Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pinkney to Pinkney Sunday 22 Feb 2015

Check Out Politics Progressive Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Rev Pinkney on BlogTalkRadio

Monday, February 23, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rev. Pinkney's court date changed to FRIDAY, Feb. 27

Court hearing is NOT Tuesday Feb. 24.
It has been changed to Friday Feb. 27, 1pm

When it comes to the Berrien County court, nothing surprizes. The reason given for this change is that the prison system could not logistically transport Pinkney from Marquette to Berrien County in time for the 24th hearing. What makes more sense is to throw off the efforts made to arrange for a crowd on the 24th.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Where are the men of God in America?

Some are sleeping with the enemy. 

In a system where police officers regularly kill unarmed African-Amercian men without facing trial (with overwhelming evidence that crimes were committed), yet no charges against the white police officers. It is disturbing that the same system sentenced me, an Africian-American activist, for up to 10 years imprisonment with absolutely no evidence. It was politically motivated charges. 

I'm a black minister from a small black town in Michigan who only wanted to help his community through the voting process but was set up by backward whites and a few butt-kissing blacks determined to maintain monopoly on political power controlled by the Whirlpool Corporation. Old Jim Crow is still alive and well on the banks of Lake Michigan. Berrien County, Michigan may be the most racist county in the country and have the most racist judges.

It is not all about racism, its about the haves against the have nots, rich against the poor, good against evil. When will the men of God stand up against evil and fight back?

Martin Luther King took the church that was inside a building and put the church right inside the community, but when He was killed, the preachers, government, and corporations took the church that was in the community and put the church right back inside the building. 

When will the men of God stand up? You do not live forever. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess to God. We must say enough is enough and stand up to the corruption in the government and in the corporations. We can not forget the most corrupt justice system in the world. 

We must stand together and fight back. We can win together. Together we stand and divided we will fall.

Rev. Edward Pinkney
Prisoner # 294671
Marquette Branch Prison
1960 US Highway 41South
Marquette, MI 49855

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Free Rev. Pinkney Central Coordinating Committee

Mission Statement
The mission of the Central Coordinating Committee (CCC) is to coordinate. engage in, and encourage broad based national and international efforts to publicize, organize and disseminate 
information pertaining to the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of Benton Harbor, Michigan, political activist Rev. Edward Pinkney. Further, in line with coordinating efforts to "Free Rev. Edward Pinkney," it is the mission of the CCC to provide for his legal support by seeking donations. 

The CCC membership is in directive-communication with Rev. Edward Pinkney directly and/or via Rev. Edward Pinkney's wife, who is a CCC member. As such, the CCC functions in the capacity of serving as both the coordinating body and the over-all clearinghouse of information pertaining to Rev. Edward Pinkney.

Mayor Hightower cartoon

Reverend Edward Pinkney

Friday, February 06, 2015

The media is the major reason Berrien county court accomplishes it's misdeeds

Rev. Edward Pinkney will return to Berrien County Court on Feb 24, 2015 at 1pm

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed an "Amicus Curiae Brief" in support of Rev. Pinkney. The ACLU of Michigan is an affiliate of a nationwide non-partisan organization of over 500,000 members dedicated to protecting the fundamental liberties and basic civil rights guarantee by the U S Constitution. Among the rights that the ACLU seeks to vigorously protect are constitutional rights of due process and all rights to be extended to those who have been charged with violation of criminal laws. 

The motion for bond pending appeal comes before the court in the wake of a unanimous decision by Michigan Court of Appeals on Oct 23, 2014 in a case with facts that are legally indistinguishable from the facts of Rev. Pinkney's case.  (People v Hall, 2014 unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals issued Oct 23, 2014.) 

If Rev. Pinkney committed a crime in this case, it was at most a misdemeanor punishable by 93 days in jail, unlike a felony for which Pinkney received a sentence of 30 months in prison. A critical factor in the decision to grant bond is whether the appeal is substantial. In light of the Hall Case, Rev. Pinkney's likelihood of success appeal in this case is extremely high. 

The only way that the Berrien County court system can get away with corruption is with the help of the news media:  The Herald Palladium, WSJM, News 57, News 22 and News 16. 

We the people must stop the corporate media from destroying the people. We must stop the corruption inside the court system.

Rev. Edward Pinkney
Burn Baby Burn
Burn all NAACP Membership Cards

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Berrien County is notorious for its racism against African Americans

Benton Harbor, Mich., Civil Rights activist convicted by all-white jury

Also see:
  1. Trial set for Benton Harbor, Mich., activist Rev. Edward Pinkney 
  2. Rev. Edward Pinkney criminalized again, under house arrest in Benton Harbor, Mich. 
  3. Benton Harbor activist appeals for support in fight against frame-up 
  4. Racist injustice in Michigan 
  5. Six unelected men deliver blow to Civil Rights
By  – Guest Contributor – IBNN NEWS
Rev. Pinkney, right, at “Occupy the PGA” protest, May 2012.
Rev. Pinkney, right, at “Occupy the PGA” protest, May 2012.
The Rev. Edward Pinkney was found guilty of five felony counts of forgery stemming from a recall campaign against Mayor James Hightower of Benton Harbor, Mich., earlier this year.
The all-white jury in St. Joseph, Mich., deliberated for nine hours and delivered the verdict on Nov. 3. The sentencing date has been set for Dec. 15.
Hightower was the subject of the recall campaign due to his refusal to support a local income tax measure designed to create employment for the people in Benton Harbor, located in Berrien County in the southwest region of the state. Hightower is often accused by residents of Benton Harbor of being more concerned about the well-being of Whirlpool Corp. and other business interests than the people he is sworn to protect and serve.
During the five-day trial, not one witness said they saw Pinkney change any dates or signatures on the recall petitions. During the opening arguments on Oct. 27, Berrien County Prosecutor Mike Sepic told the jury that they would not hear anyone say that they had witnessed the defendant engaging in fraud.
The prosecutor’s case was supposed to be based on circumstantial evidence. Nonetheless, the tenor of the questioning by the prosecutor seemed to suggest that the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO), the group Pinkney leads in Berrien County, was actually on trial for its uncompromising opposition to the role of Whirlpool Corp. and its supporters within the political establishment in Benton Harbor and its environs.
Prosecution witnesses backed recall
In the testimony of eight witnesses called by the prosecution on the first day of the trial, all had supported the recall of Mayor Hightower. The witnesses said that they never saw Pinkney change any petitions.
Prosecution witness Bridgett Gilmore told the court that she circulated the recall petitions for George E. Moon and had no contact with Pinkney during the process. While the prosecutor asked her about what appeared to be minor changes on the petitions she circulated, defense lawyer Tat Parrish pointed out that none of these pages in question were the ones which Pinkney was charged with altering.
Gilmore noted that two types of ink were used on some of the signatures because the circulation process took place during the winter and a pen would freeze requiring the usage of another one. When Gilmore turned over the petitions to Moon, Pinkney was not present.
“There were many people calling for Hightower’s recall,” she said.
Another witness called by the prosecution, Majorie Carter, indicated that she received the recall petitions from the City Clerk’s office. Carter supported the recall because she believed that businesses should pay taxes to create jobs in Benton Harbor, a majority African-American city which suffers from extremely high unemployment.
Carter said that she was a registered voter and had campaigned for candidates before. She noted that she had run for city commissioner in the past.
“I collected signatures for the recall from my apartment complex for seniors,” she said. “One signer corrected a date on the petition.”
Mable Louise Avant testified after being called to the stand by the prosecution. She said she had met Pinkney at a BANCO meeting.
“I had been living in New York and when I returned and saw how Benton Harbor had gone down, something needed to be done,” Avant said.
“People make mistakes,” she emphasized. “Rev. Pinkney had nothing to do with the mistakes. I turned over the petitions to Rev. Pinkney.”
The petitions that Avant circulated were not the ones that Pinkney was accused of altering.
Benton Harbor resident George E. Moon also took the stand for the prosecution, and indicated he had circulated petitions for the recall of Hightower. When asked by the prosecutor where he got the idea about recalling the mayor, Moon responded by saying: “My ideology is different than the mayor. People should be elected and not bought.”
“I am an activist,” Moon declared. He said he had spoken out in favor of the recall in the community.
Overall, more than 700 people signed the recall petitions, most of which were validated by the local election commission. A date was set for the recall election.
Nonetheless, after Pinkney was indicted and placed under house arrest for several weeks, the recall election was cancelled by a local judge who raised questions about the signatures. Yet later, another judge certified the petitions and authorized the recall election to proceed.
The local authorities in Berrien County challenged the election, which was scheduled for Nov. 4. The Michigan Court of Appeals then cancelled the recall election again.
Hightower remains in office and was called as a prosecution witness during the first day of the trial.
James Cornelius, a Benton Harbor resident who sponsored the recall campaign against Hightower, took the stand, saying that he got the petitions from Pinkney to circulate. “Hightower was not doing a good job,” Cornelius told the court.
Many of the prosecution’s questions related to the meetings, ideology, membership and leadership of BANCO. During the course of the prosecution’s questioning of witnesses, numerous observers were ejected from the courtroom for various reasons.
One activist who traveled from Detroit was told he had to leave because he was “smirking.” Another observer from Detroit was asked to leave because she shook her head in disbelief of the proceedings, which she felt presented no evidence to incriminate Pinkney.
Rev. Pinkney to seek delay in sentencing
After the announcement of the verdict, Pinkney indicated that he was disappointed with the decisions of the all-white jury. This is the second time within seven years that he has been convicted by a Berrien County jury.
In 2007, Pinkney was found guilty of tampering with absentee ballots involving another recall campaign against two Benton Harbor city commissioners. He was sentenced to one year of house arrest and four years of probation.
However, in December of 2007, while under house arrest, Pinkney was charged with threatening the life of a Berrien County judge after he published an article in the People’s Tribune newspaper quoting biblical scriptures. He was sentenced to 3-10 years for violating his probation.
A national campaign involving the Michigan American Civil Liberties Union along with numerous community, academic and religious organizations resulted in a successful appeal that released Pinkney from a state prison after serving one year. He has continued to be a major critic of the authorities in Berrien County.
In 2010, BANCO opposed the transferal of land from Jean Klock Park to a privately owned venture known as Harbor Shores Development. The park, which had been designated for free public usage in 1917, was turned into the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course on Lake Michigan.
Two years later, in 2012, BANCO organized the “Occupy the PGA” to oppose the holding of the senior tournaments in Benton Harbor that year. Hundreds attended the march and rally, drawing the ire of the local business interests and county officials.
On the most recent convictions for felony forgery, Pinkney said: “I was in shock more than anything else because I could not believe they could find me guilty with no evidence at all. They have proven the fact you don’t need evidence to send someone to prison.”
Pinkney added: “Sometimes somebody has to take a bullet and I just took one. It was in the leg though, it wasn’t in the heart. I’ve got about 45 good days and then we are definitely going to request a delay in sentencing.”
Prosecutor Mike Sepic said after the convictions that “each of those felony counts carries a 5-year maximum, but he has at least three prior felony convictions. That makes him a habitual offender, which turns those five-year maximums into a life maximum and actually elevates the guidelines that will be scored for him as well. I believe it will be either a lengthy jail sentence or prison sentence.”
Supporters of Rev. Pinkney are outraged by the jury verdict. Many of them are committed to working for an appeal of the convictions.
Legacy of racism and national oppression
Berrien County is notorious for its racism against African Americans. Police brutality, large-scale home foreclosures, high unemployment and the systematic forcing of people from the majority African-American city of Benton Harbor have been standard policies for years.
In 2003, after the police chased an African-American motorcyclist, resulting in a crash and his death, the African-American community in Benton Harbor rose up in rebellion that lasted for several days.
Although the then governor, Jennifer Granholm, pledged to provide assistance for the improvement of conditions in Benton Harbor, no action was taken other than the privatization of Jean Klock Park and the appointment of an emergency manager in 2010.
Although Benton Harbor is ostensibly out from under emergency management, the city is subjected to the more powerful and predominantly white St. Joseph, where the county court system is based. The fact that an all-white jury was impaneled in such a racially sensitive case in an area with deep historical tensions, speaks volumes with regard to the lack of sensitivity existing among the county authorities and the corporate interests.

Monday, February 02, 2015

The Lynching of Rev. Edward Pinkney

   The New York Grand Jury failed to indict officer Pantaleo on Dec. 4, the 45th anniversary of the murder of Mark Clark and Fred Hampton by Chicago Police.
   The predawn shooting was the result of collusion between the local police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Illinois State's Attorney office to neutralize Fred Hampton and the work of the Illinois Black Panther Party. 
   We are in another state of emergency and we need solidarity with all groups who are willing to stand for that which is right.
   On Nov. 3, 2014 I was convicted by an all white jury (that was motivated by something other than the truth) with absolutely no evidence.
   I made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom for all. The question: Is freedom for all worth the ultimate sacrifice for you? I made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom for everyone against a corrupt system which will attempt to crush you if you take a stand. 
   We must stand together and fight -  and we can win!