Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007

Jury returns guilty verdict in Pinkney trial

Pinkney's sentencing is May 14, 2007, at 1:30 p.m. Between now and then, all fair-minded individuals, particularly those who have had the privilege to meet Reverend Pinkney or follow his work, should write letters of support.

THEY SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO: The Honorable Alfred M. Butzbaugh, Berrien County Circuit Court, 811 Port Street, St. Joseph, Michigan, 49085-1187, regarding the case of People v. Reverend Edward Pinkney.

BUT THEY SHOULD BE SENT TO: Hugh M. Davis, Constitutional Litigation Associates, P.C., 450 West Fort Street, Suite 200, Detroit, Michigan, 48226. Phone: 313-961-2255; Fax: 313-961-5999; email:

B A N C O: Analysis of Pinkney Trial and the Movement Ahead

On March 21, 2007 (when day and night are equal), justice in Berrien County, Michigan, took a big step backwards into the darkness of fear and bigotry when an all-white jury convicted a black community activist, Reverend Edward Pinkney, of five counts of improprieties in connection with a 2005 recall election involving the City of Benton Harbor's most powerful commissioner.

The facts and the history are stark. Benton Harbor is ninety-four percent (94%) black, ninety percent (90%) poor and seventy percent (70%) unemployed. It is directly across the river from affluent and practically all-white St. Joseph, Michigan, the world headquarters of the Whirlpool Corporation. Benton Harbor is still the largest city in the county and was once the site of most of the county's governmental functions, including the Federal building. But, as industrial stagnation and flight increasingly gripped the area and the St. Joseph/Lake Michigan coastline was increasingly dominated by the tourist economy, Benton Harbor has been systematically drained of any economic vitality. Its citizens are unwelcome in other parts of the county and the criminal justice system operates to arrest, imprison, intimidate, control and marginalize them. Benton Harbor's governmental and educational institutions are characterized by infighting and petty corruption.

The City festered in that condition until the summer of 2003, when the police killing of a young black man erupted into a short and destructive outburst of rebellious anger. Pinkney helped keep the peace. Public officials poured in to deplore Benton Harbor's conditions and promised that something would be done. Nothing was. Progressive and radical organizations also went to Benton Harbor and linked up with the local community.

The Reverend Edward Pinkney, working in cooperation with his wife, Dorothy, had affiliated with BANCO (Black Autonomy Network of Community Organizations) and had meetings in Benton Harbor. By the time of the 2003 rebellion, Pinkney was publicly identified as the leader of the disadvantaged and dissident community in Benton Harbor, based in large part on his daily presence at the Berrien County courthouse. He exposed what he saw as the inherent racism of the criminal justice system and the willful inadequacy of the defense provided to the poor (mostly) black defendants. Pinkney picketed the courthouse and the local newspaper, openly naming individuals he believed to be involved in corrupt and racist practices.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Detroit Schools to remain open - but for how long

After narrowly defeating the plan to close 26 Detroit schools on Friday, one school board member may change his vote at the next school board meeting, to be held in two weeks.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Resolution on Elaine Brown Candidacy

Passed by consensus at the Detroit Green Party meeting 3-15-06


Both the Democrats and Republican presidential candidates are busy campaigning, raising funds. The dates of primaries are being manipulated to better lull the population to sleep.

We also know that Green candidates for office have been induced, cajoled and threatened so that they don’t run for office as a Green. The more that is at stake with a candidate, the greater the chances for threats.

We recognize that it is possible for a better candidate to come along and our support is not binding on Detroit delegates to next year’s nominating convention.


The Detroit Green Party welcomes the candidacy of Elaine Brown as the most high profile, qualified Green presidential candidate as of this date. We, of course, encourage all qualified Green candidates to run.

In order to counter the inevitable pressure on Elaine Brown not to run, the Detroit Green Party announces it support to her candidacy for the Green Party presidential nomination. The Detroit Green Party will send a contribution to her campaign [after determining what we can do legally] and urges other locals and state parties to support her as the best candidate now for the Green Party nomination in 2008.

Elaine Brown Official Website

Hip-Hop, Mass Media and 21st Century Colonization

Jared A. Ball, Ph.D, Green Institute Communications Fellow

Given the societal need and function of mass media and popular culture, all that is popular is fraudulent. Popularity is in almost every case an intentionally constructed fabrication of what it claims to represent. Too few who comment on the lamentable condition of today's popular hip-hop seem to grasp this, the political nature of the nation's media system, nor the political function that system serves. Hip-hop is often taken out of the existing context of political struggle, repression, or the primacy of a domestic/neo-colonialism in the service of which mass media play a (the?) leading role. Media, often incorrectly defined by their technologies, are the primary conduits of ideology or worldview and must be seen as such. Therefore, their highly consolidated ownership and content management structure (corporate interlocking boards of directors, advertisers, stockholders, etc.) cannot be understood absent their ability to disseminate a consciousness they themselves sanction and mass produce. Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrable than in hip-hop.

The full article is at

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Thousands march in DC to protest war

Water rate increase passes

While the Detroit City council passed a rate increase, the Water Affordability Plan supported by Greens and others was underfunded by 50%, getting only 2.5 instead of $5 Million. It appears that a 30 day amnesty period and a reduction in the increase to Detroit residents swayed the council who had rejected the plan twice previously.

UPDATE: From the Michigan Citizen: "A treacherous stab in the back," said Michigan Welfare Rights Organization leader Maureen Taylor. More here.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Detroiters heading to D.C. this weekend

Bus Info:
Cost: $75
To reserve a seat:
Call 313-680-5508

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Jacob Corvidae is blogging

Jacob Corvidae, the Green Programs Manager for WARM Training Center and co-founder of Sustainable Detroit is guest blogging on metromedia this week.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sunday, March 04, 2007

After Primaries, 10 Wisconsin Greens on the Ballot

Wisconsin Green Party

February 21, 2007

Ruth Weill, Co-chair, Wisconsin Green Party, 414-350-2107
Ron Hardy, Co-chair, Wisconsin Green Party, 920-230-3741, cell 920-292-8129

Five of six Greens make it through primaries, will join five others in April general elections

MADISON, WI -- On February 20th, five out of six Green candidates gained enough votes to be on the ballot this April. These will join three other Green Party Madison city council candidates - Robbie Webber (I), Brenda Konkel (I), and Lauren Woods - as well as Lynn Utesch (Pierce Town Board) and Bob Ryan (Clay Banks Town Chair), in appearing on the April ballot.

Pete Karas, running for 9th District Alderperson of the Racine Common Council, received 49.8 percent of the vote. Pete was first elected to the Common Council in 2003. A member of the Racine-Kenosha Green Party, Karas was an outspoken critic of last year's conceal carry gun legislation that was eventually defeated. He is a leader of the Bright Public Power Initiative that sought to establish a publicly owned, publicly run, non-profit electrical utility in Racine. He also fought to stop the building of new coal-fired plants in the area, although unsuccessfully. Pete faced 2 challengers in the primary.

Larry Harding, who is running for Town Chairperson in the Town of Somers, received 34% of the vote, coming in second out of four candidates. Harding is a member of the Racine-Kenosha Green Party, and was a Town Board Supervisor from 2000 to 2006. In 2006, he challenged Republican Samantha Kerkman for State Assembly in District 66, earning over 20% of the vote.

Marsha Rummel is running for Madison Common Council, District 6. She came in first out of four candidates, receiving 68% of the vote. Rummel has been active in progressive third party politics since 1984. She is the president of her neighborhood association, and a strong supporter of neighborhood identity and historic preservation. Her top issues include living wage jobs, east side diversity, preserving and restoring water quality, and neighborhood strength. She is a longtime member of the Four Lakes Green Party, and was also endorsed by Progressive Dane, Sierra Club, Affordable Housing Action Alliance, and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance of Dane County.

"I've been active for years in the neighborhood and in local politics, and it pays off," said Rummel. "I'm honored to be a Green Party candidate, and I'll do a great job representing our values."

Satya Rhodes Conway, running for Madison Common Council, District 12, received 33% in the primary, putting her second in a four-way race. Satya's top issues are accessible government, public transportation, neighborhood-based policing, and water quality. Since 2005, Satya has served as Senior Associate at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, working on state and local energy policy for the Apollo Alliance, and with the New Cities Project, which brings together mayors from across the country to discuss progressive urban policy.

Tony Palmeri came in second in a field of 7 candidates for 3 at-large seats on the Oshkosh Common Council. The Oshkosh Northwestern noted that these seven were the strongest field of candidates in a long time. Palmeri is a professor of Communication Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and a member of the Lake Winnebago Green Party. He has been a watchdog in regards to open meetings laws, and in 2006 he challenged the Oshkosh Common Council on this issue. He ran for state Assembly in 2004 and got 9% in a hotly contested 4-way race.

"The results tonight are a victory for open government, which is one of the core Green values," said Palmeri.

Leon Todd ran for Milwaukee School Board District 3. He came in third, receiving 24% of the votes cast. He was the Wisconsin Green Party's candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 2006. He served on the Milwaukee School Board for a number of years in the past.

For more information visit

Pete Karas

Larry Harding

Marsha Rummel

Satya Rhodes Conway

Tony Palmeri

Please consider supporting these candidates by donating to the

Wisconsin Green Party
P.O. Box 1701 Madison, WI 53701

or online here.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Poletown Lives!

George Corsetti, Detroit Green and filmmaker writes:

Poletown Lives!, a film about the forced relocation of 3,500 people in central Detroit to make way for a Cadillac plant will be show on Saturday, March 3rd at 7:00 pm at MOCAD, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit at 4454 Woodward, across from the Whitney restaurant. There will be a discussion following the film.

This is part of the Shrinking Cities Exhibit a project by Germany's Federal Cultural Foundation, the Kulturstiftung des Bundes. Shrinking Cities explores a form of urban development that has become a global phenomenon. Starting in 2002, local teams were commissioned in Detroit (USA), Manchester/Liverpool (Britain), Ivanovo (Russia), and Halle/Leipzig (Germany) to investigate and document processes of urban shrinking. In more than fifty exhibition contributions, artists, architects, filmmakers, journalists, culture experts, and sociologists reveal and illuminate the changing realities of these cities. For more information,