Friday, June 30, 2017

Rev. Pinkney, free at last, is already back in action

June 29, 2017

by Philip A. Bassett 
In these days of tremendous change and social upheaval, it’s good to know that a man of impeccable integrity is back in the public arena. After two and a half years in various Michigan prisons, Rev. Edward Pinkney has returned to his home in Benton Harbor, Mich. A bulldog for social justice, the reverend, who turns 69 this year, shows no sign of slowing.
Free at last, Rev. Edward Pinkney is welcomed home by his loving wife, Dorothy Pinkney.
His wife, Dorothy, had hoped to put him on “lockdown” for at least a week to ease his adjustment to life out of prison, but he left me a voice mail just five days after his release and the next day he attended a public event in his honor in Ann Arbor. I caught up with him the following day and he spoke about how he coped with being locked up.
“There is drama every day in prison,” he told me. “Even among friends.” He said there were more than a few times where he was on the phone with Dorothy and a fight would break out somewhere nearby.
For some reason, his first placement after the customary quarantine at Jackson Prison was in a high-security facility in Coldwater, Mich. He humorously describes his roommate situation there as “four killers and me” and says it distressed him that much of their conversation centered on bragging about murders they had committed.
His next move to a prison in Marquette, Mich., was like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. At Marquette, he says, the atmosphere was so hostile and the guards so aggressive he had to press himself “flat against the wall” to avoid touching the guard when he came down the hall – a sure assault charge.
It was here, too, that he was accused of “smoogling” because a friend had interviewed him and was leaving with some notes. The guard’s spelling error helped the reverend win the case, but his phone privileges were revoked for six months anyway. The sentence was doubly harsh because he was now nearly 500 miles away from his wife, with no hope for a visit.

After two and a half years in various Michigan prisons, Rev. Edward Pinkney has returned to his home in Benton Harbor, Mich. A bulldog for social justice, the reverend, who turns 69 this year, shows no sign of slowing.

Luckily, a few activists in the area became aware of his plight and started to visit him regularly. That the reverend had any support in this all-white community far from his home was probably a surprise to the authorities there.
After some time, he was moved again, this time to a facility in Muskegon, Mich. Here things were more relaxed, he says, and, after they got to know him, even he and the guards seemed to get along. On top of that, he was now only a two-hour drive away from Dorothy.
Philip Bassett’s highly acclaimed book about Rev. Pinkney is available at Marcus Books and other local book stories and on Amazon.
Nonetheless, even here there was a situation that was irritating. Television viewing is first come, first served and he found himself in competition with inmates who liked to listen to rap, while he preferred religious programs. The way he worked through the conflict, strangely enough, was by offering to teach basic math skills.
A class of one grew to 16, and by that time there was no longer any competition. In fact, they began watching out for the reverend and giving him his preference, even when he arrived late to the TV room.
There were other, more mundane complaints, probably familiar to most inmates: rotten, disgusting, worm-ridden food, so bad his wife had to send care packages so he could fix one meal a day; a moldy room that made him so ill he couldn’t get out of bed for two weeks; a fall off the top bunk that injured his shoulder enough that it still hurts two years later. The latter incident happened because the only way to get down from the bed was a rickety stool that toppled easily.
Despite these challenges and more, Rev. Pinkney appears to have emerged with his character intact, though he vows that moving forward, he’ll be “doing things differently.” For now, he is planning a protest in his town of Benton Harbor on July 11 and is attending a dinner and fundraiser in his honor on July 8 in Detroit. Both of these events can be referenced at bhbanco.organd anyone who is planning to be in the area on either of those days is encouraged to participate.
For those abreast of social issues, supporting Pinkney is a no-brainer, but if you’re attending one of his events for the first time it’s easy to miss the essence of the man. Since he is a Baptist preacher, Rev. Pinkney tends to speak in that style, repeating sentences he feels are important. That doesn’t appeal to everybody.
He sometimes humorously puts himself in the place of his oppressors to make a point and ends up talking about himself in the third person, which could sound egotistical to some. He jokes constantly with his audience, which might seem disrespectful or give the impression that he takes these things lightly. He has a very direct manner, which some could find off-putting, and he possesses an unearthly amount of confidence.

For those abreast of social issues, supporting Pinkney is a no-brainer.

However, those who take a closer look soon discover a deeply spiritual man with a wicked sense of humor and the manners of a Boy Scout, who treats his persecutors more like peers than adversaries and is not afraid of a political fight. And his confidence is not the fickle kind. Planted early and fed by countless successes, it is the confidence of a man who is consistently faithful to the promptings of his heart.
As a fighter for justice, Rev. Pinkney brings many gifts to the table. He has the discipline of a Gandhi and a nose for networking and politics. But the greatest gift he brings is his own patented brand of love – the strongest kind of love – the kind that can pierce prison walls and touch the hardest men’s hearts, even prison guards, and make anyone within range more hopeful, confident and willing to work together.
Philip A. Bassett is the author of “Soldier of Truth: The Trials of Rev. Edward Pinkney.” He can be reached at
Editor’s note: Rev. Pinkney hosts a radio show on Sundays, 5 p.m. ET, on or call 323-642-1559.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Whirlpool Caused London Disaster

Whirlpool refrigerator blamed for London fire that killed 79

Officials say the blaze began in a refrigerator-freezer made by a company Whirlpool later acquired

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Whirlpool loses $55 million of company's value after fridge causes most deadly fire in London since WWII

Police consider manslaughter charges over London blaze as thousands evacuated

By Michael Holden and Jamillah Knowles | LONDON
British investigators said on Friday they would consider manslaughter charges over the London tower block fire that killed at least 79 people, as thousands of apartment-dwellers a few miles away were told to leave their homes due to fire risk.
The outside cladding engulfed in June 14's deadly blaze has since been shown to fail all safety tests, police said. They have already seized material from a number of undisclosed organizations.
Fire safety checks are now taking place on public buildings across Britain. Late on Friday, one municipal authority in north London began to evacuate nearly 4,000 people from five tower blocks after firefighters said it was unsafe for them to stay.
Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said experts had now concluded that the earlier fire, the mostly deadly blaze in London since World War Two, had started in a fridge freezer.
The blaze has provoked anger and heaped pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May, who is fighting for her political survival after her party lost its parliamentary majority in a snap election at a time when Britain is beginning divorce talks with the European Union.
The speed at which the fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower raised questions about the external cladding on the block.
Asked if the insulation and aluminum tiles used were acceptable for such buildings, McCormack told reporters: "No they're not."
"All I can say at the moment is they don't pass any of the safety tests. So that will form part of what is a manslaughter investigation."
As well as possible manslaughter, police will consider health and safety offences and breaches of other building regulations. McCormack said all companies involved in the building and refurbishment of the building would be reviewed.
Britain also ordered an immediate technical examination of the Hotpoint (WHR.N) fridge model FF175BP, which had not been subject to any recall to establish whether further action should be taken, but said there was no need for owners to switch off their appliances.
A woman looks at flowers, tributes and messages left for the victims of the fire at the Grenfell apartment tower in North Kensington, London, Britain, June 23, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Whirlpool's shared closed down 3.3 percent on Friday, wiping almost $500 million off the company's value.
Whirlpool owns the Hotpoint brand in the Europe and Asia Pacific regions. In the United States, the Hotpoint brand now belongs to Haier, following the Chinese group's purchase of General Electric Co's (GE.N) appliance business.
Finish reading here:

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Marquette Branch Prison Rev. Pinkney Speaks From Prison (Winter 2016)

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 victim 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 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 Daivver Hicks, 22 year old from Cincinnati; Isaiah Hampton, 19 years old from New York City; An unkown 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 patter and practice of brutality be held criminally accountable. We are living in a time, who the public, the people must hold the government accountable for their actions. We must stand up to our government and fight back.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

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, selling 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 a savior of the working class, when their treasured NAFTA ripped away ten-thousand 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 under way 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 this country. Let's stop the NAFTA. Let's confront the NAFTA.           -Rev. Pinkney

Friday, June 16, 2017

Corrupt Judge Denies New Jury Trial in Rev. Edward Pinkney Case

It is our constitutional duty as American citizens to hold our elected officials accountable for their words, action, and inaction of wrongdoing. We must draw the line and decide what to do. If that line is crossed we must use our Constitution. Most judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials have crossed the line in the sand many times. It's time for the people: poor whites, blacks and Hispanics, to stand together and fight for what is right.

We must fight for justice for all any time you have a judge like Alfred Butzbaugh, who is a racist. It took over 53 days to render a fifth grade decision denying me a new trial. I am a man of God, and an innocent man, convicted by an all-white jury that violated the sanctity of their oath and were motivated by something other than the pursuit of truth and justice. The blindfolded lady holding the scales of justice no longer exists.

The corruption and the deceitfulness continues in Berrien County courthouse. In my motion for a new trial, I argued that I was charged, but never arraigned, nor did I receive due process by the dumb judge Alfred and prosecutor. I was denied a public trial, when the judge locked the courtroom doors. One of the jurors reported to the court that during the recess, she saw one of Rev. Edward Pinkney's attorneys make a drug deal in the courthouse parking lot. She lied saying several blacks came up to her and her husband and asked for money. She was not removed from the jury. The Berrien County courthouse is so blatantly corrupt that even the legal system, the establishment has been forced to recognize it. It does not provide a just legal system. The corruption starts at the top. They customarily and regularly deprive Blacks and Hispanics of due process.

The corruption and deceitfulness continues in Berrien County courthouse. Judge Butzbaugh has violated his oath. I support the constitution of the United States and the state of Michigan. We are still waiting on this racist judge to do the same. Judge Butzbaugh has failed the people, the community, his duties, and his office.

The Herald Palladium is known as the Herald Pollution, because of all the racist garbage the newspaper writes. The fascist newspaper is the main reason a Black man cannot get a fair trial in the Berrien County trial court. The corruption that exists in the county must be stopped.

When are the people going to take a stand? The challenge is clear. The case of Rev. Pinkney is a concentration of the criminalization of a generation of people. This is not just a black issue, nor is it just a person of color issue. It is a whole country issue. We the people must confront the corrupt legal system at all costs.

The Herald Palladium Does the Work of Nazi Sympathizers

The Herald Palladium newspaper of Berrien County, Michigan, is an enclave with Nazi roots. The newspaper does the work of Nazi sympathizers. Adolf Hitler would be proud of the fascist, racist attitude of the Herald Palladium newspaper.

The Black community in Benton Harbor has always spoken about the fascist Herald Palladium newspaper. Many people in the community refuse to speak about the Herald Palladium, afraid of retaliation.

I have witnessed and I do recall a groundswell of Nazism, cross burning, noose hanging, and swastikas were commonplace, including on some of the houses in Berrien County and especially in St. Joseph, Three Oaks, New Buffalo, Stevensville, and Union City. Many people declined to speak about the racism and fascism on the record, but those who did dispute the cities were taunted by discrimination, intimidation, hatred, even violent attacks, and in some cases arrested and sent to jail or even prison.

The Herald Palladium newspaper is owned by the Paxton family out of the state of Kentucky. The Paxton family has always condoned fascism and racism. The Herald Palladium openly practiced racism for years. The system was psychological and physical at the same time. The Herald Palladium newspaper is part of the system. The Black people of Benton Harbor, Michigan, were taught discipline by the oppressor, which is the establishment, who operate the system that oppresses the people again and again with the idea of their own inferiority to know their place, to see blackness as a sign of subordination, to be awed by the power of the master to merge their interests.

The Paxton family own the fascist Herald Palladium that is operated by the residents of St. Joseph, Michigan. The newspaper is an arm of the Whirlpool Corporation who are known as poverty pimps. The Paxton family's and the Herald Palladium's hypocrisy has no limits. The newspaper has a large credibility gap. Most people would say the newspaper would not know the truth if it would hit them right in the face.

We must see the evils of fascism, racism, economic exploitation and militarism. The Herald Palladium is leading the charge against the people and all three are tied together and you can't really get rid of one without getting rid of all three. We must confront fascism, racism, and hatred at the same time.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Rev. Pinkney Is Free!

After serving his minimum sentence of 30 months (two-and-a-half years), Rev. Pinkney was released from Michigan state prison this Tuesday morning. He is home with his wife, Dorothy, and resting.

Those in the area can welcome Rev. Pinkney home on July 8.

Saturday, July 8
St. Matthew & St. Joseph Episcopal Church
8850 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI
Dinner will be served (bring a dish if you can)

Financial help is needed - we will present Rev. Pinkney with a Welcome Home check at the Detroit celebration!

Send checks to ~
Moratorium NOW Coalition
5920 Second Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
(on memo line write: Welcome Home Rev. Pinkney).

Let's give Rev. Pinkney a big welcome home!

Friday, June 02, 2017

Rev. Pinkney’s lawyers speak on recent Michigan Supreme Court Order on Pinkney’s appeal

June 2017 

Editor’s note:  As we go to print, the Michigan Supreme Court has issued an order which Rev. Pinkney’s lawyers discuss below. Please be aware, also of other good news: Rev. Edward Pinkney is scheduled to be released from prison on June 13, after serving 30 months!
“The Order of the Michigan Supreme Court for oral argument on whether prejudicial evidence was admitted at Pinkney’s trial and whether the statute is valid is good news. The first would get hima new trial, which they probably would not pursue because he has already served his sentence. The second would dismiss the charges.” — Hugh M. Davis
“It is clear that the Michigan Supreme Court has shown interest in the two issues it specified in the order. The first issue, involving the introduction [into the trial] of Pinkney’s political and community activities that went beyond the recall effort of the former mayor, should be of great concern to all— even to people who do not support Pinkney and are against his political and social positions. A great deal of that political and community activity was critical of local officials and a local corporation. The use of this First Amendment activity to obtain a conviction is very disturbing.” — Tim Holloway
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