Rev Pinkney was given one year's probation , which included house arrest for voter fraud conviction. Then Rev Pinkney published an article in the People"s Tribune quoting the Biblical admonition from
Deuteronomy that God will punish those who act unjustly against others. The trial judge declared that this amounted to a personal threat against him, and he found Pinkney guilty of violating his probation and jailed him.In early 2008, another judge sentenced Rev Pinkney to 3-10 years in prison-double the recommendation of the probation department and prosecutor -for quoting the bible in the newspaper article.
Across Michigan and the country, thousands of people and many institutions rallied to Pinkney"s defense, including community, labor, religious and other activists, attorneys, and People's Tribune, other newspapers and other media. As a result of this fight, a Michigan appellate court ordered Rev Pinkney released to house arrest pending a review of his case, and the court eventually , overturned the lower court decision. Rev Pinkney had spent nearly a year in prison.
Let the truth be told, the charges leved against Rev Edward Pinkney in Benton Harbor, Michigan are , but the latest sage in a ruthless pursuit of the naked corporate rule that is gripping the state of Michigan in 2011, current Government Rick Snyder signed into law legislation that codified the fascist offensive already in motion. The law, a.k.a. Emergency Manager law, dispatches unelected , managers to designated cities and school districts who issue edicts that fast track the sale of precious public services , dismantle collective bargaining agreements, and more, They are empowered to even dissolve municipalities and school districts, all the while replacing local elected officials altogether.
Benton Harbor, home of the corporate giant Whirlpool , is a poster child of the Rust Belt's post industrial destruction of the Manufacturing life, we once knew. Benton Harbor is 90% African -American and over 42.6% of the population live in poverty. with its rich Lake Michigan beachfront property park, which has now been stolen from the people. Benton Harbor experienced the wrath of Emergency Managers, more than 17 municipalities and school districts, including Detroit , Flint, and Pontiac have been pulled into the mire of dictatorship.
Rev Pinkney has become the face of resistance to the notion that the working class has no rights that the corporation is bound to respect. In a tremendous victory for the people against corporate power, Rev Pinkney was exonerated by the Michigan Supreme Court. This victory is a giant step toward overturning the spread of corporate dictatorship to the rest of Michigan and the nation.