Thursday, November 13, 2008

Life of Imprisoned Rev. Pinkney of Benton Harbor is in Danger


WHAT: Rev. Pinkney of Benton Harbor's Life under Threat in Prison.

TAKE ACTION: Make 3 short phone calls to Ojibway Prison ASAP


The Rev. Edward Pinkney is in fear for his life at Ojibway Correctional Facility, Michigan's Upper Peninsula where, in a blatant miscarriage of justice, he is serving a 3-10 year term. A threatening, intimidating and hostile environment is being set up for him. Increasingly, violent tactics are being used in an attempt to silence and intimidate him. Urgent phone calls are needed now!

Rev. Pinkney, now 60 years old, is the leader of a movement against racism and corruption, including a successful recall election against a city official closely aligned with Whirlpool Corp and developers who took Benton Harbor's valuable river and lakefront property from working class Black people for "development".

The response by the corrupt, greedy and racist elite to this grassroots success was swift and brutal. They threw out the recall election results, reinstated the official in question and moved to criminalize Rev. Pinkney. Despite lack of credible evidence, community support and dedicated legal representation, he was found guilty of election fraud by an all white jury and the 3-10 year sentence was imposed. He is in a filthy, distant and deplorable prison located far from his family and community.

The shakedown, the most recent outrage

On Nov.1, prison guard R. Axley told Rev Pinkney that he was under orders to perform a shakedown on Rev Pinkney and his living area. R. Axley ransacked Rev. Pinkney's living area and read Rev. Pinkney's letters, legal notes and legal briefs in violation of his right to attorney/client privilege, as well as his First and Fourth Amendment rights. Additionally, Rev Pinkney was threatened with lockdown.

Rev Pinkney's mistreatment has been so persistent and threatening that he has begun to worry for his very life. There is concern that Officer R. Axley may start planting drugs and knives in his living area with the Department of Corrections' blessing. Rev. Pinkney is asking each and every one of us to put the Michigan Department of Correction on notice.

What You Can Do

Please make 3 short calls asking for the life-threatening harassment of Rev. Pinkney at Ojibway Prison to end immediately. Phone calls are most effective, and more are needed today! The calls should go to:

-US Rep. John Conyers: Washington DC 202-225-5126, Detroit 313-961-5670
-Gov. Granholm, 517-335-7858, 517-373-3400
-Patricia Caruso, Mich. Dept. of Corrections, 517-335-1426

Send letters or postcards stating "I support Rev. Pinkney's application for pardon" to the Parole Board, Michigan Department of Corrections, Office of the Parole Board Pardons and Commutations Coordinator, Post Office Box 30003, Lansing, Michigan 48909

Write to Rev. Edward Pinkney (please note new address) at #294671-G46, Ojibway Correctional Facility, N5705 Ojibway Road, Marenisco, MI 49947-9771. Or call (906) 787-2217.

Media are not being permitted access to Rev. Pinkney. Please call Gov.Granholm and demand fairness in media reporting!

Send donations, which are urgently needed, to the Black Autonomy Network (BANCO), 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor MI 49022.

Get prominent individuals to sign the petition, write letters, send donations, etc.

Contact the Congressional Black Caucus and ask for an immediate investigation into this injustice. Phone 202-226-9776, mail to 2264 Rayburn House Office Bldg, Washington, DC 20515.

Contact your Congressional Representative. Phone 202-224-3121.

Contact the Senate Judiciary Committee, Washington DC 20510, demanding a full investigation into the Whirlpool takeover of the city of Benton Harbor. Phone 202-224-7703

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