LOCAL Review :: Civil & Human Rights : Civil Liberties : Community Organizing
Reverend Pinkney Speaks in L.A.
A TRIAL DATE HAS BEEN SET FOR MARCH 14-17, 2006
AT 8:30 AM.
On November 17 Rev. Edward Pinkney, Executive Director of the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO), attended a historic coming together of social movements, which he called one of the most exciting moments of his life. This event, co-chaired by actor/activist Danny Glover, featured Rev. Pinkney as its keynote speaker. Pinkney spoke to a packed house in one of the largest churches in the city of Los Angeles, decrying the Berrien County, MI courthouse maneuvers of the Benton Harbor, MI elite. Also featured at the event were Bolivar Ramilus,
international advisor to Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez; a Haitian member of Parliament; and Leah Jah of the Causeway Concentration Camp Committee, formed by those stranded on New Orleans highways during the flooding following Hurricane Katrina.
Rev. Pinkney faces charges related to voter fraud, stemming from the recall election of City Commissioner Glen Yarbrough in February of th is year. Judge Butzbaugh, who is presiding over the case, recently ordered Pinkney to trial based on the testimony of Brenda Fox.
Fox stated under oath that she twice took ten people at a time to the county clerk's office to vote absentee on Election Day, and that they were paid five dollars each by Rev. Pinkney. Her story is suspect, in part because absentee voting is not permitted on election day, and in part because the county clerk testified just before her, saying that no groups of people had appeared at the clerk's office on the date specified by the prosecution.
Fox, who is a substance abuser, is being exploited by the elite of Benton Harbor to help shut down the mass movement that is beginning to grow in the city. The court is accepting her clearly staged and falsified testimony; this is the justice in Berrien County courthouse.
In addition to painting the case against him, Rev. Pinkney attacked the Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corporation, which has laid off most of it black employees and outsourced countless jobs, and is spearheading the massive land grab currently taking place in the city. Pinkney talked about Public Act 425, a five-hundred million dollar project which systematically excludes the black population of the county. The act includes the Harbor Shores Project, an all-white residential and commercial development bounded by the beautiful Benton Harbor lakefront.
Most of the land is in Benton Harbor, with a small portion in St. Joseph. Public Act 425 will allow for the temporary transfer of this small portion of St. Joseph land to Benton Harbor for 20 years; after this twenty year period, during which an estimated eighty-nine million dollars of Benton Harbor money will be spent on infrastructure, i.e. roads, storm sewers, environmental clean-up, all the land will be annexed to St. Joseph, to the benefit of the town's land-hungry elite, as well as Whirlpool and
Cornerstone Alliance. Pinkne y's organization, BANCO, is initiating a global boycott of all Whirlpool and Maytag products, starting December 1, 2005.
While in Los Angeles, Rev. Pinkney was interviewed on several radio and television programs, as well as for a documentary film depicting the struggles in Benton Harbor. Rev. Pinkney visited his uncle while in California.
A TRIAL DATE HAS BEEN SET OR MARCH 14-17, 2006 AT 8:30 AM. REV PINKNEY WILL NEED EVERYONE'S SUPPORT. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.
CIRCLE THE DATE ON YOUR CALENDAR.
LEGAL FUNDS ARE NEEDED