Thursday, October 07, 2010

Excerpts From Speeches Given at the August 10 Benton Harbor Rally

“All is not well here in Benton Harbor. Look at our educational system. Whirlpool started this 40 years ago. They came in with a plan to make all the people illiterate. They corrupted our school system, took away our hospital, you have to go to St. Joseph to see the doctor. I want the people here in Benton Harbor to wake up. We have to come together. We can’t fight this giant alone. We have to unite. Whirlpool is the devil; people are tired, people are broken and broke. It’s time to rise up, its going to take doing what we’re doing here today.” Belinda Brown, formerly of Benton Harbor

“I came up here not only to support this struggle but to stand shoulder to shoulder with you. You’ve got friends in Southern Illinois. Whirlpool closed down our plant and threw 1000 people out of work. It took $35 million out of the coffers and people are hurting bad. We don’t have any industry coming in, its all closing down and leaving. These corporations are planning on privatizing everything, all of our land, all of our resources, taking our water, our air. The only people they are depriving are the poor. They can’t take from the rich.” — Cathy Talbott, Southern IL

“What is the worst part to me is the way the courts have acted to facilitate this entire thing. … that they would set aside the most basic process of democracy, and set aside a recall election so they could make a few more dollars. The people of Berrien County have to remove these people. And I mean Jennifer Granholm too. The Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans.” — John Mann, Kalamazoo

“...The power of the people is stronger than the man’s technology. The struggle in Benton Harbor is being carried out throughout this nation. These apartheid dogs are taking land from the people...” — Larry Pinkney, MN

“We are still dealing with the same issues – police terrorism, political prisoners … they are taking this land, the occupying army... Whirlpool is symbolic to BP; Whirlpool is the BP of Benton Harbor. We have to draw the connection from them making this move on this land here to the police terrorism in Oakland California. Power to the people.” —Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr., Chicago

“This week in downtown Detroit they are talking about taking the land right on the water. They are talking about taking the land in every major city in this country. They are talking about not just the land, but your heart, your soul, stealing everything and then rolling your bones over. We are standing on the bones of Native Americans...Rev. Pinkney has fought a valiant battle. We stand with Rev. Pinkney. He epitomizes what it means to be a true warrior in this battle.” — Ron Scott, Detroit