Tuesday, October 13, 2015

BANCO Defense Fundraising Campaign Launches Today!

What if you lived in a world where those with money and power could silence all dissent simply by locking up their opponents in prison? Isn’t that the definition of fascism? If we let Berrien County do this to Rev. Edward Pinkney, what hope is left for the people of Benton Harbor? And if they can do this to Benton Harbor, what hope is there for any of us?

If you've donated to BANCO before, thank you for your past support. It allows BANCO to continue to fight with Benton Harbor, a poor, Black community fighting for its very survival against corporate greed.

We know the economy is bad and that many good causes need help. But if you can, please give to BANCO to support the defense of Rev. Pinkney and the struggle of the people of Benton Harbor. He has been transferred to a prison in Marquette near Canada, far from family and friends. We need your help right now. Whether $5, $20, $100, or more, every gift helps. Together we can accomplish what we can't alone.

What's at stake?
In the 1960s, it was called Negro removal. In Bosnia, it was called ethnic cleansing. It could be called genocide, the removal of the minority population for the purpose of redevelopment of the land. That’s what’s happening in Benton Harbor and leading the resistance is Rev. Edward Pinkney.
-Hugh “Buck” Davis, Michigan civil rights attorney
Funds are needed for:
  1. Legal defense (fees and expenses)
  2. A billboard on I-94 near Benton Harbor
  3. Half-page newspaper ad in major state newspapers
  4. 1,000 “Free Pinkney” T-shirts to help raise awareness and more funds
The billboard with a message about the ongoing corruption in Berrien County will be up during the Senior PGA championship. This event occurs annually at the Harbor Shores resort built on land stolen from the people of Benton Harbor. Just because Rev. Pinkney is in prison doesn't mean we can stop fighting the hypocrisy of the PGA and the destructive actions of Whirlpool. The billboard costs between $1,500 and $2,500 for four weeks. Design work will be donated. We need your donation today so we can reserve the billboard, print the half-page ad, and print T-shirts asap.
Donate securely online through Paypal at the BANCO website (click the donate button): http://bhbanco.org
The legal battle continues. After Rev. Pinkney was denied bond pending appeal in a 2-1 decision by a Michigan Court of Appeals panel of judges, the appeal was submitted on September 21st. We will pursue all legal options to fight for Rev. Pinkney's freedom and clear his name. The outrageous violations of due process and Constitutional rights that authorities in Berrien County use to repress Rev. Pinkney are one sign of how critical his voice and leadership are to helping the people fight racism and repression.
Rev. Pinkney helps people, especially young Black men. They are giving all these young men all this time for petty crimes. Everyone I know is getting 20 years or more. What are the children going to do? The parents, women are crying over their sons. What preacher besides Rev. Pinkney is there standing with the people?
-Marquette Coates, Benton Harbor resident
We can't continue the fight without the minimum financial resources necessary to fight a legal case and publicize the cause. If we don't act, Rev. Pinkney will spend two-and-a-half to ten years in prison and in the meantime the genocide-by-gentrification in Benton Harbor will continue.
Thanks for your help. Donate securely online through Paypal at the BANCO website (click the donate button): http://bhbanco.org
Or send checks made to BANCO:
c/o Dorothy Pinkney
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Other ways you can help:

Send letters: Marquette Branch Prison
Rev. Edward Pinkney N-E-93 #294671
1960 US Hwy 41 South
Marquette, MI 49855

Boycott: Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, and Kitchen Aid

Background, timeline, and links to additional reading: Why Is Rev. Edward Pinkney in Prison? Another Case of Political Persecution