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march
Rally in support of Rev. Edward Pinkney and for justice in Berrien County
By Pastor Mary Gault

The opinions written by citizens of Berrien County in the local newspaper reveal how few understand the real issues at stake in the Jean Klock Park struggle. They don't see the larger picture -- that the take over of the park is but one issue surrounding the Harbor Shores project. Do these citizens realize what was the first thing to happen when Rev. Edward Pinkney was accused of tampering with the votes for the recall of City Commissioner Glenn Yarbough? It was the invalidation of the whole election when there were still enough valid votes for the recall. This dangerous precedent set by Judge Maloney (now a Federal Judge) opens the door for any judge anywhere to throw out any election they desire regardless of the votes of the people.  It is about a system that allows the rich to get anything they want even if at the expense of the majority. This is a story of the system continually bulldozing over the rights of the citizens in the name of progress and jobs. The hundreds of jobs for Benton Harbor citizens highlighted as a reason to support the project by our Gov. Granholm has now been narrowed down to nine seasonal jobs that fall in the minimum wage category. The high priced condos will only benefit the rich by increasing their property values (this includes U.S. Representative Fred Upton, Whirlpool CEO Jeff Fettig, and Judge Butzbaugh) while the poor will be forced out by high taxes and increased expectations on upkeep of their property -- expectations that can lead to condemned property and loss of homes. Rev. Pinkney was right about the negative impact the Harbor Shores project will have on the citizens of Benton Harbor and the United States. He has paid the ultimate price for trying to stop the rich from taking over Benton Harbor through organizing the recall election of Glen Yarbough. He now sits in one of the filthiest, most inhumane county jails in the country, a jail where Berrien County prisoners are harassed, where the food is substandard, and contracting a lethal staph infection is highly possible. This is all for the crime of seeing Whirlpool's land grab coming, and speaking truth to power.  Rev. Edward Pinkney has repeatedly stated that Harbor Shores will provide few jobs or benefits for Benton Harbor residents.   He said that fascism is the merging of the corporations (business interests) with government. No starker example than Berrien County can be found.

Dorothy Pinkney speaks

All during the trial Judge Butzbaugh refused to allow the Harbor Shores Project to be mentioned. My husband has led the fight against official corruption and corporate greed and for the impoverished Black community of Benton Harbor to stop the giveaway of the prime property to developers who plan to build the Jack Nicklus multimillion dollar resort complete with luxury housing units, none of which will provide any benefit to the community.  - Dorothy Pinkney


Contaminated Land Swap Proposal

The Friends of Jean Klock Park do not believe the conversion and mitigation proposal for the park is approvable. It is a warmed over version of the one originally rejected by the National Park Service. The proposal parcels lands that would be swapped for dunes that are mostly contaminated wetlands from post industrial and City dump sites. The most valuable proposed parcel is located in the neighboring City of St. Joseph, not Benton Harbor. This is environmental injustice at its finest! Although the comment period has concluded we still ask that people review the conversion proposal at http://www.savejeanklockpark.org and write to the National Park Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Editor of the Herald Palladium at the addresses provided on the website.  -- Excerpted from a statement by Carol Drake, Friends of Jean Klock Park

FREE PINKNEY!!
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1 Attend July 19 mass demonstration for justice in Benton Harbor at 12 noon
2) Find big name individuals who will stand in support of Rev. Pinkney
3) Raise funds for the appeal
4) Connect redevelopment and environmental movements in other cities with this important struggle
Write or send donations to: Rev. Edward Pinkney Defense 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022. Call 269-925-0001.
VISIT BANCO WEBSITE AT http://bhbanco.blogspot.com/ for up to date news on the case.


Mortin Hill School


This article originated in the People's Tribune
PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654, 773-486-3551, info@peoplestribune.org.
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