Thursday, May 31, 2012

Benton Harbor

by Raphael Adley
Whirlpool, what a Wac company
Whirlpool, it's a natural catastrophe
Whirlpool, it drags you under the sea
what they do to Benton Harbor they can do to you and me

What have they done to your city?
they took your jobs but not your dignity
your elders sent to rot in prison
they mock his word but he is risen
your young lay bleeding in the street
they laugh now but the story's incomplete
they blindly take what Lincoln restored
we shall not rest while rights are ignored

and its all because of (repeat chorus)

While one amongst us is not free
with no justice no peace can be
they stole your park a golf course to make
police and judges and EFM
a conspiracy of terror it's us vs them
they plotted in darkness but their cover is blown
thank you Rachel Maddow, they will reap as they've sown.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Senior PGA crowd doesn't boost St. Joseph business

St. Joseph, Mich.

May 26, 2012

The Senior PGA may have business booming in Benton Harbor [not according to business owners], but some St. Joseph shop owners say they're disappointed in the lack of traffic in their downtown.

Businesses expected thousands of visitors, but say the entire week of the tournament has been slow.

"We heard something like 10,000 people a week in town," said David Miller with White Pine Winery. "So we were thinking, 'Wow we're going to be slammed.' And it really didn't turn out like that."

Miller said he'd scheduled extra staff to prepare for the tourists, which didn't end up being necessary...

...Saturday was the busiest day of the week for St. Joseph shops, but owners say the crowd was typical for Memorial Day weekend. Full article:

One of 31 similar comments following article:

Sorry to say this, but Benton Harbor isn't seeing much business either. The burger joint in one of the articles is seeing a increase because it's smack dab in the middle of the golf course. People need to know that Harbor Shores catered out their food/everything! No golfing fans are coming into town, maybe a few here and there. The Senior PGA as almost run small family folk out of town. Jean Klock park is closed to the public, and Silver beach..well lets say the twin cities have become what Whirlpool envisioned. A PLAY TOWN for THEIR PEOPLE! Once again been fed with pie in the sky hopes and dreams. When is tee time? lol

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Police and Whirlpool make public sidewalks private?

During the week of Occupy the PGA, Benton Harbor Police chief Roger Lange attempted to push Rev. Pinkney into a confrontation.

On Friday May 25 at approximately 7pm, Pinkney and 10 others were refused access to a public sidewalk near the Harbor Shores golf course. They were surrounded and escorted by 15 police officers (thugs for Whirlpool). Lange said they needed a ticket to walk on the (public) sidewalk.

Pinkney’s group stood up for their rights as best as they could, and the situation became heated. It was clear that the police were hoping for confrontation.

Pinkney, losing all respect for Lange, will no longer support him. Pinkney says that the police are no longer working in service of the people, and he will not speak to residents on behalf of the police department. Their behavior was shameful and disrespectful of the residents.

One person was given a ticket for sounding a bicycle horn in Jean Klock Park.

Pinkney plans to file suit, to protect the people’s constitutional rights, against Lange, BH Police Dept., the PGA, Whirlpool, and KitchenAid.

Every Sunday 5-6pm: Tune into for Pinkney's radio program.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thom Hartmann report on Occupy the PGA

Occupy the PGA - Modified protest plans

Information contributed by Rev. Edward Pinkney
BENTON HARBOR (MICH.)-The Rev. Edward Pinkney is leading what he calls, “The Death March from Benton Harbor City Hall to the golf course on stolen land.” The march continues May 24, and 25.
According to the Rev. Pinkney, “People from all over the US and world participated. Represented were Colorado, NY, Vermont, Denmark, Mexico, Columbia, Costa Rica, and more.”

Occupy The PGA – Modified Plans

Thurs. & Fri. May 24, 25 Rally only

Arrive between 10 – 10:30am, Benton Harbor City Hall, 200 E. Wall St.

Death March Sat. May 26 (Big Day), possibly Sun. also
Arrive between 10-10:30am
Of the previous day’s march, Pinkney said, “It was a non-violent and powerful protest of gentrification, exploitation, and undermining of democracy and human rights by: Harbor Shores, KitchenAid, Whirlpool, PGA, and the state of Michigan and local government. And, the Berrien County Court and county law enforcement which terrorize (not too strong a word) Benton Harbor residents on a daily basis.”
According to the Rev. Pinkney: Concerned citizens of Benton Harbor demand: Transfer 25% of the 2012 Senior PGA profits to the citizens of Benton Harbor as partial rightful compensation for stolen land and water and for the purpose of meeting budget deficits and building affordable housing for the people of Benton Harbor.

Protesters are encouraged to wear all black; for the Saturday and Sunday march, participants are asked to bring kites.

Demonstrate in protest of land stolen by Whirlpool Corporation.

Rev. Edward Pinkney, 269-925-0001

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fred Upton's callousness

Southwest Michigan's Rep. to Congress is Whirlpool heir Fred Upton. Here's just a sample of his voting record. He voted against:

- The Violence Against Women's Act
- The Lilly Ledbetter Act for pay equality
- Small Business Lending Act
- Rural Energy Savings Act
- American Clean Energy Act
- Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Whirlpool Corp. causes MORE job loss

ILPEA may close Fort Smith plant

The more than 40 jobs at ILPEA in Fort Smith could soon represent additional fallout from the closure of Whirlpool’s Fort Smith refrigerator manufacturing plant.

ILPEA, which makes gaskets and other rubber sealers, has operated in Fort Smith under various owners since 1967. The company’s primary customer is Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool Corp.

Whirlpool announced Oct. 27, 2011, it would close the large Fort Smith plant that produces refrigerators and has also produced ice-makers and trash compactors. The Whirlpool closure will result in the loss of 917 jobs. However, Whirlpool’s Fort Smith plant employed more than 4,500 in early 2006.

Whirlpool announced April 27 that it will close its Fort Smith doors on June 29.

Stuart O’Neal, president of Local United Steel Workers 496, said ILPEA officials notified the workers on Monday of plans to close the operation. O’Neal said 34 hourly jobs will be lost and possibly seven salaried jobs lost if the plant closes.

“They said they would start the plant closing on July 13. ... We should be finished Oct. 1, of 2012,” O’Neal told The City Wire.

O’Neal said the union is hoping to submit a proposal to ILPEA with the hope of keeping the plant open. The plan could include wage and benefit concession and productivity plans, along with the possible expansion of the company’s housing-related products, O’Neal explained. Union officials await info from ILPEA to use in their proposal.

“That (ILPEA input) will allow us to put together some kind of package that is substantial enough to avoid a plant closing,” O’Neal said.

If the plant does close in October, it will join Fortis Plastics, Huntington Foam, Southern Steel & Wire and other Whirlpool vendors who have closed Fort Smith operations.

The loss of the about 1,000 Whirlpool jobs in Fort Smith was estimated to result in the overall loss of 1,550 jobs and a labor income reduction of $56.9 million, according to a University of Arkansas at Little Rock study. The total job loss impact based on the highest level of Whirlpool employment in Fort Smith is estimated at 5,422.

Of the 472 non-Whirlpool jobs estimated to be lost in the Fort Smith region as a result of Whirlpool’s closure, 300 are estimated to come from Whirlpool vendors.

Also, the ILPEA plant closure won’t help any attempts to reverse employment trends in the area’s manufacturing sector.

Fort Smith’s manufacturing sector employed an estimated 18,500 in March, below the 18,800 in February, and below the 20,700 during March 2011. Employment in the sector is down more than 39.7% from more than a decade ago when January 2001 manufacturing employment in the metro area stood at 30,700.

ILPEA Industries, which emerged from a company formed in 1978, was formed in 2001 when the largest manufacturer of refrigeration gaskets in North America merged with Ilpea, S.p.A, the largest manufacturer of refrigeration gaskets in Europe. According to its website, ILPEA makes products for more than 1,500 customers in the home appliance, commercial refrigeration, industrial and automotive industries. The company operates in 12 countries with 30 plants.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Breaking News: Press Release, Demand Letter, and Statement from Occupy the PGA

Today Occupy the PGA sent a letter to The Senior PGA and The PGA of America demanding acknowledgment and restitution of grievances of the residents of Benton Harbor against Harbor Shores. Here is the press release, the demand letter, and the supporting statement which outlines 20 years of manipulation and deception.


Demand Letter

Outline of a Travesty

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


Please sign petition asking corporations to stop destroying Benton Harbor

Is the NAACP Relevant Today?

The NAACP was at one time a powerful organization which maintained a degree of relevance to the black community. In it's current state, the driving ethic is to take money and form partnerships with the highest bidder. This does not liberate the African-American community, but serves to further enslave us in a capitalist society.

NAACP board members must be aware that there is nothing black children or adults can learn about leadership or functional societies from corporations such as Whirlpool, Harbor Shores, or the PGA. They undermine the very purpose for which the NAACP was founded.

Whirlpool Corp. has declared the takeover of the NAACP Twin Cities branch (Mich.). Corporate control couldn't be more clear.

Whirlpool has created many offshoots. Two are Cornerstone Alliance and the Consortium for Community Development. Marcus Robinson, a Whirlpool employee, is president of the later, CCD. He has promised a large amount of money to the state and nat'l. NAACP of undertake the reorganization of our local branch with the specific intention of revitalizing the leadership and membership to please Whirlpool.

We urge everyone to contact the NAACP. Mich. state president Yvonne White, VP James Gill - Nat'l president Ben Jealous -

Rev. Pinkney 269-925-0001

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Rev. Pinkney and Greece

Acclaimed historian, Peter Linebaugh, has a new book out with a section near the front entitled Reverend Pinkney and Greece circa 2012. Read it here: