and ask him how/why he can do such things in an official capacity.

* * * * * * *

Honest, intelligent things do get
said occasional from the floor of

Here's a guy we should all be supporting.

1 minute Video:


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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Way Things Work at Whirlpool

The supervisor who gave a racist and demeaning letter to female employee was told on Monday not to worry about his job (he won't lose it)

A WPool supervisor, Mr. Tederic, gave an African-American female employee a letter so incredibly racist and demeaning, most companies following an ethics code would act immediately to fire the supervisor. But not WPool. WP fired the employee. She was the only one in this triangle to act proactively. She reported the abusive letter of the supervisor to two managers over Tederic. Yet she's the one without a job. WP management did nothing except give Tederic a day off. In fact, on Monday, December 21, Tederic was given a "vote of confidence" by WP.

From the Whirlpool Code of Ethics: "This code applies to all employees, officers and directors employees of Whirlpool Corporation and its subsidaries Whirlpool or company. As employees of Whirlpool, we will comply with all the laws, regulations and company policies that govern our activities around the world. To do any less would comprise our shared values. We will strive to be involved and responsible citizens in the communities where we live. At work ,we will deal with employees fairly and honestly and with concern for safety and well being."

(Who does this apply to at WP? Certainly not Mr. Tederic, the white supervisor, and from reports across the country regarding WP facilities - see below, it doesn't seem to apply to WP employees who practice racism.)

"Management is responsible for making sure that proper attention is given to ,and that controls are in place for promoting compliance with our code of conduct and specific addressing each area. Employees who fail to abide by these company policies will face corrective action, up to and including termination of employment."

Mr. Tederic, who is exempt from the code, practices racism without any punishment because he's white. Whirlpool is clearly subsidizing racism and poverty in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

My holiday wish for America and Whirlpool:
An America where no one is fired because they are Black.
An America where racism and sexism are not tolerated in the work place.
Further, an America where Black children are not kicked out of a pool because they change the complexion of the facility.
An America where no one denies interracial couples the right to marry.
An America where no one is arrested based on the color of his or her skin.

Rev. Edward Pinkney
More Evidence of Whirlpool's Culture of Employee Abuse

Judge: Whirlpool Must Pay Former Employee $1 Million

December 22, 2009
By Mark Bellinger

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A federal judge has awarded a Rutherford County woman more than $1 million. Judge John Nixon held Whirlpool liable in a sexual harassment suit filed by an employee more than four years ago.

Attorneys for Carlotta Freeman told NewsChannel 5 it was a classic example of a hostile work environment and Whirlpool has to pay.

Freeman worked at Whirlpool in Lavergne for more than 16 years.

In January 2004, she worked on an assembly line in the air conditioner department, and what transpired over the next three months changed her life.

"She probably has the worst case of post traumatic stress disorder you've ever seen," said Freeman's attorney Helen Rogers.

"This has pretty much destroyed Ms. Freeman's life," said Freeman's attorney Andy Allman.

Rogers and Allman filed suit against Whirlpool saying the company violated Freeman's civil rights. Freeman did not feel comfortable talking to NewsChannel 5, but her niece did.

"She [Freeman] was terrified. She was just terrified," said Freeman's niece Amable Osborne.

During a trial Freeman's attorneys put on proof showing 56-year-old Willie Baker repeatedly made inappropriate racial and sexual comments toward Freeman.

"Then he started using the ‘n' word and different racial comments were made," said Rogers.

Related article:

Whirlpool Corp. to Pay Over $1 Million for Harassing Black Female Worker

EEOC Said Company Tolerated Verbal Harassment Culminating in Physical Assault

Monday, December 21, 2009

Media coverage of Whirlpool workplace racism and Rev. Edward Pinkney's court case

From Santa Barbara to San Diego, or around the world on line join:

SOJOURNER TRUTH with host Margaret Prescod
TUESDAY to FRIDAY 7-8 AM on KPFK 90.7FM and 98.7FM Santa Barbara

On Tuesday, Dec. 22, 7-8am:

Among other topics - Racism at the world headquarters of Whirlpool Corporation; the Governor of Michigan refuses to intervene in the case of Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor who was sent to prison for quoting the Bible, an update on that case.

You can get info on daily programming and more on Twitter at Sotruekpfk or LISTEN ANYTIME or subscribe to podcast at

Join Margaret Prescod Host/Producer Sojourner Truth, Tuesday to Friday 7-8 am Pacific Time, on Pacifica Radio’s KPFK 90.7 FM in Southern California, 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara, and streaming and for pod cast worldwide on the web at

Sojourner Truth brings you news and views on the impact of US domestic and foreign policy, locally, nationally and around the world, and how women, communities of color and others are responding to those policies. The show also looks at the inter-relationship between art and politics and brings you grassroots voices often ignored by the media.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

[Berrien County Commissioners either don't know about the extensive research and information on preventing recitivism by keeping prisoners as close as possible to friends and family while behind bars - or they could care less. Maybe both: if they did know they wouldn't care. And just guess who directly or indirectly controls every move the commissioners make?]

Jail visits will be by video in future

Face-to-face talks across a window will soon disappear
By Scott Aiken - Herald Palladium
Dec. 11, 2009

ST. JOSEPH - People visiting inmates at the Berrien County jail in the near future will no longer see them face to face through glass. Instead, they'll "visit" via video.
County commissioners decided Thursday to get bids for video visitation equipment and related building remodeling and professional services.
A preliminary estimate puts the cost at $297,000. The system is expected to be installed next year.
The video visitations will follow video court arraignments, which Berrien County's judges have used for years through a jail-to-Courthouse link.
With the digital technology in the jail, visits are conducted by television monitors in different parts of the jail. A monitor is to be placed in each jail dormitory for inmates to use. Visitors will use monitors in an area designated for the public.
Visitors now see jail inmates face to face through glass and talk by telephone.
Sheriff Paul Bailey said video visitation improves safety in the jail because it cuts the number of times deputies must move inmates outside their cell areas.
"They do not have to be moved around the jail," Bailey said.
Already in use in many places, the video equipment can also make it easier for people in jail to visit with their lawyers. It could result in inmates having more visits, Bailey said.
The county considered three options for a video visitation system. Commissioners favor the least expensive: converting the current visitation areas on the first and second floors of the jail.
The estimated costs include equipment, wiring, devices and furniture, the county's building and grounds superintendent, Patrick Sweeney, said.
The cost of the video electronics system is estimated at $260,000. Remodeling costs and professional services will make up the balance of the $297,000.
Two other more expensive options were considered and rejected.
One was to renovate the ground-floor jail lobby for use as the public visitation station. The complete video system, remodeling and other costs, including work to meet access standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act, would cost an estimated $325,000.
The board also considered using the Legal Aid of Western Michigan building near the sheriff's department on Port Street. System costs, remodeling and other expenses for a visitation station would total an estimated $358,000.
Sweeney told commissioners that the figures are only estimates and could be different from bids submitted by contractors.
The video equipment cost estimate was provided by one company that makes the systems, he said.
For years the county has used video conference equipment for court proceedings. Through a video link, judges in the Courthouse arraign prisoners being held in the jail next door.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Part 1 of the letter below can be found by scrolling down to December 15, 2009. On that same morning (Dec. 15, 2009) before part 1 was posted, Ms. Boyd was terminated from her Whirlpool job. She went to work and was told she no longer had a job. Whirlpool apparently doesn't even give employees the standard two week notice.

In Whirlpool offices, at least in Berrien County, Mich. and in Texas, the following ethics policy is not only ignored, but the exact opposite of it's intent is what employees experience: racism, bullying, and intimidation.

"Our aim is for Whirlpool Corporation and its worldwide sudsidiaries to be known, trusted, and respected as one of the top enterprises in the world. To do that requires strong financial and ethical performance. Whirlpool's Code of Ethics requires each of us to act responsibly and maintain the highest levels of personal business and legal conduct. That means walking away from a business agreement rather than violating the law or compromising our standards. It also means showing respect for those lives we affect and treat them as we want them to treat us whether that person is a supervisor, colleague, or subordinate."

--Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool Chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer

CEO Jeff M. Fettig and supervisor Tedderic are both in violation of the Whirlpool ethics policy as stated above.

Part 2 of a letter, "When You Know You Are From Benton Harbor," given to Ms. Boyd by her male supervisor, Mr. Tedderic:

You know you are from Benton Harbor when after you wear something new you won't wear it for at least another 2 months. When you miss 1st hours cuz you were at IHOP. When you ate wing dings and cheese fries at lunch. When you thought Reality Check's prices were so high but still bought the stuff anyway. When you know who Willie Joe is or have talked to him and you have seem him on every corner drinking a 2 liter of beer. When you wear the birthday ribbon even though it ain't your birthday so you can get lunch. When you always trying to sell something. When you remember Rome coming to your school once a month. When you can't wait to get out of Benton Harbor, but come back to every event. When you were either part of or hated on one of the many groups, SwaveGirls, Monroe Boys, Mama's Girls and Boys, Sallies, 30's, Spiffy, etc. When people send you messages on my space about old Benton Harbor drama. When you still consider yourself to be part of the clique. When you either know, know of, or are related to everyone in your age range. When your father has at least 10 kids and only takes care of 5. When every woman in town worth dating has dated your friend, relative, is a relative of yours, or you have been there, and done that! When you think Fatsola is the best rapper in the world. When or if you can go to Donnie Page's porch and get your hair cut, smoke some weed, and watch niggas sell dope across the street all at the same time. When you are still talking about how many points you scored when you were on Sterne Brunson, West, Calvin Britain, etc. When you think DNR really stands for Duck N Run. When you ride around IHOP 30 times after the bars close. When you were there when Sinbad first put the black top down behind the rec and you remember the dunk contest that day. When you remember the klicknik or parties at the Captains Table. When you snuck in the YMCA to hoop on saturdays cause you knew everybody was gonna be there but you did not have any money.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It looks like Whirlpool might have a nationwide policy of corporate-sanctioned racism carried out by supervisors/management against employees (the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals is in Texas; post below is occurring in the Benton Harbor, Michigan WP facility)

White Employees Sticking Up For Black Friends Can't Be Discriminated Against
March 9, 2009 by Ellen Simon

Is it illegal to discriminate against a Caucasian employee against because of her friendship with and advocacy for African-American co-employees? According to a new decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Barrett, et al v. Whirlpool Corporation, the answer is yes.

In this important case, three Caucasian production workers sued Whirlpool claiming that they were retaliated against and subjected to a hostile work environment. They said it was because they were friendly with African American co-employees and stuck up for them when faced with racial hostility at work.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and 42 U.S.C. Sec.1981 both forbid discrimination on the basis of association with or advocacy for non-whites.

While admitting that association discrimination claims could be valid, Whirlpool contended that the plaintiffs' claims fell short because the associations with their black co-workers were only casual work friendships and not the type protected under these statutes. Only a significant association that extends outside of the workplace could give rise to a claim according to Whirlpool.

Put another way, Whirlpool argued that the only kinds of association claims which can be brought are the kind where an employee was discriminated against because of an intimate or family relationship with a minority like the cases where:

* an employer discharged an employee after leaning that his daughter was bi-racial (see 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Tetro v. Elliott Popham Ponitac, Oldsmobile, Buick, & GMC Trucks, Inc.) or
* an employer discharged an employee upon learning of an interracial marriage (see llth Circuit Court of Appeals, Parr. v Woodman of World Life Ins. Co.)

The Court rejected this argument and held (like the7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Drake v. 3M ) that associational discrimination could be found in the case of friendship between co-workers of different races:

If a plaintiff shows that 1)she was discriminated against at work 2) because she associated with members of a protected class, then the degree of the association is irrelevant. … The absence of a relationship outside of work should not immunize the conduct of harassers who targets an employee because she associates with African-American co-workers.

While the Court of Appeals found insufficient evidence to support two of the employees claims, it found in favor of the third -- Treva Nickens, a Caucasian woman who worked at Whirlpool since 1983 and testified:

* it was commonplace to hear racist jokes and racist slurs including he word “nigger”
* she complained on a daily basis about theses comments but that her supervisor refused to do anything to stop it.
* she was harassed for “hanging around with blacks”
* she was told that “she needed to stay with her own kind”
* when she reported the conduct she was physically threatened
* she was directly harassed by her supervisors
* she was denied promotions for higher paying jobs because she spoke out on behalf of her African American friends.

The Court also held reaffirmed the proposition that advocacy on behalf of African-American co-workers was protected. According to the Court:

As long as a plaintiff offers proof that she was, in fact, discriminated against because she advocated for protected employees, she may state a discrimination claim under Title VII.

The bottom line is that when friends stick up for their minority co-workers in the face of discrimination or harassment, and as a result are subjected to a hostile work environment, there is legal protection. I don't remember seeing another case quite like it.

What's more, there is little doubt that its reasoning extends beyond race and can be relied upon to protect co-workers who stick up for women, the disabled, or anyone else in a protected class if the individual is then harassed because of it.

This is an excellent case for the promotion of fairness and dignity in the workplace and one that all managers and human resource professionals should keep in their back pocket.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Supervisor Tedderic (spelling not clear) acts out Whirlpool-supported racism in letter to employee

African-American employees of Whirlpool report extreme racial tension in the corporation. (Rep. Fred Upton is the heir to WP corp. and is likely aware of it's policies - written and unwritten.) The letter, When You Know You Are From Benton Harbor (part 1), below is more evidence that racism is condoned in the WP workplace. It is well known in the African-American community of Benton Harbor that oppressive racism exists at WP, but most employees fear coming forward with their stories. One says, "Racism is so thick at Whirlpool that people are afraid to breathe." Another well-known fact is that WP has been sued many times (more than other corporations) by employees for workplace racism. WP generally loses.

Mr. Tedderic acted out his hostility in writing this letter, even though WP corporate policy (in theory at least) requires no racist behavior, no bullying, etc., etc. among all employees.

After studying and many other sites dealing with intimidation in the workplace, it's no wonder that the recipient of the letter below has had to seek psychotherapy. To have worked in this oppressive atmosphere, and then to receive this venomous letter of racial attack, it would be difficult to exist without getting help.

Ms. Boyd (name changed) had the courage to report this letter to not one, but two supervisors in WP upper management - to NO avail. That's right, absolutely nothing - not one thing - was done to rectify this situation. Ms. Boyd's supervisor remains free to dole out his abuse.

Rev. Pinkney's information is at the bottom of this website - please consider
contacting him if you are a WP employee willing to tell your story.

The letter, "When You Know You Are From Benton Harbor"

1. You know you are from Benton Harbor when you think Henry's is the best place to eat in town. 2. A fast food restaurant. 3. When you think Empire St. is like Hollywood, Cal. Empire is where all the hoods hang out. 4. When you think B-Jays or May street Market is the place to be. 5. Where all the dope dealers hang out. 6. When you have been to Meg's and when you went they had a fight. 7. When people think you talk country. 8. When you say Ben Harba instead of Benton Harbor. 9. When you say Don't nobody know where Benton Harbor is. 10. When you get a new outfit for everyday of the Christmas Basketball Tournament or any event. 11. When you think Apple B's and Steak-n-shake are the best sit down restaurants to eat. 12. When you were in a million and one activities in School. 13. When you were in Del-Teens, Kappa League, or Ivy Teens. 14. When you were a part of Benton Harbor band which is all Black. 15. When you watch MTV in the morning CUZ BET is not on yet! 16. When you have ran from speedy. 17. When you can't stand Benton Harbor but represent it wherever you go. 18. When you be the hypest at all parties. 19. When you actually know how to dance. 20. When you dress to impress you know you are black from Benton Harbor. 21. When you wear sun-glasses to the prom. 22. When you ran from the security guards CUZ you just got caught skippin. 23. When you are black you go home every weekend to get your hair done. 24. When you are black one of your favoritest slow songs ever was Ooh-Ahh by three piece. 25. When you are black you make up random words like I did in #22.

Part 2 will appear on this site within 2 days.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Granholm Wants Her Mansion on the Lake in Benton Harbor

How did Rev. Edward Pinkney learn that Gov. Granholm denied his commutation?
(Commutation would relieve Pinkney of the false charges which he was convicted of.)

He learned of her JUNE '09 decision several days ago. It was through a phone call from atty. Kelly Flint to the state parole board that the governor's decision was made known to Pinkney. Atty. Flint was informed that gov. Granholm's decision was mailed to Pinkney in June. As you can imagine, Pinkney was just a tad interested in the decision, and is certain that the letter never arrived in his mailbox. This shows a total lack of respect for Pinkney by the gov. and the parole board.

Pinkney says Granholm denied his commutation for several reasons.

Berrien County Judge Alfred Butzbaugh is a close chum of hers. Before she was gov., they served on the state bar board together, and as gov. she appointed him chief judge in Berrien Cty.

And, approving his commutation would make herself and Butzbaugh look foolish. Apparently, she isn't aware of how foolish she looks in the eyes of Michigan citizens already as another corporate shill, and supporting a Whirlpool-backed judge who states that Pinkney's paraphrasing of Dueteronomy 28 is a threat to him (Butzbaugh) and his family.

Lastly, she needs Pinkney out of the way for a smooth transition to ownership of her mansion on Whirlpool's stolen land in Benton Harbor. Keep Pinkney Quiet By Any Means Necessary is part of the Whirlpool/State of Michigan mission statement.

Hear Pinkney to Pinkney every Sunday from 5-6pm on Blog Talk Radio

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has kept crony capitalism alive and well in Michigan
Read about her immensely dissapointing role in Jean Klock Park:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Berrien County Commissioners Take No Action

Rev. Pinkney delivered a copy of the following to each Berrien County Commissioner this past week:

The Indigent Defense Service in the Berrien County Courthouse has the following deficiencies, among others:

1. Judges, prosecutors, and indigent defense all work together against the defendants.
(The judiciary is not independent from the prosecutorial function.)

2. There are no written attorney performance standards, nor is there a meaningful system of attorney supervision and monitoring.

3. There are no guidelines on how to identify conflicts of interest.

4. There are no attorney work standards

5. There is no adequate attorney training.

6. There is no merit based attorney hiring and retention program.

7. There are no written client elegibility standards.


The refusal of the court-appointed Indigent Defense Council to put the case, which is against their clients, to the credible, meaningful, adversarial test, causes members of the defendent class to suffer numerous harms, including but not limited to:

1. wrongful denial of representation
2. wrongful conviction of crimes
3. unecessary or prolonged pretrial detentions
4. guilty pleas to innappropriate charges and denial of the right to a trial when meritorious defense are available
5. harsher sentences than the facts of the case warrant
6. few alternatives to incarceration

We the people want Berrien County to provide indigent defense programs and representation consistent with the requirements of the US government.

Berrien County Commissioners know that taking no action is wrong, but they continue to preside over world class human rights abuses.

Their inaction for decades and decades is criminal and unconstitutional.

Friday, November 27, 2009

New Pamphlet on Benton Harbor
Fighting The Corporations In America’s Small Towns

A new pamphlet published by the People’s Tribune discusses the victories and next steps in the struggle against the corporations in Benton Harbor. A battle has been won, and this should be celebrated, but there is still a war going on. Will America have prosperity and democracy, or live in poverty under the heel of open corporate power? Will the American people move to take over the corporations before they take over society? Place your orders now. Send $3 for each pamphlet or order 10 for $20 to People’s Tribune, PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654-3524.
We Need Justice in Benton Harbor by Dorothy Pinkney

[excerpts]...On highways and in neighborhoods in the city of Benton Harbor people are regularly subjected to stop and search procedures based on racially biased drug courier profiles for just being black...schools are segregated and profoundly unequal...more than before Brown vs. Board of of all Black men in their twenties are either behind bars or on parole in Benton Harbor because of corruption in the Berrien County court system.

The promise of fair and equal treatment for Black people remains frustratingly elusive in the city of Benton Harbor, Michigan, especially in Berrien County. Our schools are segregated and profoundly unequal, more than before the U.S. Supreme Court 1954 decision in Brown versus the Board of Education. Equal, adequate, public education is far from a reality in Benton Harbor. The city has substantially fewer resources than white schools in every area from teacher qualification to money spent on school books. This is because of the inequality in school funding, which is based on property taxes. The federal government must provide equal funding for every child.

As far as the so called “war on drugs” in Benton Harbor, police officer Andrew Collins and Berrien County prosecutors knew drugs were being planted on Benton Harbor residents. Over one hundred people were sent to jail or prison because of this. The war on crime disproportionately targets Black men and one-third of all Black men in their twenties are either behind bars or on parole in the city of Benton Harbor because of the corruption in the Berrien County court system.

On highways and in neighborhoods in the city of Benton Harbor people are regularly subjected to stop and search procedures based on racially biased drug courier profiles for just being black. Frederick Douglas’s question of making good the promise of the Constitution must be answered with a resounding yes! By any means necessary, for all of our people. So you must keep your mind on your freedom and freedom on your mind.


Rev. Pinkney was released from tether in an Appellate Court victory. But he still must pay court costs, aimed at breaking a defendant, in the amount of $6,405. Send donations to BANCO, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Interview with Belinda Brown
Editor’s Note: Belinda Brown is a leader in the struggle for a just Benton Harbor. She was interviewed by Joseph Peery of the People’s Tribune.

PT: Talk about your fight with the corporations as a business owner.

Belinda Brown: I originally started my business in the early 90s before I was awakened to what was really going on. I was on a pursuit to incubate other businesses for the community. But I came to find out that the Chamber of Commerce is tied into Whirlpool; it was called Cornerstone Alliance at that time. I gave them my business plan to bring jobs to the community. Disturbingly, I soon found out that all businesses that take their business to Cornerstone Alliance are automatically sabotaged. This happened to me and to friends of mine. Whatever anybody tried to do that didn’t fit into their plan of their 25-year take over of Benton Harbor is automatically sabotaged. There’s no way to compete with these corporations. You are going to get kicked to the curb. If you don’t fit into their plan, you’re going to fail.

PT: Could you talk about how to get youth involved in the struggle?

BB: We’re excited. We feel that our new Benton Harbor chapter of the NAACP is going to make a great impact on our young people. Pastor Pinkney is the President and he is a fighter. He is going to make something happen with the situation we’re facing. We’re focusing on the education issue and trying to get our young people involved to be a powerful movement to take back our city. We feel that we have had enough. It’s not too late and if we work hard and expose to the world what happens when you rise up and take a stand against the forces that be, no matter how powerful they are, we can win. Our young people are excited about this.

PT: What kind of a new America, new Benton Harbor, could we have?

BB: Now that the young people have educated themselves to what happened and how it happened, the fight is on. I mean the fight to change this world in regard to how people are treated. Young people hate that they are subject to this type of struggle in this century. They looked at the conditions that their parents suffer from because of this planned take over of Benton Harbor by the corporations so they are looking for opportunities to keep it from happening to anybody. Because they had to experience this, they can be a model to help educate. This generation is fearless and ready for something different.This is what is going to be needed to see a new America. They are saying we’re going to make something better happen.
Fighting The Corporations In America’s Small Towns

A new pamphlet published by the People’s Tribune discusses the victories and next steps in the struggle against the corporations in Benton Harbor. A battle has been won, and this should be celebrated, but there is still a war going on. Will America have prosperity and democracy, or live in poverty under the heel of open corporate power? Will the American people move to take over the corporations before they take over society? Place your orders now. Send $3 for each pamphlet or order 10 for $20 to People’s Tribune, PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654-3524.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lynne Stewart, the Patriot Act, and COINTELPRO
by Larry Pinkney (no relation to Rev. Pinkney)

Cloaked in the guise of combating terrorism and of national security and virtually in plain view, the Bill of Rights and civil liberties in this nation have been, and are continuing to be, steadily, systematically, and meticulously shredded. The consequences are dire.

No matter what the pretext, one does not protect, preserve, and strengthen hard won civil liberties by limiting and thereby gutting and destroying them. Indeed the best, most effective and genuine means of assuring real national security is by ensuring civil liberties, judicial fairness, and equitable social and economic justice inside this nation itself; and no amount of government / judiciary intimidation, spying or policing actions at home, or military actions abroad, can or will ever bring this about, nor are they really intended to, despite any fallacious rhetoric to the contrary.

The case of seventy-year-old great grandmother, cancer survivor, former school librarian, long time political activist / organizer, and former New York City defense attorney Lynne Stewart is indicative of the U.S. Government’s ongoing attempts to frighten, discredit, intimidate, and silence the people of this nation, and most particularly in this case, defense attorneys who dare to seriously exercise the constitutional right and duty to provide their clients with a vigorous and uncompromising legal defense.

Lynne Stewart, as a defense attorney, has for well over three decades, successfully defended clients who were the targets of U.S. Government subterfuge, police brutality, and prosecutorial subterfuge and discreditation. In so doing she constantly demonstrated to young lawyers what it really means to stand up and defend the people in both word and deed. The people that Lynne Stewart legally and vigorously defended ranged from members of the Black Panther Party, to the Weather Underground, to U.S. protestors demonstrating against (the then U.S. and Israeli supported) apartheid government of South Africa. Moreover, she did not hesitate to vigorously defend the human and legal rights of Muslims unjustly persecuted and targeted by U.S. Government agencies in this the 21st century. (Reference The Black Commentator of July 12, 2007.

Thus, Lynne Stewart herself became a target of the U.S. Government in the person of the then Bush / Cheney U.S. Attorney General, John Ashcroft. This scenario did not “change” under the present Obama / Biden / Rahm Emanuel administration or its current U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder. If anything in 2009, matters became even worse.

As a direct result of U.S. Government subterfuge, entrapment, and disinformation (with corporate media complicity) against Lynne Stewart, she was on February 10, 2005, wrongfully and shockingly convicted of a bogus “conspiracy to aid and abet terrorism” charge relating to her legal defense of one of her clients. An appeal was immediately filed, in hopes that the appeal court would recognize and respect truth and justice and reverse this gross injustice. However, the appeal court on November 17, 2009, did just the opposite and upheld this bogus, outrageous, and retaliatory conviction and sentence against the people’s lawyer - Lynne Portia Stewart. This incredibly courageous, seventy-year-old former librarian, who is presently also battling a serious medical condition that requires surgery must never be abandoned by us. She did not abandon justice-loving people and we cannot abandon her. She is a target and a victim of the Patriot Act (the 21st century COINTELPRO) and the ongoing hysteria which was whipped up under the Bush / Cheney administration and is being continued and further tweaked under the Obama / Biden administration. We must remember that Lynne Stewart spoke and speaks truth to power on behalf of the every day people and we can do no less. DO NOT LET HER STAND ALONE! DO NOT ALLOW THIS CORRUPT, HYPOCRITICAL, WAR MONGERING GOVERNMENT AND JUDICIARY TO COWER US INTO SUBMISSION! Continue to follow the developments in Lynne Stewart’s case closely, with a view towards reversing this gross injustice to her and to all of us! By supporting Lynne Stewart, we are loving and supporting the very best in ourselves.

Bear in mind that the above-described developments with respect to Lynne Stewart, are part and parcel and yet another example, of the ongoing shredding of the Bill of Rights and civil liberties in this nation. The government actions against Lynne Stewart are intended to make us tremble and cower, neither of which must we do. Too much is at stake! Real national security can only be had when the people refuse to allow the government to quash our human and political rights for therein is our national security.

When, in the name of “national security” or of allegedly combating “terrorism,” a government that cloaks its reprehensible acts of spying on its own people while simultaneously gutting their civil liberties is in reality fostering, not combating, terrorism. It’s all about stifling any substantive informed discussion and dissent. Such a government is not worthy of support. Democracy, if it is to be real, is not some commodity to be bought, sold, or manipulated by government or corporations. It is contentious and must be vigorously exercised.

The goal of the infamously notorious, unconstitutional, murderous, and amoral U.S. Government’s Counter Intelligence Program, known as COINTELPRO, which was fervently carried out internally against the peoples of the United States, was to “neutralize” political dissent by “discrediting, framing, disrupting, imprisoning, and often murdering” individual political activists, and where possible, targeting entire political organizations. These systematic outrages were of course engaged in by local, state, and federal policing authorities working together throughout this nation; all in the nebulous, shrill name of so-called “national security.” The corporate news media played a deadly, covert, and insidious role of complicity by disseminating disinformation to assist in ensuring the deadly effectiveness of COINTELPRO. As a direct result of the U.S.

Government COINTELPRO sponsored activities many people were framed, imprisoned, or murdered (including the U.S. government / police assassinations of Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark), not to mention the tens of thousands of families, lives and/or reputations were utterly shattered. The thousands of targets of COINTELPRO included (but were by no means limited to) Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Huey P. Newton, H. Rap Brown (Jamil Al-Amin), and a host of many, many other men and women political activists nationwide. Entire organizations were COINTELPRO targets including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Black Panther Party (BPP), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the American Indian Movement (AIM), the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), etc. While COINTELPRO primarily targeted nonwhites, there were to be sure, whites who the U.S. Government also sought to “neutralize” intimidate, and discredit due to their unmitigated audacity to stand up and dissent against the U.S. policies of wars abroad and social, judicial and economic injustice at home; all in the bogus name of “national security.” It should be noted that down to the present day, as a result of COINTELPRO, there are numerous political prisoners still languishing in ‘America’s’ gulag prisons. This is and should be absolutely unacceptable to all of us.

Notwithstanding the deliberately misleading rhetoric of the Obama / Biden / Rahm Emanuel administration, this nation has entered an era of de facto renewed 21st century COINTELPRO activities and McCarthyism under the insipid guise of the “Patriot Act.” This is the same Patriot Act that Barack Obama is seeking to extend, just as he has already extended and expanded the notorious activities of the U.S. Government’s international kidnapping and torture program known as “rendition.”

While the pro-apartheid Zionist Obama / Biden / Rahm Emanuel administration and its allies in the corporate media have cynically used the increasing pain and suffering of the ‘American’ people against we ourselves by turning the attention of the nation to a fake debate on “health reform” which is neither open, honest, nor representative of genuine systemic change for the hurting masses, the Obama administration pursues its wars abroad in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, and elsewhere while seeking to continue and strengthen the ill gotten gains of repression made under the previous Bush / Cheney administration by continuing the Patriot Act here at home, including among other provisions, the despicably undemocratic, patently unconstitutional, and outrageous portion within said Act known as the “lone wolf” provision. Make no mistake about it: This political repression is being, and meant to be, directed against citizens and noncitizens alike in this nation of all colors and ethnicities. It is time to put aside our petty ideological squabbles and unite against this repression.

No matter what the pretense, the PATRIOT ACT is the continuation of COINTELPRO today, which has now been codified into law. The Obama / Biden / Rahm Emanuel administration is demonstrating itself to be as hypocritical and amoral as its Bush / Cheney predecessors - -with one noteworthy exception: this present administration is, at least for the political moment, much more articulate and adept at misleading the people. It is therefore far more dangerously effective at economically, judicially, and socially emaciating the masses of people than the Bush / Cheney administration could have ever even dreamed of being.

It must be reiterated: The Patriot Act is the continuation of COINTELPRO and the corporate, self-described “news” media today continues in its shameful role of aiding and abetting - through disinformation, obfuscation, and omission - -the stripping away of real freedoms and civil liberties in this nation and around the world.

We must be aware of, but certainly not intimidated by these developments. Political repression at home is not merely on its way. It is in fact, in large measure already here, though not yet recognized by some. Both the liberals and the lunatic right wingers of the Democratic and Republican Parties (i.e. the Republicrats) are, in essence, moving this nation, at an ever increasing pace, towards deepening political repression. The so-called liberals pretend that the dangerous erosion of alleged freedoms and civil liberties is simply not happening right in front of their very eyes, while the right wingers are virtually inviting it (i.e. political repression) as a means to their ends.

Our task is to educate, agitate, and organize throughout this nation. We must be clear that the constant so-called specter of “terrorism” is, like the specter of “communism” during the McCarthy period of fear and repression, being fanned and fostered by the misguided, dishonest, hypocritical and undemocratic practices on the part of the U.S. Government and its corporate allies at home and abroad. Remember that democracy is not spread at the tip of a sword, in the muzzle of rifles, or by horrific explosions of cluster and/or so-called ‘smart’ bombs and the like. It is terrorism that is in fact fostered and spread by these things, not democracy.

We must always remember that unjust wars abroad, and political repression, subterfuge, and disinformation at home go hand and hand.

We must struggle to reverse the increasing political repression in this nation and bring about an immediate end to the unjust U.S. wars abroad. We must struggle for genuine (not fake) single payer universal health care, for full employment, decent housing, and relevant education, judicial accountability and justice, an end to the new and hideous form of racism and economic apartheid gentrification in communities throughout this nation. We must struggle for real and serious systemic change and an end to corporate capitalist de facto hegemony.

No more unjust wars! No more COINTELPRO! No more PATRIOT ACT and its concomitant political repression at home! No more lies! Let us stop allowing this administration to give political cover to repression at home and Empire abroad! Enough!

“Change we can believe in?” The only real change that we can believe in is the change that we the people demand, organize for, and bring about ourselves!

Life to the masses of people in this nation and around the world! Onward then sisters and brothers! It’s time to intensify in speaking truth to power and educate, agitate, and organize. Remember: “Don’t Mourn. ORGANIZE!” Editorial Board Member, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS NewsHour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn].

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Former city manager suing Benton Harbor

Marsh wants his job back as well as unspecified damages
J. Swidwa - H-P, Wednesday, November 4, 2009

(Article with commentary in bold)

ST. JOSEPH - Former City Manager Richard Marsh is suing the city of Benton Harbor under the state's Whistleblower Protection Act, alleging that he was shown the door after he reported suspected criminal activity and irregularities related to the city's finances. MARSH CARRIED OUT HIS OWN INVESTIGATION AND FOUND CORRUPTION IN THE CITY FINANCE DEPT.

In his lawsuit, Marsh is asking for his job back, along with an unspecified amount in damages. In a complaint filed Friday in Berrien County Trial Court, Marsh alleges the City Commission's actions caused him loss of earnings and career opportunities, mental and emotional distress, and loss of reputation and esteem. HE CAN'T DO WORSE THAN ANYONE ELSE WHO'S BEEN CITY MANAGER.

He alleges the city's actions were malicious and deliberate. WE AGREE 100%. CITY ACTIONS WERE DESIGNED TO SEND A MESSAGE FROM WHIRLPOOL TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO BE CITY MNGR.

City Attorney Charlette Pugh Tall did not return a phone call from The Herald-Palladium seeking comment Tuesday.

Marsh alleges the City Commission's 6-2 vote not to renew his contract, which expired Sept. 11, was in retaliation for his requests for an investigation into alleged unethical and illegal conduct by Commissioner Eddie Marshall and for Marsh's attempt to make an auditor's memo a subject of public discussion. Marsh released the memo to the media after commissioners refused to place it on a meeting agenda. MARSH FAILED TO CHECK WITH WHIRLPOOL BEFORE REQUESTING THE INVESTIGATION!


In the lawsuit, Marsh claims he was instructed by the mayor and certain members of the commission that the memo from Plante & Moran listing problems in the city's Finance Department was not to be the subject of public discussion.

At a meeting Aug. 3, Mayor Wilce Cooke and Commissioners Marshall, Ralph Crenshaw, Ricky Hill, David Shaw and Juanita Henry voted not to renew Marsh's contract. James Hightower and Bryan Joseph voted against the resolution. MARSHALL'S LUCKY THEY DIDN'T VOTE TO SHOOT HIM FOR REQUESTING AN INVESTIGATION!

"I think it's sad and it's tragic that here we go again with another lawsuit that the city has to deal with because of decisions and behaviors of the mayor and some commissioners that were not in the best interest of the city," Joseph said Tuesday after learning of Marsh's lawsuit. "Richard Marsh was truly doing a good job. When people speak the truth and try to get to the bottom of problems, they're let go. Once again, it's a revolving door."

Benton Harbor has had 14 city managers in the last 20 years. Neighboring St. Joseph has had two in 40 years. OK.
"How can the city move forward when we don't have stability and continuity and we keep changing city managers? This is what will continue to happen as long as we keep changing city managers," Joseph said. "Some people just have their own personal agendas."
Marsh's suit was filed by the law firm of Taglia, Fette, Dumke & White of St. Joseph.
The complaint alleges Marsh got a three-month employment evaluation but never got the one-year evaluation called for in his contract. Following his three-month evaluation, he got a raise. He alleges that the previously good working relationship he had with elected officials deteriorated quickly after he complained to the mayor and commissioners about the behavior of Commissioner Marshall. WE HOPE HE WINS THE LAWSUIT.

Marsh alleges Marshall has conducted fundraising events in the city's name but never turned any money over to the city.
Marsh's lawsuit also says Benton Harbor citizens told him about suspected unethical and illegal conduct by Marshall, including that he took "kickbacks" from contractors doing business with the city, that he failed to pay his own water and sewer bills and that he solicited gifts and loans from people and organizations doing business with the city.
At a City Commission meeting, Marshall said he raises money in the name of a nonprofit charity he established, not in the name of the city.
When The Herald-Palladium later asked Marshall for the name of his nonprofit charity, he said his lawyer had advised him not to tell the name.

Contacted Tuesday regarding Marsh's lawsuit, Marshall said, "If there was funds missing, I'd like for him to provide me with the amount collected and the amount missing. I'll see him in court." LOOK NO FARTHER THAN YOUR POCKET, MARSHALL.

Marsh's lawsuit alleges that after the city failed to act on his concerns about Marshall, he asked for an FBI investigation.

The suit claims that certain members of the City Commission schemed to remove Marsh as city manager "to prevent public scrutiny of their own conduct and to keep doing business as usual." TRUE.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Harbor Shores News

We have some extremely important developments to tell you about. The first is that we are finally a 501 (c)(3) organization which means all donations are now tax deductable! Another development is that we have been assigned a hearing date for the Michigan Court of Appeals in Grand Rapids for Tuesday, November 3rd , of next week. We don’t anticipate that a ruling will be made on that day, and expect that a decision could take up to 6 months. That means that the wait is more than likely not over. We hope that you will please consider making a donation at this time. The fight to return Jean Klock Park’s land to the general public has been, and will continue to be, costly in every way.

On Wednesday, October 21st , representatives from the City of Benton Harbor and Harbor Shores went before the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board (MNRTF) to present an overdue report on the progress of the park improvements, the mitigated parcels and trail way system. The MNRTF Board was the first to approve the conversion and mitigation proposal of the park and was given a slide presentation that showed that the developers did not do what they had promised. It was shown that much more than 22.11 acres of land was developed, and that in essence, all that is left or accessible to the public is the strand of beach. You may view a side-by-side comparison on the new web page “A Strand of Beach.”

The MNRTF Board was not pleased with what has transpired and indicated that the situation had been in part mishandled by them. As a result, the current MNRTF Board and the DNR are requiring some additional review of the conversion and are requiring the developers to answer specific questions that have either went unanswered or have since arisen.

Recently we received a notification of a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing regarding the paths and boardwalks on mitigated parcels B, C, and D for the conversion of JKP. The permit also calls for the excavation of 1,747 cubic yards of “unsuitable soils” to then be replaced with sand and limestone. The application does not mention any type of remediation for direct contact criteria of contaminated soils and areas; but every replacement parcel for the conversion area of JKP, except for parcel C, does require some form of remediation before they can be safe for public use. You can find a link to the public notice and permit application on the home page of the newly rebuilt website of the Friends of Jean Klock Park at:
The meeting will be held on Monday, November 9, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. at Michigan Works! 499 West Main Street, Benton Harbor, Michigan, 49022.

There has been no decision as yet of the separate Federal lawsuit hearing that took place on August 28th. We will notify you as soon as one has been reached. For more information you can go to:

We will be resuming monthly meetings beginning in November and will send a notice when we have scheduled a time and location. In the meantime please visit our newly restructured website at While there, we hope that you will make an online donation through the safe and secure PayPal account we have set up.

Thank you for your on-going support and as always we ask that you forward this update to friends and family who also care about our public heritage!

Carol Drake
Vice President
Friends of Jean Klock Park

Saturday, October 31, 2009

FBI shoots Detroit Imam 18 times, handcuffs him, then airlifts a police dog to hospital.

1,000 mourn the Imam at his funeral

Government should heed calls to investigatge Abdullah's death

Prayers and Criticism in Wake of Detroit Imam’s Killing by F.B.I.
FBI agents assassinate Michigan Islamic leader

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Published Oct 29, 2009 9:31 PM

A well-known African-American Islamic leader in Detroit was shot to death by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on Oct. 28 at a warehouse in Dearborn. Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, who headed the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque on the city’s west side, was killed during a series of raids by both federal agents and local police departments that resulted in the arrest of 11 people.

Corporate media reports on the killing of Imam Abdullah and the arrest of the others frame this as a “counter-terrorism’ operation, even though the criminal complaints said to be the basis for the raids made no specific allegations of violations of federal law or acts of terrorism.

A joint statement issued by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office states that “The 11 defendants are members of a group that is alleged to have engaged in violent activity over a period of many years and known to be armed.”

However, many people who knew Imam Abdullah and the members of Masjid Al-Haqq say that the group worked to rid the severely oppressed community where the mosque existed of the social ills resulting from years of exploitation and neglect.

Even the mosque itself fell victim to the economic crisis that is worsening in Detroit. On Jan. 20, Masjid Al-Haqq was evicted from the building where it had been housed for years as a result of tax foreclosure. The mosque relocated at a home on Clairmount, which was also raided on Oct. 28.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Michigan chapter, said of Imam Abdullah that “I know him as a respected imam in the Muslim community.”

Walid continued, “We have no information about illegal activity going on at that mosque.” Walid said Imam Abdullah “would give the shirt off his back to people. The congregation he led was poor. He fed very hungry people in the neighborhood who were Christian. He helped and assisted a lot of troubled youth. People would come up to him who were hungry and he would let them sleep in the mosque. He would let them in from the elements.” (Detroit News, Oct. 29)

The CAIR leader said, “They have no linkage to terrorism nationally or internationally. What in the world does Islam have to do with these charges? Why is religion being brought into play?”

Resurrecting Cointelpro

Not only are the FBI and the corporate media utilizing the false construct of “Islamic extremism,” they are also attempting to draw a direct link between the revolutionary movements that emerged during the 1960s and the arrest of the Masjid Al-Haqq members and the death of Imam Abdullah.

Because of a close relationship between Imam Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, and Imam Abdullah during previous years, the role of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Black Panther Party (BPP) have been evoked in news coverage of the FBI and police raids. Imam Al-Amin first served as a field organizer for SNCC and later national chair of the civil rights and black power group in 1967-68.

Al-Amin, who is currently serving a life sentence in Georgia after being convicted in the death of a deputy sheriff and the wounding of another in Atlanta in 2000, also briefly held the position of Minister of Justice in the Black Panther Party during 1968. Imam Al-Amin served as SNCC chair during a period of extreme repression against the organization in 1967-68.

Al-Amin has always maintained his innocence in the deaths of the law-enforcement officers in Atlanta and for many years has sought to win an appeal of his case. Reports from the Georgia prison system where he is being held indicate that he has been harassed and placed in isolation on numerous occasions.

SNCC was partly blamed by the FBI and the corporate media during 1967-68 for the urban rebellions that erupted in more than 200 cities. The Black Panther Party was to suffer the brunt of the Counter Intelligence Program (Cointelpro) operations that were directed against the African-American community.

More than two dozen members of the BPP were killed between 1968 and 1971 when former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had labeled the organization as the most dangerous threat to the national security of the United States. Hundreds of Panthers and other revolutionaries of the time were arrested and railroaded through the courts. Many others were driven into exile abroad and forced underground inside the United States.

According to the FBI complaint, which consists of 45 pages of highly spurious allegations, Abdullah “calls his followers to an offensive jihad” and says they should “have a weapon and should not be scared to use their weapon when needed.”

Nonetheless, David Nu’man, who lives in Detroit and considered Imam Abdullah a friend, stresses that he is very skeptical about the claims made against the Islamic leader and his followers. “It doesn’t seem to be of his character.” (Detroit News, Oct. 29)

Ron Scott, one of the founding members of the Detroit chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1968, spoke to the Pan-African News Wire about the death of Imam Abdullah and the arrests of the Masjid Al-Haqq members.

Scott, now the spokesperson for the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality and a media host on the locally broadcast “For My People” television show, as well as the “Fighting for Justice” radio program aired every week, expressed disbelief at the allegations made against Abdullah and those arrested.

“This reflects a standard of repression that we have not seen in a long time,” Scott told the Pan-African News Wire on Oct. 29. “There should be an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Imam Abdullah.”

The Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI) discussed the killing of Imam Abdullah at their weekly meeting on Oct. 28 in Detroit. The next day, in a telephone call to the offices of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, a MECAWI representative expressed the organization’s condolences and solidarity with the Islamic community.

MECAWI offered its support to any protest efforts geared towards seeking justice in the death of Imam Abdullah and the arrests of the other Muslim members of Masjid Al-Haqq. Walid, the executive director who took MECAWI’s call, expressed his appreciation for the sympathy and concern conveyed by the anti-war organization.

Backdrop to the death of Imam Abdullah

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, repression against the Islamic, Middle-Eastern and South Asian communities in the U.S. has escalated at an alarming rate. A number of people have been attacked and even killed in racist violence.

Many more people from these communities have been imprisoned unjustly and deported. A number of charitable organizations have been taken into court for allegedly funding “terrorist” groups and some have been forced to shut down by the U.S. government.

Even the CAIR has been targeted by these governmental efforts. In Texas during 2007, members of an Islamic charity were put on trial for supposedly funding Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Conversion to the Islamic faith within the African-American community has been taking place at a phenomenal rate over the last few decades. The federal government has used both the scourge of anti-Islamic hysteria and racism to enhance the repressive apparatus in the United States. This pattern of surveillance, harassment and entrapment is utilized in a desperate attempt by Homeland Security and the Pentagon to build support for the ongoing wars against Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In addition to these Middle-Eastern and Asian nations, the countries of Sudan and Somalia on the African continent, which are predominantly Muslim, have also been focal points for U.S. imperialist intervention over the last several years. Many of the developing nations that have been identified by the U.S. imperialists for destabilization and occupation have majority Muslim populations of people of color.

Consequently, anti-war, civil rights and human rights organizations should view the current wave of repression against the Islamic community as having both a domestic and foreign policy objective. Demonizing the Islamic community, whether the Muslims are of African, Middle-Eastern or Asian descent, provides a mechanism for the repressive apparatus of the state to justify the continuation and escalation of military involvement abroad.

At the same time, the increasing repression against the African-American, Islamic, Latino/a and other working class communities inside the United States is designed to hamper the ability of people to organize against the growing economic crisis that is disproportionately affecting the oppressed peoples inside the domestic confines of the country.

Nonetheless, the fight against this wave of repression can potentially bring together workers and the oppressed from broad sections of the United States into an alliance with the developing countries that are under increasing threat by U.S. imperialism.

Articles copyright 1995-2009 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rev. Pinkney still on limited probation for four years

Berrien County Chief Judge Alfred Butzbaugh lifted Pinkney's tether probation

One has to wonder about Butzbaugh. What motivated him to ease up on Pinkney? Of course, not totally: Pinkney and the rest of us need to understand that there will be limitations on our liberty if we speak the truth too loudly.

Butzbaugh is still not in compliance with the Mich. Court of Appeals decision handed down in the summer. If he was, Pinkney would be free, as he should have been all along.

Butzbaugh does NOT want Pinkney observing what goes on in his courthouse. This activity, so needed in Berrien county, was a part of Pinkney's daily routine for years. Note the third probation condition below from Butzbaugh's Oct. 13 order (all are in effect until July 2013):

1.) Pinkney must be inside his home between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. 2.) He can't engage in "assaultive, abusive, harassing, violent, threatening, or intimidating behavior, or any defamatory or demeaning communications as to Glen Yarbrough or the Benton Harbor city commissioners," according to Butzbaugh's Oct. 13 modified order. 3.) Pinkney must stay at least 1,000 feet away from Butzbaugh; except Pinkney may be in the Berrien County courthouse to report to his probation officer "and to participate in a court hearing to which you are a party."

If he is convicted of violating any of his probation conditions, he could be sent back to prison. Butzbaugh ordered Pinkney to pay $105/week to wear a tether. In Berrien, they ruin lives every hour of every day, through heavy court costs (ie, tether fees), false convictions, you name it. By any means necessary they make Benton Harbor "resort-ready."

The Mich. Court of Appeals threw out Pinkney's probation violation, saying it violated his right to free speech. (Pinkney wrote an article criticizing Butzbaugh.) Butzbaugh has been in denial of the higher court decision. His inaction serves to remind all familiar with Berrien County Court behavior that they continue to be the rogue court of Michigan. They are able to do as they wish without regulation, supervision, or oversight.

Those who pay attention know that Whirlpool Corp. and Rep. Fred Upton are the actual "regulators" of the courthouse and everything county-wide, Gov. Granholm backs the Whirlpool-Upton cartel, and the corruption goes on and on and on. Granholm and the state of Michigan could care less that human rights abuses are beyond out-of-control in this southwest region.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Save Jean Klock Park
Our legal challenge is continuing - our fight is not over!

Friends of Jean Klock Park would like to see the entire park preserved and used as an outdoor classroom for area school children and the community. Such a use would draw tourists to a growing list of eco-tourism locations throughout the state.

We feel the City of Benton Harbor and surrounding communities can have the diversity of both a championship golf course AND an incredible natural asset for the growing eco-tourism industry by preserving Jean Klock Park. Tourism depends on many factors and that type of diversity is a WIN-WIN combination!

The Friends of Jean Klock Park include all and everyone who is opposed to further encroachment of Jean Klock Park. We believe that through the collaborative effort of public participation we can preserve Jean Klock Park and restore its use as a local, regional and world class tourist destination.

A separate and equally important Federal Court lawsuit regarding violations of environmental law is ongoing as well. For more information about the contaminated land that's being used to replace pristine sand dunes please visit

Monday, October 19, 2009

From last December, but relevant today -

Forget Holiday Sales -- Struggling Retailers May Turn to Defense Contracts to Keep From Going Under By Nick Turse,, December 16, 2008

...Once upon a time, the military-industrial complex was loaded with household-name companies like General Motors, Ford, and Dow Chemical, that produced weapons systems and what arms expert Eric Prokosch has called, "the technology of killing." Over the years, for economic as well as public relations reasons, many of these firms got out of the business of creating lethal technologies, even while remaining Department of Defense (DoD) contractors...

Whirlpool: Then and Now

Take the Whirlpool Corporation, which bills itself as "the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances" and boasts annual sales of more than $19 billion to consumers in more than 170 countries. Whirlpool was recently recognized as "one of the World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute." The company also professes a "strong" belief in "ethical values" that dates back almost 100 years to founders who believed "there is no right way to do a wrong thing."

In the middle of the last century, however -- as Prokosch has documented -- Whirlpool was engaged in what many might deem a wrong thing. In 1957, Whirlpool took over work on flechettes -- razor-sharp darts with fins at the blunt end -- for the U.S. military. While International Harvester, the prior Pentagon contractor producing them, had managed to pack only 6,265 of these deadly darts into a 90mm canister round, Whirlpool set to work figuring out a way to cram almost 10,000 flechettes into the same delivery vehicle. Its goal: to "improve the lethality of the canisters." (In addition, Whirlpool also reportedly worked on "Sting Ray" -- an Army project involving a projectile filled with flechettes coated in a still-undisclosed chemical agent.)

In 1967, an Associated Press report noted that U.S. troops were using new flechette artillery rounds to "spray thousands of dart-shaped steel shafts over broad areas of the jungle or open territory" in Vietnam. "I've seen reports of enemy soldiers actually being nailed to trees by these things," commented one Army officer...

“More than a movement was in trouble because of the Berrien County Court’s decision to sanction a Baptist preacher for quoting the Bible! The American dream was slapped. Under NO circumstances can decent people accept silencing preachers who suggest that the Great Spirit is angry by what they see as oppressive treatment of poor and minority people. What the ACLU, local and national organizations, and other progressive attorneys exposed is what we are seeing in town hall meetings across the country. Free-speech is being shouted down through suspiciously organized efforts by those who want things done their way. We are entering into a dangerous period in history marked by an economy on fire as it burns through the dreams of ordinary working people. Each of us will arrive at this juncture in time holding something in our hands...a cup of water, a gallon of gasoline, or a torch. We can throw water on it to no avail, or we can add gasoline to the flames, to no avail, or we can analyze what is happening and help lead the way out with the torch of truth! I chose to take up the torch.”
— Maureen D. Taylor, State Chairperson/MI Welfare Rights Org.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Poisoning The Residents Of Benton Harbor: Whirlpool Heir Upton Fights for Corporate Interests in Congress By Dorothy Pinkney

Fred Upton, the heir to Whirlpool, U.S. Representative from St. Joseph, Michigan, third highest ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and among the richest in Congress, continues to push to steal all lake front property from the citizens of Benton Harbor. The property the City received for giving up 22 acres of pristine beach front is toxic. Whirlpool, Harbor Shores, Cornerstone Alliance, Fred Upton and the Herald Palladium newspaper all knew that the property the residents of Benton Harbor received in exchange for the lake front property was filled with toxic lead and arsenic — two major poisons.

“Whirlpool backed Harbor Shores Development obtained a 106-year lease of 22 acres of prime land of Jean Klock Park to develop a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course for the rich with a view of Lake Michigan. Jean Klock Park is the city’s only major park used by Black residents for family reunions, baptisms, picnics, swimming, concerts, and play location for our children on Lake Michigan,” reports the

Fred Upton is also rallying for health care reform that will benefit the corporations. Fred Upton championed an approach to Medicare prescription drug benefits that imposed high costs on seniors. He protected drug companies by preventing the U.S. from negotiating bulk fightingdiscounts on prescriptions for seniors instead of supporting legislation to stop the suffering of the American people. Fred Upton is attempting to protect the estimated $200 Billion annual profit of the private health insurance industry.
Do not be afraid. Do not be marginalized. Speak truth to power.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Berrien County, Michigan:

1. is headed up by one of the wealthiest right-wing men
in the state and one of the wealthiest, and most
corrupt corporations

(items below are all related to/controlled by 1.),

2. has a court with the most convictions in the state
(highest rate of convictions of innocents and juveniles),

3. has an African-American city being gentrified
brutally and illegally,

4. is destroying endangered plant and animal species
and a Lake Michigan pristine park (stolen land) for
possibly the most massive development on the lake,

5. installs judges having conflicts of interest (investments
in the development) who coldly lock up human beings
after admitting that they're innocent,

6. has a newspaper hiding truth on a daily basis,

7. has a state governor/government which remains mute
on all of the above,

is it surprizing that a black whistleblower has been
imprisoned for writing an article?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Twilight Zone for Rev. Pinkney, the first person
ever to be imprisoned for paraphrasing the Bible

A new "Opinion & Order" written by Berrien County
Judge Butzbaugh, makes little sense. There will be an appeal

Brief summary:

1. Butzbaugh, after delaying for at least 2 months,
rendered this opinion, contrary to the original
probation order (it had no tether provision in it).

2. Butzbaugh, contrary to what we understand the law to be,
imposed a tether condition which in essence continues the
24 hour house arrest which was put on by Judge Wiley, and
should have been removed after Rev. Pinkney won on
probation violation at the State Appeals Court last June.

3. Butzbaugh appeared to try to criticize the State Court of
Appeals, and continues to maintain the idea that Rev. Pinkney
had threatened him.

4. Butzbaugh, who admittedly is biased because he
disqualified himself, made the decision against Rev. Pinkney
before he disqualified himself. (He should have gotten off the
case in July or August.)

5. Butzbaugh appeared to try to criticize the Berrien County
prosecutors in this opinion.

Again, the Opinion & Order makes no sense and there will be an appeal.

Please contact -
Judge Alfred M Butzbaugh
Berrien County Circuit Court
811 Port Street
St. Joseph, Michigan 49085-1187

269-983-7111 ext.8306
269-982-8634 fax

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Top 25 Censored Stories for 2010

14. Congress Invested in Defense Contracts
(find Rep. Fred Upton listed in paragraph 4)

Opensecrets, April 3, 2008 (Upton's share has likely gone Up)
“Strategic Assets”
by Lindsay Renick Mayer

The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has calculated that more than 151 members of Congress have up to $195 million invested in major defense contractors that are earning profits from the US military occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When General David Petraeus, the top US military officer in Iraq, went to Capitol Hill to brief Congress in April of 2008, he was addressing lawmakers who had a lot more than just a political stake in the Iraq occupation. Along with their colleagues in the House and Senate, the politicians who got a status report from the general and the US ambassador to Iraq had millions of dollars of their own money invested in companies doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD).

In 2006, the investment portfolios of 151 current members—more than a quarter of Congress—had between $78.7 million and $195.5 million invested in companies that received major defense contracts (over $5 million). The portfolios include holdings in companies paid billions of dollars each month to support America’s military. These companies provided almost everything the military uses, from aircraft and weapons to medical supplies and soft drinks.

Lawmakers with the most money invested in companies with DoD contracts include Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass), with up to $38,209,020; Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), with $49,140,000; Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC), with $37,105,000; Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis), with $7,612,653; Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif), with $6,260,000; Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich), with $8,360,000; Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa), with $2,000,002; Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis), with $5,800,000; Rep. Kenny Ewell Marchant (R-Texas), with $1,163,231; and Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), with up to $5,000,000.

Full article:

Student Researchers: Leora Johnson and Michael Seramin
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips PhD
Sonoma State University

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another layer exposed, but we're not at the top yet

Drug cases dismissed following pleas by corrupt narcotics cops
S.W. Mich. city's police chief leaves his post; city may face civil suits over officer misconduct

By Eartha Jane Melzer 9/28/09

BENTON HARBOR — Berrien County Prosecutor Arthur Cotter has dismissed 40 drug convictions since members of Benton Harbor’s police narcotics unit pleaded guilty to federal charges that they made up evidence, conducted illegal searches and wrongfully arrested people.

Officer Andrew Collins pleaded guilty to participation in a pervasive pattern of police corruption last year and is serving 37 months in federal prison. This month Officer Bernard Hall, Collins’ supervisor, admitted that he allowed, and benefited from, corruption that included stealing seized property from the police department. Hall is expected to be sentenced in December.

Cotter said that he is continuing to review the many cases that involved the two officers who comprised the city’s entire narcotics unit.

“They didn’t engage in misconduct in every single case they did,” Cotter said. “The problem is that everybody who had a case now wants review.”

Although the majority of those who were charged following improper searches and arrests pleaded guilty and formally waived their right to appeal, Cotter said that he is committed to reviewing the cases.

In some instances where those convicted in flawed cases have gone on to be charged with subsequent crimes, and because sentencing guidelines take into account previous convictions, Cotter has found that in some cases sentences need to be adjusted in matters that are not directly related to misbehavior by Benton Harbor police.

“It’s been a journey getting through all these cases,” Cotter said, “but we are getting through them.”

However, the fallout from actions by Collins and Hall is far from over.

Collins and Hall may face civil suits for their role in violating people’s rights, Cotter said. “In terms of civil liability, from the perspective of the county, no one knew the information provided by the police was false so there is governmental immunity.”

As to the liability up the chain of command in the police department and within city government he said he’s “not sure of the depth of the liability.”

David Robinson, a former Detroit police officer turned Southfield attorney, told Michigan Messenger that he is researching cases on behalf of six people who were wrongly arrested by Collins and whose cases have been dismissed as a result of Collins conviction.

“Our intention is to file a federal civil rights cause of action under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against the city and supervisors, the chief of police, and any responsible party,” Robinson said.

“Andrew Collins wrongfully arrested them and caused their detention. Not only is he responsible but arguably his employer, the city, was responsible.”

Robinson said that he believes that Collins’ misbehavior had gone on over a significant period of time and that the Benton Harbor Police Department failed to maintain necessary procedures for supervision and failed to adequately respond to complaints by citizens who warned of police abuse.

“Someone was asleep at the switch in terms of administrative responsibility to operate the police department.” Robinson said.

Benton Harbor City Commissioner Juanita Henry said she believes the city is responsible for the misdeeds of its officers and that changes are underway as a result of the recent pleas by Collins and Hall.

One major step, she said, is the departure of Police Chief Al Mingo, who is leaving his job at the end of this month.

Mingo’s departure, Henry said “eliminates 55 percent of the problem.”

“He is the chief. He has authority over the whole police department. It happened on his watch.”

“We are paying for his mistakes because our citizens have been imprisoned.”

Henry said that she anticipates the city will face financial penalties as a result of the corruption in the police department.

“There is some liability that the city is going to have to be responsible for,” she said, “there is going to have to be some accountability.”

“The only thing I can do as a commissioner is to apologize to the citizens who have been impacted by this.”

jeremy1 1 day ago
he Berrien County chain of command, as many know, goes all the way to the Whirlpool Corporation and the Uptons. It's their plan to rid Benton Harbor's African-American, poverty-stricken population BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. Golfers playing on land stolen from Benton Harbor shouldn't have to wade through any rif-raff, for heavens sakes. Hence, the highest incarceration rates in the state come from the Berrien courthouse.. The highest conviction rates of innocents and juveniles. And, Whirlpool and Upton have Gov. Jennifer Granholm as one of their biggest supporters...

461OceanBlvd 1 day ago
boy, you're right. benton harbor is great just as it is. greater than 50 percent drop out rate and school district with a $7 million deficit budget THIS YEAR. a city council that fires every city manager who questions city finances and asks why they pay twice as much for garbage collection as cities twice as big. shame on the uptons and whirlpool for trying to bring a tax base and jobs to the once proud city they knew 50 years ago. stealing a park that no one went to and making the beach facilities even nicer than those in st. joe. let's take that convicted vote fraud felon and make him the mayor.

jeremy1 1 day ago
article states: Cotter said. “In terms of civil liability, from the perspective of the county, no one knew the information provided by the police was false so there is governmental immunity.”

This is completely false. But, Cotter is part of the corruption, as are all who make a living in the courthouse - heck, maybe all who make a living in the county! Let's just say that complicity with the corruption is rampant within Berrien County. Cotter and many, many others knew exactly what cops were doing. It's apartheid bordering on genocide right here in the state of Michigan.

DougDante 1 day ago
Thank you Cotter for your pledge to help the many innocent people that these criminals have stuck in prison.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fred Upton still among richest in Congress

By Kalamazoo Gazette staff
September 15, 2009
John A. Lacko | Special to the Kalamazoo Gazette

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, is again listed as one of the most affluent members of Congress.

Upton is 31st among the 50 richest members of Congress in the latest rankings, based on 2008 financial disclosure statements that were due in May, according to Roll Call, a Washington, D.C., political news source.

Upton moved up from 39th place in 2007 and was one of a handful of wealthy federal lawmakers who saw the value of their minimum net worth increase amid the economic recession.

An heir to the Whirlpool Corp. fortune, Upton listed assets of $8.07 million, up from $7.21 million the previous year, and no liabilities.

Upton was the only federal lawmaker from Michigan to make the top-50 list.

U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., continued his top ranking in 2008 with a minimum net worth of $167.5 million, followed by U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who had a net worth of $164.7 million.

Of the 50 wealthiest members of Congress, 28 are Democrats and 22 are Republicans.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Only in Berrien County and Only Rep. Fred Upton

In his southwest Michigan district, Rep. to US Congress Fred Upton is increasingly being called Fred Upchuck. And, his Whirlpool company newspaper, the Herald Palladium, is known as the Herald Pollution.

It's a shameful rag which hides all Whirlpool and Upton secrets and tries to keep the county population in the dark about information of any import.

A recent FRONT PAGE Herald Pollution piece crystalizes the problem faced by county residents who care about being educated about real news. A quick look at the following recent letters to the editor (surprizingly printed by the Pollution) tells the sickening story. Letters have been shortened, but no wording has been altered.

Who cares what music is played for House callers?

I am sincerely offended that The Herald-Palladium would headline the front page of the paper with Fred Upton being upset about the music being played during "on hold" telephone calls to the Congress. A brief paragraph elsewhere in the paper would have been more appropriate. Mr. Upton should be embarrassed as well.

Mr. Upton's energy should be devoted to some critical thinking about solving the major problems facing the country, such as: providing reasonable health care for the populace; bringing clean energy jobs home to Michigan, where they are desperately needed (which he voted against); improving education for the state's children and how to have more students finishing college; having input in legislation that will rein in Wall Street, the banks and insurance companies like AIG.

Diana Harper, Benton Harbor

Focus on what matters, not on trivial pursuits

In reading Elaine Ruell's letter in the Sept. 10 newspaper ("Upton, H-P should be ashamed for being trivial"), I wanted to call her and thank her for expressing what a lot of people in this area feel. Yep - some of our so-called "representatives" have nothing better to do than focus on the ridiculous, rather than working on what is best for the people of this state and nation. Elevator music! What a joke. Once, just once, I'd like to hear Upton speak out about something.

OK, now let me call Washington and see what the tune of the day is.

Ralph Catania, Benton Harbor

Letter writer was right on in criticizing Upton


Thank you, Elaine Ruell of South Haven, for writing the letter ("Upton, H-P should be ashamed for being trivial") I meant to write regarding Upton's grandstanding flap over the music on hold in congressional offices. I, too, found it ridiculous that The H-P thought it was headline news.

Janis Sexton, Buchanan

Mr. Upton should stop wasting his time and taxpayer money on call-waiting music and get busy speaking out against the Republican losers who are engaging in a national tantrum that is getting out of control. It could cost him some votes, and possibly even his job, but it would still be the most worthwhile thing he ever did in office.

Scott Elliott, Benton Harbor

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tomorrow is Day 70 of the Illegal House Imprisonment of Rev. Edward Pinkney

Berrien County Court could be the first in Michigan history to ignore the ruling of a higher court. See

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Victory for the People of Benton Harbor, Michigan

NAACP Benton Harbor branch will not be a subject of Whirlpool corporate rule

With Marcus Robinson and others under the control of the Whirpool Corporation attempting a takeover of the BH NAACP branch, it is gratifying for residents and supporters from all over to know that the following slate of officers won by a landslide yesterday:

President - Rev. Edward Pinkney
Vice Pres - Deanna Chopin
2nd Vice Pres - Greg Cleveland
Secretary - Joyce Smith
2nd Sec'y - Helen McKenzie
Treasurer - Belinda Brown

Friday, September 11, 2009

Poverty Comes With A Price In St. Joseph, Michigan

Cordell Price

Cordell Price is man in his late 40s who lives at the River Watch Hotel in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He is kind-hearted, outgoing, motivated, and always greets you with a warm and friendly smile and the utmost respect. He is loved by many who know him in the St. Joseph area. St. Joseph is across the river from Benton Harbor.
Every day for the past 15 years, Cordell has walked throughout the streets of St. Joseph picking up bottles and cans at many of the local businesses down at Silver Beach, and is seen at Harding’s, Rooster’s, and Martin’s grocery stores cashing in the bottles and cans he has collected. The first time I met him he was crawling out of a trash dumpster, and I have helped him many times with money and rides to the store.
But EVERY DAY THE POLICE FOLLOW HIM EVERYWHERE HE GOES. They track his routes and harass him any chance they get, going through his bags and accusing him of things he is not doing.
The people at the BP gas station at Niles and Napier Ave. know Cordell personally, but one afternoon a police officer saw him there with his oversized trash bag of cans, and assumed that a grocery cart he was using had been taken from Harding’s. That grocery cart had been at BP for over a month, but the police officer threatened Cordell Price. “You have a half an hour to get the cart back to Harding’s or else I will arrest you,” he said.
Recently he was at Silver Beach when a white woman yelled a racist comment at him, saying, “NIGGER WHY DON’T YOU GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM ACROSS THE BRIDGE.” He has been told this by three different women at the beach and around town.
On other occasions, Cordell has been harassed and falsely accused while recycling at residential homes in downtown St. Joseph, where owners had given him permission to take the bottles and cans they left for him. He was once at Rooster’s talking to a good friend, a white lady who asked him if he wanted some bottles and cans that she had in her car. Suddenly the police showed up, again giving him a hard time.
This is a vendetta. Cordell is not a criminal and does not steal. He is a good man who walks the streets of St. Joe trying to earn a living with what little he has.
Our officers need to change their attitudes, stand behind justice not injustice, and STOP BEING RACIST. This is not a black or white issue. This is about acceptance. Jesus said we are to love all people. Let’s have compassion for people no matter what their color or race is.
The police need to go after real criminals and leave our homeless and poor alone. One day you too may be picking up bottles and cans on the streets to make a living. Would you want someone to harass you, follow you, and make racial slurs at you like they do to Cordell?
Why don’t the police help Cordell get a good paying job? He does more to clean up the city than the officers who ride around in police cars wasting gas all day. GET OFF YOUR BUTTS AND GET TO WORK finding real criminals instead of harassing people like Cordell who are only trying to make a living.
Lenette Evans, Saving Souls Ministries, Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, MI 269-876-1848

“Now if you want to know what Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor Michigan has in common with imprisoned Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Mohandas Gandhi, India, Esmeralda in the 1939 movie Hunch Back of Notre Dame, Joan of Arc, Ceaser Chavez, Martin Luther King, Eleanor Roosevelt, or the people of Honduras now fighting an evil Terrorist Coup d’ ‘etat, well, they were all persecuted for standing up for justice and speaking truth to power!” — Dorothy Pinkney

“Of course the religious community can be relieved that quoting scripture, even against ‘the powers and authorities,’ may still be considered protected speech. When Mary, the peasant mother of Jesus, proclaims that God has done great things.scattering the proud in their conceit, casting down the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly, filling the hungry with good things and sending the rich away empty, she is virtually quoting Hebrew scripture. We can rejoice, but we must continue to resist any silencing of the prophetic voices among us. Many of us remain shocked at the outrageous arrogance of the Berrien County courts. With their rulings exposed and overturned, they continue to hold Rev. Pinkney tethered and on house arrest. He must be freed and his voice heard.” — Bill Wylie-Kellermann, Pastor, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Detroit