Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rev. Pinkney was Right: It’s Comin’ to Your City Next!

Appeals Hearing Wed. May 11, 10am
State Office Building
350 Ottawa NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2349

The courtroom is on the main level. 

by Polly Hughes

Little bitty Benton Harbor was the testing ground. It was the testing ground to see what they can get away with….It’s comin’ to your city next, whether you like it or not. 
 — Rev. Edward Pinkney
What do Michigan emergency managers, water rights, illegal corporate land acquisitions, and gentrification have to do with political prisoner Rev. Edward Pinkney? Rev. Pinkney has been fighting against injustice for decades in the small town of Benton Harbor, Michigan. But, his activism has reached far beyond Benton Harbor, the first city in Michigan to fall under the control of an emergency financial manager (EFM) in 2010.

Read more at CounterPunch....

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rev. Pinkney’s appeal set for May 11, 10am

By David Sole posted on April 25, 2016

Marquette Branch Prison, Mich. — A three-judge panel of Michigan’s Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the case of political prisoner the Rev. Edward Pinkney on May 11. Rev. Pinkney has already served 17 months in prison following his conviction in December 2014 in Berrien County on the western end of Michigan.

Rev. Pinkney’s attorney, Tim Holloway, filed an appeal in September 2015. The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild then submitted amicus briefs supporting the appeal.

Read more at Workers World...

Friday, April 22, 2016

Questions Presented in Brief on Appeal

(Excerpt from pages xi-xiii of Appellants Brief on Appeal for Rev. Edward Pinkney's case. Oral arguments hearing scheduled May 11, 10am, Grand Rapids Appellate Court.)

Questions Presented
I. Whether there was insufficient evidence, under state law and the constitution, to convict Pinkney of forgery of recall petitions when:
(a) he did not have exclusive possession of the petitions;
(b) no one testified that they saw Pinkney forge the petitions;
(c) Pinkney did not confess to forging the petitions;
(d) the forensic handwriting examiner, from the Michigan State Police, indicated that he could not determine who made the changes to the petitions;
(e) the prosecution’s own witnesses indicated that persons other than Pinkney circulated some of the petitions that were forged; and
(f) Pinkney’s witnesses indicated another person forged the petitions? 
The trial court answered this question “no.”
Defendant Pinkney answers this question “yes.”
II. Whether it was reversible error to instruct the jury on an aiding and abetting theory when there was no evidence, beyond conjecture, that Pinkney aided or abetted anyone in forging the recall petitions?
The trial court did not answer this question.
Defendant Pinkney answers this question “yes.”
III. Whether it violated the Michigan Rules of Evidence and the Constitutional rights to Free Speech and Due Process for evidence of Pinkney’s political and community activities to be admitted under MRE 404(b) based on the prosecution’s allegations that because Pinkney was politically and socially motivated (as indicated by his political and social activity that was 100% legal) that it was likely that he committed the illegal act of forgery that promoted Pinkney’s political goal of having the recall go forward ? This question must be considered in the context of: (a) the fact that the prosecution admitted political and other First Amendment activity that was not the subject of the prosecution’s notice of intent to introduce evidence under MRE 404(b); and (b) the fact that Pinkney’s political and other First Amendment activity, that was not the subject of the notice, was unpopular with many people in the community and was not relevant to whether Pinkney committed forgery.
The trial court answered this question “no” in relation to the evidence that it agreed could be admitted pursuant to the prosecution’s MRE 404(b) notice, but did not clearly answer this question in relation to the evidence that was not the subject of the prosecution’s notice or the trial court’s written order.
Defendant Pinkney answers this question “yes.”
IV. Whether trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the aiding and abetting instruction that is the subject of Argument II?
The trial court did not answer this question, but a motion to remand is being filed contemporaneously with this brief.
Defendant Pinkney answers this question “yes.”
V. Whether in relation to the only statute that was the basis of felony counts in the Information, MCL 168.937:
(a) MCL 168.937 only sets forth a penalty provision for forgeries that are prohibited by some other section of the election code and does not set forth a substantive crime that can be the basis of a prosecution;
(b) Due Process, the vagueness doctrine and the rule of lenity are violated if MCL 168.937 – which merely states forgeries are punishable by up to five (5) years and a fine – is deemed to be a statute which prohibits forgery of any and all documents involved in an election; and
(c) where the Information fails to state an offense that can be prosecuted and there is no jurisdiction when no charges were brought under any other section of the election code? 
The trial court answered this question “no.”
Defendant Pinkney answers this question “yes.”

The Church Is Failing the Community on Economic and Racial Justice: Rev. Pinkney

Preachers Have Been Tempted

Let the truth be told: We preachers have been tempted by the enticing cult of conformity, seduced by the success symbols of the world. We have measured our achievements by the size of our parsonage. We have become showmen to please the whims and caprices of the people. We preach comforting sermons and avoid saying anything from our pulpit that might disturb the respectable views of the comfortable members of our congregations. Have we, ministers of Jesus Christ, sacrificed truth on the altar of self-interest and, like Judge Sterling Schrock, yielded our convictions to the demands of the evil Whirlpool corporation?

Gradually the church became so entrenched in wealth and prestige that it began to dilute the strong demands of the gospel and to conform to the ways of the world. The Church has been a weak and ineffectual trumpet making uncertain sounds. The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists, who are dedicated to justice, peace, and brotherhood.

Martin Luther King, Jr., said:
In the terrible midnight of war men have knocked on the door of the church to ask for the bread of peace, but the church has often disappointed them. What more pathetically reveals the irrelevancy of the church in present-day world affairs than its witness regarding war? In a world gone mad with arms buildups, chauvinistic passions, and imperialistic exploitation, the church has either endorsed these activities or remained appallingly silent. During the last two world wars, national churches even functioned as the ready lackeys of the state, sprinkling holy water upon the battleships and joining the mighty armies in singing, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition." A weary world, pleading desperately for peace, has often found the church morally sanctioning war.
I say: Those who have gone to the Church to seek the bread of economic justice have been left in the frustrating midnight of economic privation. In many instances the church has so aligned itself with the privileged classes and so defended the status quo that it has been unwilling to answer the knock at midnight. It is becoming impossible to be rid of the corrupt political and social system without being rid of the Church--God have mercy!

It is very important that we confront the Church. We must let this struggle be a victory for all who are victims of this corrupt system. Evil cannot permanently organize itself. We must stand together and confront the evil and corrupt system that refuses to stand for the people. I hope this article will help lead to the death of evil and inhuman oppression.

-Rev. Edward Pinkney

The Church Is Failing the Community

Honesty also impels us to admit that the church has not been true to its social mission on the question of racial justice. In this area it has failed Christ miserably. This failure is due not only to the fact that the Church has been appallingly silent and disastrously indifferent to the realm of race relations, but even more to the fact that it has often been an active participant in shaping and crystallizing the pattern of the race-caste system. Racism could not have been perpetuated if the Christian Church had really taken against it. One of the chief defenders of the vicious system of apartheid in southern American slavery could not have existed for almost two hundred and fifty years if the Church had not sanctioned it, nor could segregation and discrimination exist today, if the Church were not a silent and often vocal partner. We must face the shameful fact that the Church is the most segregated major institution in American society, and the most segregated hour of the week is 11 o'clock on Sunday morning. How often the church has been an echo rather than a voice, a taillight behind the Supreme Court and other groups, rather than a headlight guiding people progressively and decisively to higher levels of understanding.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand. Stand therefore having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one, and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication for all saints and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly. 

We must now confront the Church, we have allowed the Christian Church to lag in its concern for social justice and too often given the Church a free pass. We must stand together and educate the Church about social justice and force the Church to be accountable.

-Rev. Edward Pinkney

From Rev. Pinkney: Corrupt Partnership and the Struggle

Marquette Branch Prison Partnership with Corrupt Berrien County

Gov. Snyder is the man in charge of Marquette Branch Prison, the concentration camp of America where prisoners are tortured. I was sent here by Judge Sterling Schrock and his sidekick Prosecutor Mike Sepic, who stated in his brief that my First Amendment-protected activities could not be prejudicial in nature because they involved things like the fight for freedom, justice and equality for all, and to provide food, clothes, and shelter for the needy. Yet he argued a different story to the jury, a story that was not true, arguing that the jury should come to a conclusion about my activities that clearly indicate the prosecution had a prejudicial purpose in admitting my protected activities as evidence. 

This was a vindictive prosecution in which I was singled out under the corruption of Berrien County, Michigan, for exercising my constitutionally-protected rights. Sepic intentionally charged me with a more serious crime, seeking a more severe punishment in retaliation for a lawful exercise of a constitutional right. This all-white jury was motivated by something other than the truth.

I have been court watching for over 15 years and have never witnessed a jury of this nature. The jury ignored the law and evidence in reaching a capricious and racist verdict. The rogue jury based their verdict on unrevealed prejudices, not on a desire to achieve a just, fair, or moral outcome.

We are living in a time where truth is still important, but I know how it feels to be in prison for a crime you never committed in a corrupt system that will get away with it. We must confront the system.

The Struggle

I, Rev. Edward Pinkney, am thankful for the struggle, because without it I wouldn't have stumbled across my strength. In our struggle for justice, let your oppressor know that you have neither a desire to defeat him nor a desire to get even with him for all the injustice that this corrupt system has heaped on us. The festering sore of injustice debilitates the white man as well as the black man; by having this attitude, you will keep your struggle on high levels.

Many people realize the urgency of eradicating injustice. I hope many blacks will devote their lives, as I have, to the cause of freedom and justice for all. Many white people of good will and strong moral sensitivity will dare to speak for justice. Honesty impels me to admit that such a stand requires a willingness to suffer and sacrifice. I will not despair because I was condemned and persecuted for righteousness' sake. When you testify for truth and justice you are liable to be scorned.

In Berrien County, Judge Schrock--a man intoxicated with power and ego who transmitted an obsessive fear of blacks to the Berrien County citizens--is capable of swaying any audience in the typical manipulative manner displayed by Adolf Hitler. I despair of getting justice in the courts; I can only say that I am thankful there is a God in heaven to give real justice to the people. I believe it was easier for the children of Israel to cross the Red Sea than for a Black man or woman to get justice in Berrien County, Michigan. The Berrien County newspaper, the Herald Palladium, WSJM, News 22, News 57, and News 16--the white press--are acting as a tool for the Berrien County "justice" system and the bloodsucking Whirlpool Corporation to suppress the facts through one-sided stories that sway the community.

We must confront all who deny one of life, liberty, and justice. We must let justice roll down like water and righteousness!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Officer Basal is a menace: Warden Napel and Director Washington are afraid of officers

It has become clear to me that Warden Robert Napel and MDOC director Heidi Washington are afraid of the correctional officers, at least in Marquette Branch Prison, if not IN other Michigan prisons.

If they were not afraid, I believe they would not allow current officer behavior to continue inside Marquette, or any other Michigan prisons.

In particular, officer Basal's attacks on me are so off-the-charts unprofessional that I am left with the distinct impression that she is untrained, unskilled, and uneducated regarding her job.  Besides being untrained, she has intense hatred for Blacks.  Basal believes she is above Napel and Washington.

My message to director Washington is that Basal's behavior is very serious:  threatening, harassing, intimidating behavior which the warden keeps silent about.  Taxpayers are funding this behavior.

The problem for prisoners is that there is absolutely no one to turn to for help.  I never know when, where, or how the attack will occur; it's a very hostile situation which is out of control.

My current prison experience is traumatizing.  I didn't realize this until I thought about asking the warden for help.

The MDOC should have a zero tolerance policy for employees who break the rules and law.  Some bring contraband into Marquette Prison and should be terminated.  Stop the corruption by enforcing the state of Michigan law and state policies.  CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS MUST STOP ATTACKING PRISONERS.  STOP THEM BEFORE THEY STOP US!

Rev. Pinkney

Monday, April 11, 2016

Rev. Pinkney's Appeals Hearing May 11th in Grand Rapids!

Rev. Pinkney's appeals hearing will happen in one month! This is the big development in his case that we have been waiting for.

It is scheduled to be heard at the Michigan Court of Appeals in Grand Rapids on May 11th at 10am. There will not be any protest, but it is a public hearing and those who would like to listen to the attorneys' oral arguments may attend. Rev. Pinkney will not be present. He wrote that he appreciates the support of those who can attend.

The address is:
State Office Building
350 Ottawa NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2349

The courtroom is on the main level. Watch this space for updates.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Michigan: a state carved up for corporate profit

",,,corporate interests...exist in Benton Harbor with the heavy hand of Whirlpool"

I've been saying RICO for months regarding the #FlintWaterScandal. What becomes crucially important is that Emergency Manager Law is revealed to be a mechanism crafted with intent to remove public grievance processes and standing as tax payers. I've been looking at Snyder's EM Law as it came to be in 2011 and as it went through what many claim  to be an unconstitutional conversion from PA4 (repealed in 2012) to PA436 (signed to law at the end of 2012 under questionable circumstances). Various legal ploys have been used to remove the voice of the people, including making laws referendum-proof through appropriations. Attorney General Bill Schuette violated Michigan Constitution MCL 8.4.1 when he opined that PA11 should be brought back when PA4 was being put to ballot. Every court in Michigan upheld his opinion. 

The ties to corporate interests can be found not only in Flint's water situation, they exist in Benton Harbor with the heavy hand of Whirlpool; Detroit Public Schools / EMA and the pursuit of charter operations with willful sacrifice of public assets in property held; and there are many more connections that RICO investigation needs to unravel and pursue. Flint's water is the bleeding edge bringing needed attention to a state carved up for corporate profit.      

Stephen Boyle, mlive comment

Friday, April 08, 2016

4 from Marquette Branch Prison

Tragedy In Berrien County

The hypocrisy of Berrien County, Michigan has no limits. I am an invisible man, like the bodiless heads you sometimes see in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard distorting glass. When the evil and wicked approach me, they only see my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me. That invisibility to which I refer occurs because of a peculiar disposition of the eyes of those with whom I come in contact.

In Berrien County I have been treated and the blacks are treated as if they are a thing instead of a person. Above all things, they have denied me a fair trial. We have got to show the world we are determined to have a fair and just trial not only in Berrien County, but also around the whole country.

I was convicted by an all white jury that was motivated by something other than the truth. A rogue jury that ignored the law and evidence in reaching a capricious verdict. The rogue juries include those that base their verdicts on unrevealed, deeply held prejudices. This rogue jury verdict was not based on a desire to achieve a just, fair, or moral outcome for me, but I am saying to you my friends that often the path to freedom will carry you through prison.
I was entitled to a Direct Verdict based on the evidence presented in the prosecutor's Mike Septor Case in Chief. Pinkney made a motion for a direct verdict at the close of the prosecution Case in Chief. Whether the prosecutor met its burden of proof must be evaluated only in reference to evidence admitted at this point. Assessing a motion for a directed Verdict of acquittal a trial must consider the evidence presented by the prosecution to the time the motion is made. The evidence presented during the defense phase of the trial has no bearing on whether Pinkney was entitled to a directed Verdict at the close of the prosecution's case, just because the prosecutor questioned the validity of the claims regarding Venita Campbell made by Rev. Pinkney and the defense witnesses, this was not affirmative proof that could support the Prosecution. The prosecutor had to say, this to save his case, evidence's do not lie, but judges, and all white juries do.

The all white jury was led by Gail Freehlong of Three Oaks, a known racist who openly practiced racism, but if we are going to have fair trials, we have got to shed ourselves of fear, we have got to say to those who oppose us: you can't stop us by shooting us; you can't stop us by killing us; you can't stop us by brutalizing us, because we are gonna keep on keeping on until we receive justice, Justice For All!

Marquette Branch Prison: Hostility Inside the Wall

If you fail to pay a traffic ticket or court fine or child support for an offense, all too often you can end up in prison. If you do end up in prison, those costs will keep you there, forever trapping you in a downward spiral of prison and more debt.

However, if you are a wealthy corporate executive, like the heads of Volkswagon or General Motors, you can get away with killing people as long as it's on behalf of increasing profits. At most you may have to pay fines amounting to a slap on the wrist.

I am sitting in Siberia, over 500 miles from my family, friends, and community. In a place called Marquette Branch Prison, better known as the Concentration Camp of America. Even Adolf Hitler would be proud at the way Warden Roberts Napel is operating the concentration camp. The torture begins when you wake up, the agony of the mind and body, extreme pain is inflicted by the Warden Robert Napel and his staff.

The very first thing Marquette Branch Prison does to the prisoner, they attempt to silence you by removing all contact with the outside world. The MDOC, attacked my communication by stealing my telephone communication. First they lied and said I was making a three way call, which was impossible. It was a conference call. The MDOC and the untrained, unskilled, unprofessional, and uneducated Correctional Officer misspelled my name or put the wrong name on the Misconduct Ticket and was founded not guilty, but the Warden Robert Napel had my telephone pin shut off before the misconduct was given and after I was found not guilty he became upset and he decided my telephone service would be removed for 180 days which is illegal and against the Michigan Department of Correctional Rules and Procedures. The MDOC do not follow their own rules.

Then the Michigan Department of Corrections attempted to remove all the visits by charging me with smuggling knowing I had not smuggled anything in or out of the prison. They claimed one of my visitors, David Sole, was trying to smuggle notes out of the prison which once again was untrue and found not guilty.

The problem is the taxpayers are paying for the unchecked discretion. The taxpayers must stop watching television and start paying attention to this 2 billion dollar budget the MDOC has. The MDOC is pimping the public. We must start understanding the real problem and be able to handle the truth.

The time is right. The Michigan Department of Corrections has slated me to die in the Concentration Camp. They have done everything they could to hurt me and destroy me. I have what my captors will never have: spiritual strength, dignity, integrity, honest, love for the people. A commitment to revolution and the ability to read the writing on the wall.
Now I know, now I believe I know, how the Jews felt in Nazi Germany Concentration Camps, better known as the Death Camp. The warden sent his boys after me. Correctional Officer Schetter, Correctional Officer Lukkala, Correctional Officer Basal, and Correctional Officer Sare and several others.

I have been told by other Correctional Officers that the Warden is gunning for me. I have been placed in areas that was full of Black Mold and I am never to be moved, it is even written in the MDOC logbook.

Then the threatening, harassing, and intimidating behavior continued every single day. They used speech, action, gesture, and movement that caused physical and mental intimidation along with humiliation. They also use abusive, threatening, and profane language and action which degrade and belittle black people. The policy is clear: an employee shall not discriminate against others by word or action on the basis of race, color. An employee must report an incident of harassment to the designated harassment counselor or the appropriate supervisor. This will never happen because there is unbridled discretion. The exercise of to much discretion by too many people has made the Marquette Branch Prison the concentration camp of America who believe they the MDOC is above all laws, rules, and prejudices. We must stop them!
I have a psychological theory. Guilt has a constructive angle, maybe a way to mend the evil, wickedness, and hatred of Black by the administration and the Correctional Officers. The evil and wickedness, plus the hatred by some of our white brothers, here not Marquette Branch Prison, better known as the Concentration Camp of America. I am resisting with love, love will conquer all.

Selma an America Landmark

When the doors of the Sixteenth Baptist Church opened shortly after one o' clock on Thursday May 2, a line of fifty negro teenagers emerged two abreast, singing. The waiting police detail hauled them into jail wagons, as usual, and only the youth of the demonstrators distinguished the day until a second line emerged, then a third and many more. Children as young as six years old held their ground until arrested. Amid mounting confusion, police commanders called in school buses for jail transport and sent reinforcements to intercept story lives that slipped past them toward the downtown business distrct. On the first day nearly a thousand marching children converted First Negro Adults. Not a few of the onlookers in Kelly Ingram Park were dismayed to see their own disobedient offspring in the live and the conflicting emotions of the centuries payed out on their faces until some finally game way. One elderly woman ran alongside the arrest live shouting 'Sing Children Sing'!

With the jails swamped by Nightfall, Bull Connor ordered a massed phalanx of officers to disperse rather than arrest any demonstrators King might send the next day, intimidate them, shoot them away. When more than a thousand new children turned out in high spirited, nonviolent discipline give no ground, frustration and hatred erupted under Connor's command. Police dogs tore into March lives and high powered fire hoses knocked children along the pavement like tumbleweeds.

News photographs of the Violence seized millions of distant eyes, shattering inner defenses in Birmingham, the Negro principal of Parker High School desperately locked the gates from the outside to preserve a semblance of order, but students trampled the chain-link fence to join the demonstration.

King preaching at night to a serial mass meeting that spilled from on packed church to another urged crowds to remember the feel of history among them. He cast aside his innate caution along with criticism and worry over the children in jail, shouting, "Now yesterday was D-Day and tomorrow will be cried out in playful hyperbole that they would finish off Birmingham before Tuesday by placing every negro young and old in jail so that he could be back in Mississippi chopping cotton." Bevel did not make his deadline, but nonviolent Negros did overflow the jails and flood the forbidden downtown streets within a week. By Monday maybe the sudden conversion gushed from child to adult until no fewer than 2,500 demonstrators swamped the Birmingham jail and King welcomed in awe the tangible sensation of history spilling over at Frenied Mass Meeting of four times that number.

Less than two years later, Malcolm X would speak from a Selma pulpit alongside James Bevel and Fred Shuttleworth with Martin Luther King in jail, in a voting movement that made Selma an American landmark.

Marquette Branch Prison: Rev. Pinkney Speaks from Prison

My fellow comrades, friends, and companions we have come to a time of testing. We must not fail. Let us close the spring of racial poison.

The United States police department in every state, in every city are killing people with war crimes ammunition. Virtually every person shot to death by police handguns in the U.S. in the last 20 years has been killed with a bullet that international law has declared to be a war crime.
The number of people killed by police so far this year topped 800 as the nation wide epidemic of police violence continued with cops killing 25 people over the last seven days of the year.
The U.S. media largely has ignored the 800 victims milestone all year with headlines dominated by the attempt to whip up law and order hysteria around things like the massive manhunt to recapture two inmates who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in New York.

The 500th fatality of the year according to one database of police killing occurred when members of the SWAT team gunned down a 69 year old Richard Warolf, a suicidal man, during a courtesy call requested by his family in Sun City, a suburb of Phoenix.

The following night a police officer in Des Moines Iowa shot and killed unarmed 28 year old Ryan Bollinger through the window of her squad car after a two minute low speed chase.
The nine other people killed by police since Monday include Matthew Wayne McDaniel, a 35 year old from Florida; Rene Garcia, a 30 year old California man killed during a traffic stop; Mario Ocasio, a 51 year old from New York City killed by taser; Jeremy John Linhart, 30 year old from Ohio, also killed during a traffic stop; Ross Anthony, 25, from Dallas, killed by a taser; an  unknown suicidal 45 year old male from Houston area; Quan Davier Hicks, 22 year old, from Cincinnati; Isaiah Hampton, 19 year old from New York City; an unknown homeless man from Miami shot 5 times by an officer and Charles Allen Ziegler, 40 years old from Pompano Beach Florida.

Despite releasing repeated damning reports of systematic violence and corruption in city after city from Cleveland to Ferguson to Baltimore to New York, the Obama Administration has steadfastly refused to demand that any of the officers and officials responsible for a pattern and practice of brutality be held criminally accountable. We are living in a time where the public, the people, must hold the government accountable for their actions. We must stand up to our government and fight back.

We Want Our Due and We Want It Now!

An economic system that doesn't feed, clothe, and house its people must be and will be overturned and replaced with a system that meets the needs of the people.

The labor-replacing electronic technology is permanently eliminating jobs and destroying the foundation of the Capitalist System. The people's needs can only be met by building a Cooperative Society where the socially necessary means of production are owned by society, not by the corporations.

As the economic crisis continues to grip America and threatens to get deeper, people in working class communities across the country are beginning to stand up and demand that the government serve the people's interest, not those of the corporations. The people have come under fire from the corporations and the government. This is especially true in the city of Benton Harbor, Michigan.

The struggle that has taken place in recent years in Benton Harbor is a case in point and one that holds a number of lessons for the American people. The fight in Benton Harbor is a war over whether Americans will have prosperity and democracy, or live in poverty under the heel of open corporate rule.

Former president Bill Clinton hustled the street dealer, sold crack, dreams that turned to dust. Their strategy of talk labor while pleasing capital was even seen in the destructive NAFTA pact which decimated manufacturing jobs in the U.S. by the millions.

Now Clinton returns posing as savior of the working class when their treasured NAFTA ripped away tens of thousands of jobs annually, undermined unions, and transferred vast wealth to Wall Street.

When Texas businessman and 1992-1996 presidential candidate H. Ross Perot predicted NAFTA would produce a "giant sucking sound" of lost jobs the media pundits laughed at him, making him sound like a fool. But history proves his words were true.

The vicious, cowardly attack on democracy in Benton Harbor that Whirlpool Corporation and the corporate power structure is determined to crush anyone who stands in its way. It is part of a process underway across America in various forms. After the once stable working class community of Benton Harbor was devastated by automation, globalization, and NAFTA. The community began resisting. Let's confront the corporations that are destroying the country. Let's stop the NAFTA. Let's confront the NAFTA.

Rev. Pinkney

Monday, April 04, 2016

Marquette Prison officer Basal attacks again

A Marquette prison officer has -- this is NOT being made up -- issued a "Misconduct" ticket to me for  having too much legal material.  FOR REAL.

The racism up here is out-of-control.  The attacks on the black prisoners are unprofessional with NOBODY to turn to.

I never know when, where, or how the officers will attack, but I'm still standing. Threatening, harassing, and intimidating are constant.  These officers are gangsters whose job is to torture the prisoners.  They are accountable to no one. Tax payers are kept in fear by the media, so the public attitude is to 'go ahead and lock them up -- do whatever you want, even torture them.  

The saddest irony of all is that it's only the taxpaying citizens that can stop the Michigan Dept. of Corrections.  Human misery up here is enormous.

Rev. Pinkney