Rev. Pinkney Arrested AGAIN, supporters: Lynn Stewart, Voice Of Detroit, EXPOSED,

Mass Demonstration against Voter Suppression in Benton Harbor

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

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


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor, Michigan and Gov. Jennifer Granholm are continuing to steal land from the residents of Benton Harbor. BH is under severe
police/court repression, and suffers severe poverty - mostly as a result of the world's largest appliance manufacturer outsourcing jobs. The following article, with commentary in caps, reveals some of the ways Whirlpool cheats the people and steals from the people of Benton Harbor.


Negotiating the next step for BH, Whirlpool

In split vote, commissioners approve talks about incentives for company's downtown development; Gov. Granholm here today to make announcement about project


By John Matuszak, Herald Palladium
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BENTON HARBOR - City Commissioners voted 7-2 on Monday to approve a resolution supporting negotiations of financial incentives that could be worth $50 million for Whirlpool Corp.'s downtown development.

ANOTHER STUPID MOVE BY BENTON HARBOR COMMISSIONERS. IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE AN HONEST GOVERNING BODY IN “WHIRLPOOL/UPTON COUNTY?”

City Manager Ron Carter Jr. told commissioners that he and Commissioner Marcus Muhammad met twice with state officials to come up with the incentives that could assist Whirlpool's $85 million investment, which the company announced last week.

THIS IS NO INVESTMENT FOR THE CITY OF BH. IT SHOWS HOW WHIRLPOOL KEEPS TAKING AND TAKING AND TAKING FROM BH.

He said the resolution only gives him the authority to negotiate with Whirlpool and does not commit the city to anything. Any incentive would have to be approved by Emergency Financial Manager Joseph Harris, the commissioners and state authorities, Carter said.

HARRIS IS ANOTHER WHIRLPOOL PUPPET.

He was adamant that the city must proceed with talks or the whole deal could go down the drain.

"If we say no, they will go to another city," Carter warned.

THEY SHOULD START PACKING, THE RESIDENTS WILL HELP THEM MOVE. WP PAYS NO TAXES OR WATER BILLS TO THE CITY OF BH, IN WHICH THEY RESIDE.

That wasn't good enough for Commissioners Juanita Henry and Dennis Knowles, who voted against the resolution.

THEY ARE BOTH CORRECT. IF JUSTICE HAD BEEN SERVED, ALL 9 WOULD HAVE VOTED AGAINST IT.

Knowles called the proposal a "Trojan horse" that wouldn't create any jobs for Benton Harbor residents.

CORRECT. NO JOBS FOR BENTON HARBOR. YOU ARE RIGHT, MR. KNOWLES.

Henry objected to giving her nod to incentives without having more information.

THE INFORMATION WE NEED IS PROOF THAT WHIRLPOOL PAYS TAXES AND WATER.

"It's crazy to vote on this without talking about it," Henry said. "Don't give them a blanket approval for everything."

WHIRLPOOL ONLY TAKES, AND DOESN’T GIVE BACK.

Voting in support of the resolution were Commissioners Byron Joseph, Duane Seats II, Marcus Muhammad, David Shaw, Eddie Marshall, James Hightower and Mayor Wilce Cooke.

SHAME ON ALL 7 COMMISSIONERS.

Muhammad said it wouldn't be intelligent for a city struggling with a budget deficit to turn its back on a major corporation such as Whirlpool, and that the community should pull together to negotiate the best deal it can get.

"Whirlpool is not your enemy," Muhammad said. "Our ignorance and our disunity is our greatest enemy."

WHIRLPOOL IS OUR ENEMY. IT IS YOUR IGNORANCE THAT IS YOUR GREATEST ENEMY, MR. MUHAMMAD. WHIRLPOOL ARE THE OPPRESSORS.

MUHAMMED HAS CHANGED HORSES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WHIRLPOOL RACE. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO HAVE HONEST REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE IN “WHIRLPOOL COUNTY” WHERE THE CORPORATION "CONTROLS" GOVERNING BODIES AND EVERYONE ELSE. REMEMBER, A FEW YEARS AGO CEO JEFF NOEL SPOKE AT UOFM BUSINESS SCHOOL AND ADMITTED EXACTLY HOW THEY TAKE OUR LAND.

Benton Harbor's incentive package, if approved, would include:

-- A tax abatement of personal property taxes on equipment and other inventory.

-- Vacating River Road, which borders the campus site, and selling the city's interest in the vacated portion to Whirlpool at its appraised value. Carter said the road would be used to expand Riverside Park, which Whirlpool had donated $350,000 toward previously.

NOT TRUE, CARTER. THAT WAS OBAMA STIMULUS MONEY, 7 MILLION.

-- An extension of the existing Renaissance Zone area for 12 years, and borrowing funds from the state under the Urban Land Assembly program to assist in acquiring land for the project. The city would be reimbursed by Whirlpool.

WHIRLPOOL WOULD GET 85 MILLION TAX FREE AND INTEREST FREE - BENTON HARBOR GETS NOTHING.

-- Using tax increment revenue generated by the project for the cleanup of what is now a brownfield site.

-- A tax abatement through the establishment of a commercial rehabilitation district.

-- Expediting zoning requests while protecting the city and assuring consistency with the city's master plan.

WHIRLPOOL’S TAKOVER PLAN.

Carter said he previously met with a senior Whirlpool executive, and was told the company would be adding jobs in Benton Harbor. The company previously said that no new jobs would be created.

THERE WILL BE NO JOBS FOR THE PEOPLE OF BH.

Whirlpool will also be paying taxes to the city, paying for water service, and spinning off jobs from the money spent by employees working downtown, Carter said.

THERE IS NO BUSINESS DOWNTOWN. WHO’S GOING TO FORCE WHIRLPOOL TO PAY TAXES AND WATER?

"Don't throw the baby out before the bath is full," Carter said in urging a yes vote.

WE NEED MORE INFORMATION, CARTER.

Last Thursday, Whirlpool officials announced their plan to consolidate many of its 15 offices scattered around the area over the next five years into three sites. They will construct a three-building campus along the St. Joseph River in Benton Harbor that will house 1,000 employees, and will renovate its Tech Center on Upton Drive in St. Joseph and the Administrative Center on M-63 in Benton Township.

NO JOBS FOR BENTON HARBOR - 85M FOR WHIRLPOOL.

WHIRLPOOL IS STEALING PRIME LAKEFRONT PROPPERTY, SURROUNDED BY WATER.

Whirlpool, the world's largest appliance maker, employees about 4,000 people in Berrien County.

The resolution noted that Whirlpool had evaluated numerous sites for the office complex, some in other communities, before committing to Benton Harbor. The resolution also pointed out that St. Joseph and Benton Township have offered incentives of their own.

WHIRLPOOL: STOP OUTSOURCING JOBS.

The plan is also contingent on receiving state incentives.

WHO CARES?

Gov. Jennifer Granholm is scheduled to make an announcement in Benton Harbor at 2 p.m. today about the Whirlpool investment.

JENNIFER GRANHOLM: GIVE BACK THE MILLION DOLLAR HOME YOU RECEIVED FOR FREE FROM WHIRLPOOL.

Prior to the governor's visit, she will be addressing the Michigan Economic Growth Authority meeting in Lansing, where a number of economic development projects will be up for approval, including the Whirlpool proposal.
jmatuszak@TheH-P.com

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Confiding in the People's Struggle
by Larry Pinkney (no relation to Rev. E. Pinkney)

“If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine.”

-Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara

The greedy elite have for centuries plundered the resources of Mother Earth for the benefit of the few - at the expense of the many. The 21st century demands a seismic, uncompromising mental and physical change away from this endless pimping and bloodsucking of the everyday peoples of this nation and planet.

Decent housing, jobs, education, judicial justice, and medical care are human rights - not privileges. They are rights due every human being, not merely a privileged, elite few. The denial of any of these rights is an egregious and intolerable act of injustice which must not be tolerated, no matter what guise, pretext, or rationale is used to justify or enforce it.

As conditions rapidly decay for everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people in this nation and throughout the world, the integral systemic economic and political contradictions continue to manifest themselves, as mirrored by enormous suffering coupled with the simultaneous avariciousness of the U.S. corporate / military elite.

There are some who arrogantly, ignorantly, and/or smugly argue that people are poor and disenfranchised due to some innate flaw within themselves. Such an argument is nothing more than a cynical rationalized veneer for the continued callous exploitation by the few of the overwhelming majority of earth’s human inhabitants. If indeed there is any such flaw, it is to be found within the wealthy elite themselves whose appetite for personal power and wealth is all-consuming, boundless, and absolutely insatiable. In fact, the vast majority of people who are poor and/or disenfranchised are deliberately kept in this condition by a relatively tiny national and global elite who economically benefit from the misery and suffering of the masses of everyday people. To deny this is to deny reality.

Economic justice, or the lack thereof, is inseparable from political and social justice. Without economic justice, which is a human right, there can be no political or social justice. It is urgent to grasp this connection. The wealthy elite have long understood and exploited this reality to the detriment of everyday people of all colors. It is incumbent upon everyday people to quickly make this connection and to act accordingly in our best collective interests.

Despite the incessant prattling of disinformation and obfuscation by the corporate-stream, self described “news” media, the hard truth is that within the last two years, everyday people in this nation have been, and continue to be, the targets of an intensified and sustained assault upon our economic, political, and social human rights. This assault is being carried out by the U.S. corporate-government at the behest of its military / corporate masters under the guise and in the dubious name of “reform.” The only effective antidote to this assault is our own intensified and sustained everyday people’s struggle - for complete systemic change.

The people’s struggle in this 21st century must go well beyond the 20th century boundaries of what is often loosely referred to as capitalism, communism, socialism, or any other “ism” - with perhaps the exception of secular humanism. Nonetheless, like it or not, it is self evident that capitalism - for a certainty - is irreconcilable with serving the collective economic, political, and social good of the majority of humanity. It cannot be salvaged. The point is that we must actively develop, refine, and engage in a struggle, based on the demonstrated respect for this planet and its ecology, and based firmly upon collective human need - not manipulated and appalling human greed.

What of Our Set-Backs and Defeats?

Due to the ongoing systemic assault upon the political, social, and economic human rights of everyday people in this nation and elsewhere, there have been many set-backs and defeats. However, we must understand, remember, and view every set-back and every defeat as the foundation for eventual victory in this continuing people’s struggle.

Serious people’s struggle is not an overnight affair. It is long and protracted. It is not based on some nebulous or false “hope.” To the contrary, it is hard and sometimes seemingly thankless work. Yet, there is no viable substitute for grassroots organizing, which must never be confused with the fake and disingenuous ‘astro-turf’ organizing utilized by the corporate-government, the Democratic Party foxes, and the Republican Party wolves.

We everyday people in this nation have plenty of foundations already laid for eventual people’s victories, if we persevere.

Lynne Stewart, Mumia Abu-Jamal, & Leonard Peltier

The cases of the valiant imprisoned people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart, the imprisoned outspoken and prolific people’s champion Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the imprisoned courageous indigenous freedom fighter Leonard Peltier represent only the tip of a cold, steely, and corrupt ice berg of ongoing U.S. corporate-government repression, subterfuge, and conspiracy against the everyday peoples of this nation and planet. However, Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and Lynne Stewart also represent the indomitable spirit of everyday Red, Black, White, Brown, and Yellow peoples determined to speak and act truth to power!

Their bodies have been physically and callously imprisoned, but their minds are freer than the corporate / military / police-state power elite will ever be. Their pain is our pain! Their love is our love! Their strength is our strength! Their spirit, like so many other unknown and unnamed wrongfully imprisoned political prisoners of all colors in this nation, is our spirit! The foundation has already been laid. We must not cry for them. We must struggle for them, and in so doing, struggle for ourselves! I reiterate: the foundation has already been laid!

Reverend Edward Pinkney & the Struggle in Benton Harbor, Michigan

For well over five years, Reverend Edward Pinkney (no relation) has been at the forefront in the struggle against cronyism, political corruption, and the wholesale thievery by Whirlpool Corporation against the everyday people in the Black township of Benton Harbor, Michigan. As a result of this, Reverend Pinkney has been threatened, harassed, framed, and spent a year in prison after having had the unmitigated audacity to quote the Bible in a court of law in his quest for justice. Upon his release from wrongful imprisonment he has continued, and indeed intensified, in this struggle against the corporate monster known as Whirlpool Corporation, headquartered in Benton Harbor.

Despite the fact that the police, the courts, and the politicians (both Black and White) in Benton Harbor, are in reality and in large measure owned and controlled by Whirlpool Corporation, Reverend Pinkney continues to organize. Even as the natural resources of Benton Harbor are being pilfered by Whirlpool Corporation, and as the police engage in a pattern of intimidation and frame-ups against the populace of Benton Harbor, Reverend Pinkney remains steadfast. Not content with its racism and thievery, Whirlpool Corporation has engaged in the despicable action of stealing even more land from Benton Harbor, by promoting the building and opening of a golf course to serve the wealthy and powerful elite, at the expense of the everyday people of Benton Harbor. Thus, a massive rally has been called by Reverend Pinkney, who is now president of the Benton Harbor N.A.A.C.P. chapter, against this intolerable outrage. The rally is scheduled for Tuesday, August 10, 2010; and is to begin between 10-11 am in front of the Benton Harbor City Hall (200 Wall Street, Benton Harbor, Michigan). These necessary and courageous efforts against Whirlpool’s corporate domination and intimidation must be supported, for this is not only about the people of Benton Harbor. It is about collectively standing up to the greedy and insidious Wall Street corporate / military elite’s domina tion throughout this nation. The foundation has been laid!

Police Repression - From Bobby Hutton to Sean Bell to Oscar Grant to…

Murders committed by police officers in the United States are certainly nothing new. It is as ‘American as apple pie,’ particularly if the murder victims are people of color and/or poor. However, perhaps the most chilling and ominous aspect of this, other than the murders themselves, is the ease with which police officers across this nation repeatedly escape conviction for murder - even in the most blatant, horrible, and utterly unjustified cases of murders by police as demonstrated by the relatively recent cases of Sean Bell in New York City (in 2006), and Oscar Grant (in 2009) in Oakland, California. While the color factor [i.e. institutional racism] is almost always paramount in these murders, there is also, to be sure, an extremely important economic component which conveniently and consistently escapes scrutiny by the courts, the state & federal governments, and the corporate-stream media.

When we understand that the police are in fact guardians of the systemic economic, political, and social status quo of this nation, it becomes readily obvious as to why they can and do commit murders with de facto impunity. Police officers understand implicitly that their actual role is to maintain, to “serve and protect” and perpetuate the status quo of U.S. society, not the masses of just plain everyday people. This is why many police officers brutalize everyday people and then successfully simply falsely charge their own victims with having provoked and/or perpetrated an assault upon them. This is also why judicial officials and politicians have not, and will not ever seriously challenge the abuses carried out by their police guardians. For they too, understand the unstated and very real pecking order in this society. And both color and economics determines the pecking order of brutality. The despicable police murders of Sean Bell and Oscar Grant are not unique. They are being played out in every single state of these United States, and they will increase.

This is also why crimes against economically poor everyday people often remain unsolved by the police. But let a crime be committed against the son or daughter of a judge, a politician, or a member of the corporate elite, and no stone will be left unturned in an effort to apprehend a perpetrator (real or imagined)!

As the systemic contradictions become undeniable, and economic and political implosion in this nation worsen, and everyday people begin to increasingly rebel, the viciousness of the police will increase commensurately. If we understand this paradigm, then it becomes crystal clear why provocation and naked brutality used by the police, for example, against political protesters (of all colors) is virtually always tolerated and condoned by officialdom across this nation.

When seventeen-year-old, unarmed Li’l Bobby Hutton was brutally assassinated (in 1968) by police in Oakland, California, the sick excuse used then was that he was a member of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense; today there is no physical Black Panther Party and yet these police murders have become more widespread than ever before. This is not by coincidence. It is by design, and it is a part of increased government and police intimidation and repression in varying degrees and forms against everyday people of all colors. Be clear about this!

The foundation for this repression has already been laid, and we can reverse it only by understanding its source and purpose, and acting accordingly.

The fact is that, more so than ever before, everyday people in this nation have become proverbial Palestinians - canon fodder in our own country, just as the inhuman and indefensible Zionist blockade of Gaza is, in all but name, akin to the Warsaw Ghetto.

Where To Now?

There is a wind a blowing across this land. It is the wind of people’s struggle. The wind of uncompromising determination to bring about real systemic change for, by, and of everyday people! It is a wind that says loud and clear and strong: no more money for wars abroad or political repression at home!!! No more corporate-government media lies!!! It is the wind of everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people. It may be but a murmur now - but it will soon become a roar!

It is time to pursue people’s victories, as they will not come to be by osmosis. In the immortal words of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, “The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.”

Let us raise our heads high and fight the good and necessary fight - waging the people’s struggle, for ourselves, this nation, and humanity as a whole! Give no quarter to injustice, for in your own trembling hands you possess the keys to sweet, sweet liberation! Onward now my sisters and brothers! Onward!

BlackCommentator.com 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/LehrerNewsHour. 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]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book). Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.
http://www.blackcommentator.com/385/385_kir_confiding_in_struggle_share.html

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Berrien County "Legal System:" Benton Harbor 16-year-old in Solitary Confinement

Wrongful conviction an example of corrupt system

Editor,

I hope your readers took time to read about Devontae Sanford, the special-ed boy who at 14 made a false confession to four drug-related Detroit murders and received a sentence of at least 38 years in prison. Now that Timothy Smothers has confessed to the crime and said that Devontae had no connection with it, and Devontae has recanted his confession, you would think that his mother could expect him home soon. She and Kim McGinnis, the appellate lawyer, believe Devontae wanted to feel important by bragging to the police, without any real understanding of the consequences. McGinness was stunned to find that the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office insists that the guilty plea should stick despite Smothers' confession and the lack of any evidence that Devontae was involved. "They've got an emotional commitment to the result they've already obtained," stated a former Detroit prosecutor. "It's part of the culture." (It's a culture that we see in Berrien County too often.)

It's a tragic result for Devontae, as young men in prison are apt to be raped and beaten by adult prisoners. (A 16-year-old from Benton Harbor, sentenced to adult prison for stealing a TV, is now confined in isolation for his protection after suffering brain damage from a battering by three adult prisoners wielding a sock with a padlock in it.)

Devontae and his mother are not the only losers from the prosecutor's refusal to have justice done. Taxpayers will be footing the bill for at least 38 years of imprisonment which, at today's rate of $32,000 a year, will saddle us with an expense of well over $1 million. Let our public servants hear your voice. Wrongful convictions should bring no sense of job satisfaction for prosecutors with a conscience.

Joyce Gouwens

St. Joseph [from Herald Palladium, July 9, 2010]

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Harbor Shores Demonstration Reported by WSJM FM/AM and WNDU-TV

Andrew Green Reporting
Benton Harbor activist Reverend Edward Pinkney says that his plans for a mass demonstration to protest the Harbor Shores development on the day of its grand opening are coming together. Pinkney's hoping as many as five-thousand people show up on August tenth...although he'll be happy with a few hundred. Speakers from out of town have been invited in for the day, and protesters will march from city hall over to Jean Klock Park starting at ten AM. Pinkney says that he's disappointed that Harbor Shores isn't creating more jobs for Benton Harbor residents:

Pinkney's also planning to protest at Lake Michigan College on the night of the golf course's grand opening. An event is planned there with Jack Nicklaus and others coming to town for the day.

[Time and place of demo below]

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Worth Repeating

This is not up-to-date, but reveals Upton's values and priorities.


Rep. Fred Upton's Voting Record

1. Permanent Repeal of Estate Tax. HR 54970 7/29/06

Voted for permanent repeal of this tax. This tax effects 1/4 of 1% of the wealthiest US taxpayers and will cost the US treasury $1 trillion over 10 years (100B per year).

2. Reverse the Raid on Student loans. HR 609 3/30/06

Voted no on an amendment which would have cut interest on student loans from 6.8% to 3.4% and which would have provided $25 M to predominantly black institutions to encourage educational opportunities for low and middle income African Americans.

3. Energy. HR 6 7/28/05
Voted $5B in subsidies to oil companies, $9B to coal industry and $13B for new nuclear power plants with only minimal provisions for affordable or clean energy.

4. Fuel Economy Standards. HR 6 4/20/05

Voted against requiring the Dept. of Transportation to increase fuel economy standards to at least 33 mi/gal. for vehicles produced in 2015 and beyond.

5. Drilling for Oil in Artic National Wildlife Preserve. HR 5429 5/25/06

Voted for drilling thereby harming this sensitive, environmental habitat.

6. MTBE, Gasoline Additive. HR 6 4/21/05

Voted to shield MTBE manufacturers from liability lawsuits alleging contamination of drinking water.

7. Oil Refineries Protection. HR 3893 10/7/05

Voted to allow oil companies to recover fees from environmental groups that unsuccessfully bring challenges against oil companies and to minimize the ability of communities to have input on whether refineries are built in their neighborhoods.

8. Iraq Supplemental Funding Bills.

Voted for every supplemental bill supporting the beginning and continuation of the invasion/occupation of Iraq.

9. Military Tribunals and Torture. HR 6166 9/27/06

Voted to authorize the president to use military tribunals (no due process) to try suspected detainees and expand the interrogation techniques to include what most people would call torture.

10. Patriot Act. HR 3199 7/21/05

Voted to make permanent key provisions of this act which gives law enforcement officials sweeping powers which can easily abuse citizens' rights to privacy.

Friday, July 09, 2010

August 10 Demonstration

Whirlpool continues to steal land from the residents of Benton Harbor. An inhumane culture has been created in the city by Whirlpool, the out-of-control development Harbor Shores, and Rep. Fred Upton. Residents are being driven out of their city.

The greedy corporations will be opening a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf course for the rich only in the middle of Benton Harbor.

The golf course will open August 10, 2010 at 10am. Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Johnny Miller, and Tom Watson will be in Benton Harbor. So bring your golf clubs and protest not only the golf course, but a massive and destructive example of the corporate power which rules us all.

Benton Harbor needs your help.
MASS DEMONSTRATION AUGUST 10, 2010, 10am
Rally and march begins at City Hall
200 Wall St.
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022

For more information or to request
speaking time at rally, contact
Rev. Pinkney 269-925-0001

Hear "Pinkney to Pinkney" radio program
blogtalkradio.com
Every Sunday, 5-6pm

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Quotations

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President (1809-1865)

"The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make a criminal look like he's the victim and make the victim look like he's the criminal." Malcolm X (1964)