June 20, 2015 - Rev. Edward Pinkney has been deprived of his liberty for the last six months. Among the most fearless fighters for Black people and poor people in Michigan, he sits in prison falsely accused of vote fraud, separated from loved ones and community, in a blatant case of state repression. The charges stem from a campaign to recall the Benton Harbor mayor who opposed an income tax that would have generated desperately-needed revenue for the city from Whirlpool, Inc. By imprisoning Pinkney, the officials of Berrien County and their corporate master, Whirlpool, hope to intimidate, subdue, and silence the people of Benton Harbor.
Rev. Pinkney’s spirit isn’t so easily broken. According to his wife Dorothy, who speaks with him twice a day to monitor his health and wellbeing, he is “himself”—meaning dynamic, irrepressible, indomitable, still organizing, both inside and outside the prison walls. But unless and until he gets free on appeal, there are urgent needs we can help with right now.
- Spread the word.
- What’s happening in Benton Harbor affects us everywhere. Pinkney’s work is on the front line of the battle against political corruption, corporate greed, and racist genocide. Benton Harbor was the first city in Michigan to be subjected to an Emergency Financial Manager. In Italy, where Whirlpool is buying up the appliance sector, 2,000 Whirlpool workers face layoffs and went on strike last week. From Michigan to Italy and beyond, we’re stronger when we stand together.
- Learn more about the struggles in Benton Harbor and Black Autonomy Network Community Organization’s campaigns for justice: http://pinkneycentral.weebly.com/info.html and http://bhbanco.org
- BOYCOTT Whirlpool & subsidiaries (Amana, Estate, Gladiator Garage Works, Insperience, Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, Magic Chef, Maytag, Roper, Acros, Inglis, Bauknecht, Brastemp, Admiral, IKEA appliances and some Kenmore)
- Write Pinkney in prison.
- Send some love and solidarity. He appreciates all communications of any length. Send a postcard, letters, clipped articles about important issues, analysis, and current events.
- Send letters to:
Rev. Edward Pinkney # 294671
141 First Street
Coldwater, MI 49036
- Donate, help raise funds, hold a fundraiser.
- Dorothy is paying about $300 per month just for phone calls, commissary expenses, and food. She visits weekly so he can at least eat from the vending machine instead of prison food.
- Case expenses run to the hundreds and thousands of dollars, before attorney fees. The court compelled him to pay restitution to the mayor of Benton Harbor, the target of the recall petition.
- Dorothy said, “We know the economy’s bad and we’re not asking anyone to give what they don’t have. But if you can give a little, we really appreciate it.”
- Donate online at http://bhbanco.org (click the Donate button) or send checks to:
1940 Union Ave.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022