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Rev. Pinkney: Why I’m charged with election fraud

October 21, 2014

Trial begins Monday, Oct. 27, 8:30 a.m., Berrien County Courthouse, Mich.

by Rev. Edward Pinkney

The USA proclaims itself the “land of freedom,” but the reality is we live under the world’s most corrupt legal system. It has rigged courts, bribed judges, phony trials, extortion by lawyers and over 2 million prisoners. That’s more prisoners than any other country, in real numbers and proportionately.

Rev. Edward Pinkney leads a rally against the Whirlpool-sponsored PGA tournament in Benton Harbor on May 26, 2012. – Photo: Voice of Detroit

Rev. Edward Pinkney leads a rally against the Whirlpool-sponsored PGA tournament in Benton Harbor on May 26, 2012. – Photo: Voice of Detroit

You can be sent to prison and even put to death with absolutely no evidence. The truth is hidden by America’s corporate owned media – and by Berrien County media. They are afraid to tell the truth about Michigan’s Emergency Manager system, where rule is without the consent of the governed.

Benton Harbor now has four emergency managers. They are called a Transitional Team. Appointed by the governor, they are direct representatives of the corporate giant, Whirlpool, that runs Benton Harbor.

This team can overrule decisions made by the democratically elected City Council. They can sell off public assets to private interests.

The team includes two former Whirlpool employees, one county treasurer and a member of the state Treasury Department. This is what fascism in Michigan looks like: the merger of government with private corporations.

Within this dictatorial political environment, the Benton Harbor community exercised their democratic right to recall the Whirlpool-allied mayor. With absolutely no evidence, I was charged with voter fraud and bound over for trial.

This attack was intended to stop the community’s recall election from going forward. In a hearing to determine if there was evidence to take me to trial, Mark Goff, a forensic document examiner with the Michigan State Police testified that changes to the election petitions were made with different ink, but he could not determine who made the changes, when they were made or whether the person who signed the petition changed it.

His testimony provided no evidence against me; however, Judge Sterling Schrock, Judge Charlie LaSata and Prosecutor Mike Sepic all stated that you do not need evidence to go to trial in Michigan. The government is counting on an all-white jury, which may be motivated by something other than the truth, to convict me.

Within this dictatorial political environment, the Benton Harbor community exercised their democratic right to recall the Whirlpool-allied mayor. With absolutely no evidence, I was charged with voter fraud and bound over for trial.

Soon after, in a momentary victory for the people, Judge John DeWane ruled that the contested mayoral recall election should be placed on the November ballot – upon the First Amendment’s political core freedom of speech. The issue boiled down to admitting 21 duplicate signatures that had been invalidated based upon faulty practice by the Berrien County Clerk’s Office.

Attorney John LaPietra stated that the Berrien County clerk, armed with $20,000 in funding from the County Board, appealed that ruling with support from two major law firms and the Attorney General’s Office, representing the Secretary of State and the Board of Elections.

The Court of Appeals reversed Judge John DeWane’s favorable ruling, and it was essentially upheld by the state’s Supreme Court. This scenario once again shows the unity of government and corporations.

Democracy has been stolen from the people. Water rights have been stolen. Poverty is growing. We the people have nothing in common with the billionaires, their corporations and their government. We must stand together.

Nobody in the world has ever gotten anything by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them. We must stand together and fight back.

Nobody in the world has ever gotten anything by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them. We must stand together and fight back.

Rev. Edward Pinkney can be reached at banco9342@sbcglobal.net, 269-925-0001 or Rev Pinkney, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022. Donations are needed and welcome; mail your check or money order or donate online at bhbanco.org. BHBANCO stands for Benton Harbor Black Autonomy Network Community Organization. Sign the petition HERE. Listen to the Pinkney to Pinkney show every Sunday at 5 p.m. ET on blogtalkradio.com.

Rev. Pinkney Arrested AGAIN – Reactions

Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney on the persecution of Rev. Pinkney: “Why is the Congressional Black Caucus silent on the persecution of Benton Harbor leader, Rev. Edward Pinkney, who is being maliciously prosecuted AGAIN? What has happened up there in D.C. to eliminate all heart, backbone and guts? What’s left without that?”

Civil rights attorney Hugh “Buck” Davis: “What’s really happening to the people of Benton Harbor: The thrust (of the Berrien County Courthouse) is to physically remove and destroy families through the use of the criminal justice system. Every person they can put in jail, every person whose voting rights they can revoke with a felony conviction, every person they can cause to lose their job by putting them on probation, every person they can cause to lose the ability to pay for basic necessities through imposing ruinous court costs and probation is all part of the process.

“In the 1960s, it was called Negro removal. In Bosnia, it was called ethnic cleansing. It could be called genocide, the removal of the minority population for the purpose of redevelopment of the land. That’s what’s happening in Benton Harbor and the foremost leader of the resistance is Rev. Edward Pinkney.”

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