Monday, April 23, 2007

Coming to Your Neighborhood: Climate Change

Public Forum on Climate Change In Detroit this Thursday

Coming to Your Neighborhood: Climate Change

Thursday, April 26, 2007 7- 9 p.m.
Mexicantown Fiesta Center
4114 W. Vernor in Southwest Detroit
(take I-75 to Clark St, past Clark Park, turn right on W. Vernor)

Join us for an evening of information, discussion, and alternatives, with

* Kathryn Savoie, Environmental Program Director, ACCESS, presenting a short version of Al Gore's slide show on global warming

* Maureen Taylor, Chair, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, talking about access to water and our water rights

* Donele Wilkins, Executive Director, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, discussing how the effects of global warming disproportionately impact the African-American community

Flyer available at

Sponsored by Detroit Green Party & Detroit Solidarity

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day!

Find out how to reduce your impact on the planet at:


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ralph Nader on film and in person in Detroit on Thursday

Ralph Nader is speaking at the Detroit Institute of Arts on Thursday, April 19. He will talk and then field questions from the audience following the Detroit premiere of the documentary about his life, An Unreasonable Man. Click here to watch a quick preview . See below for full list of show times and how to lend us some much-needed help.

Here is what the critics are saying...

"Grade A! Thrilling, haunting, perceptive and beautifully made."

–Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

"Excellent! An Unreasonable Man is, like The Fog of War, one of those opportunities to step back, take a breath, and remember the seething power of recent history."

-David Poland, Movie City News

An Unreasonable Man taps rare archival footage and more than forty diverse interviews to paint a complex portrait about the storied career of Ralph Nader. This two-hour film (which has garnered wide critical acclaim in recent weeks) uses Nader's harshest critics and most eloquent supporters to create a compelling and inspirational interpretation of Nader's life and of our times. Movie information, a preview, and downloadable flyers are available on the website .

An Unreasonable Man plays at the Detroit Institute of Arts, located at 5200 Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Advanced tickets, show times, and theater information are available online or by phone at (313) 833-3237.

Show times :

Thursday, April 19: 7:30 pm (Discussion with Ralph Nader to follow)

Friday, April 20 + Saturday, April 21: 9:30 pm.

An Unreasonable Man will open in Grand Rapids, MI at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts on April 27.

How to help:

Promoting the event is a major grassroots effort and we need many committed volunteers to make it successful by:

* Getting your friends to come

* Flyering events

* Postering campuses/communities

Can you help us out?

Contact Aaron Wodin-Schwartz at .
Please Forward Widely

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Step It Up 2007

[Robert Wicke posted this listing of Step It Up events in SE MI this Saturday]

Bill McKibben's Step It Up is a campaign with the ultimate goal of 80% carbon emissions reduction by 2050. The web site <> was started by McKibben and I think 6 college students working at $100/wk, with the short range goal of achieving maybe 100 actions regarding global warming by April 14. Now, a short time after putting it up, there are well over 1200 planned. Those in Michigan amount to about 40. They are listed at <> A handful are listed here:

Belle Isle Walk

Detroit, MI

April 14, 2007 12:00PM to 02:00PM
Event Description:

A Walk on Climate at Belle Isle, Detroit. No program, just a walk with signs and the banner.
Begin at Fountain Drive, to Casino Way to Central Ave to Muse Road to
Loiter Way to Vista Drive to Strand, then turn around and reverse
Belle Isle Fountain Drive
E. Jefferson to Belle Isle RSVP: <>

Earth Circle
Detroit, MI

April 14, 2007 12:00PM to 06:00PM
Event Description:
Swords into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery presents "Earth Circle: An Event to Honor Our Earth, Our Home, and Our Hearts" on Saturday, April 14th, from 1 2pm-6pm. Join us in community to celebrate and connect to the Earth. Experience two uplifting concerts, ponder and discuss the meaning of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth", offer hope to the interactive art exhibit "Ark of Hope", and play in a drum circle. All ages are welcome at this free event (donations are welcome). Light refreshments will be provided. At noon on the second floor of Central United Methodist Church, on the south east corner of Woodward and E. Adams, Chris Schleuder will play his acoustic guitar. Chris is an up and coming musician from Kalamazoo and his poetic and peaceful lyrics are sure to light the way for a meaningful afternoon. The Grammy Award winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" about global warming will be shown from 1 2:30 to 2:00pm. After the movie, Kathryn Savoie, the environmental program director at ACCESS will lead discussion about what each person can do to solve global warming. She is one of fifty people trained by Al Gore as part of the Climate Project; a grassroots educational effort associated with the documentary. Joe Reilly, a Michigan based singer, songwriter, guitarist, activist and environmental educator, will energize us^'musical messages of hope and peace. His background in the study and performance of many different musical styles, including Native American music, folk, blues, jazz, liturgical, and classical, as well as his academic studies of environmental justice and racism and spiritual roots in Catholicism and Native American religions has led to a writing style that incorporates these diverse influences into a unique and powerful voice. With the help of the Immaculate Heart of Mary sisters, the Ark of Hope will be the focal point of the second half of the afternoon. We will add our own individual art to the Temenos books, hand Grafted pages providing images and words for global healing, peace, and gratitude that the Ark houses. The Ark of Hope was created in 2001 by artist Sally Linder and cabinet maker Kevin Jennes. Beautifully designed and Grafted this wooden chest was created as a place of refuge for the Earth Charter document, an international peoples treaty for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. The Ark has taken on a life of pilgrimage, traveling the globe as a focus of education, dialogue, and commitment to the future of the Earth. Lori Fithian, drum circle facilitator from Ann Arbor, will rouse us into a high energy, fun drum circle in Grand Circus Park. Lori has studied many different drumming traditions as well as drum circle facilitation techniques with guru Arthur Hall, and has been facilitating "drummunity", a word she invented, for the past five years. Bring a drum if you have one, but if not, don't worry, there will be plenty available! There will be educational booths with environmental organizations, inter-generational arts and crafts, light refreshments and a chance to buy some music from musicians, Earth friendly t-shirts, and gifts from the Peace Center/Gallery gift shop.
Swords into Plowshares Peace Center 33 East Adams Detroit, MI 48226
Southeast corner of Woodward and E. Adams in Detroit, near Comerica Park.

Questions? Email the Host

stop the dream cruise
Beverly Hills, MI

April 14, 2007 12:00PM to 03:00PM
Event Description:
For over a decade, thousands of vintage cars have spewed CO2 up and down Detroit's suburban Woodward Avenue corridor each August. What began as a one-day event is now officially 3 days, and unofficially 2 weeks. It is logistic gridlock for personal and commercial drivers along its 15 mile route; retail death for merchants other than party stores; expensive for the bordering municipalities; and a global warming nightmare for the Detroit region. We will meet for a counter-cruise think tank and spend a few hours planting trees and native plants, or pulling invasives, while we plan to mount an offensive on a nostalgic idea which needs to turn into a memory. There is a extensive playground for children.
Beverly Park Beverly Road at Norchester
Take Southfield Rd to 13 1/2 Mile Road which is Beverly Road; go west on Beverly 1/3 mile; turn left into Beverly Park parking lot. Meet at pavillion. Bring picnic lunch if you wish between noon and 1 pm; work will begin at 1 pm. Garden gloves, trowels, small shovels, garbage bags will be needed.

Questions? Email the Host

Ann Arbor and UofM Step It Up!

Ann Arbor, MI

April 14, 2007 12:00PM to 02:00PM
Event Description:
NEW LOCATION!! Gather on the INGALLS MALL by the BURTON MEMORIAL TOWER on the University of Michigan campus.
North University - between Hill Auditorium and the Michigan League.
230 S. Ingalls is not an actual street - it is the mall between the Modern Language Building (corner of Washington and Thayer) and the Michigan League.

Questions? Email the Host

There are 36 other Michigan events listed at <> (RSVP forms with all, including those listed here, at the given URLs)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Not One Penny More for the War!

Tell Bush and the Democrats…

Not One Penny More for the War !


Friday – April 13 – 5 PM

Hart Plaza, Detroit (Woodward Ave. at Jefferson Ave.)

The Democrats vote to pay over a hundred billion dollars more for the war with only “suggested withdrawal dates.” Bush threatens to veto the bill for even suggesting the US get the troops out.

We need to send the message once again –


Not a penny more to continue this criminal war. Not another death of Iraqis or US soldiers to profit the oil companies. Michigan’s state budget is in crisis and Detroit is closing schools. We need MONEY FOR SOCIAL PROGRAMS – NOT FOR WAR!

sponsored by: Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice


leaflet available at

Monday, April 09, 2007

'Detroit' water experts rake in $9.3M

I'm curious why the adjective Detroit was used in describing these 'experts' who took in over 9 million dollars of our money. Over 8 million went to a firm in Maryland!

Sounds like another example of Detroit and its suburban water customers being taken for a ride.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Up South, All White, Confused and Scared

By Ted Glick

One year ago a Berrien County, Michigan jury was unable to reach a verdict in a "voting fraud" trial in western Michigan of Rev. Edward Pinkney, a leader in the struggle for jobs, housing, good schools and justice in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Benton Harbor, a town of about 11,000 people, over 90% black and overwhelmingly poor, burst onto the national scene in 2003 when its young people rose up in response to a series of local police killings and beatings.

Apparently, from a police/prosecutor/power structure standpoint, the problem with last year's trial was that there were too many blacks on the jury. Two, to be exact. So last month, in March of 2007, when they re-tried Rev. Pinkney for the second time, they made sure to correct that problem. This time every single person on the jury was white.

And it worked. This time Rev. Pinkney was convicted on five counts of improprieties in connection with a successful 2005 recall election involving the City of Benton Harbor's most powerful commissioner, Glen Yarbrough. Pinkney is now under house arrest, awaiting sentencing scheduled for May 14th. He is facing 20 years.

Three of the five charges, each with a potential five years in prison, were for "handling" an absentee ballot. Pinkney was also charged with paying people $5.00 to vote a certain way in the 2005 election. What he actually did was to ask a local woman, Brenda Fox, a drug-user and prostitute who Pinkney has helped in the past, to recruit 10-15 community people to pass out leaflets in return for $5.00, a completely legal practice.

Brenda Fox turned out to be the prosecution's primary witness. She "agreed" to do this after being taken into the local police station for "questioning" following the 2005 election. During the trial, under cross-examination by Pinkney lawyer Elliot Hall, former counsel to the Detroit NAACP, Fox broke down completely on the stand, began crying and could not go on.

Back in 2005, a young man named Mancel Williams made a tape recording before City Commissioner Etta Harper saying that Yarbrough, the recalled City Commissioner, had paid him $10.00 to claim that Pinkney had paid him $5.00. This recording was turned over to the police, but nothing was ever done about it.

The all white jury, in the opinion of those who were there, was clearly intimidated by the large number of Pinkney supporters in the courtroom and around the courthouse, most of whom were obviously poor. Midway through the trial the judge locked the courtroom to spectators, who could only come in before the session began or on break. Security was increasingly beefed up.

All of this and more led to the conclusion desired by the local power structure, a power structure which includes the Whirlpool Corporation whose world headquarters is across the river in overwhelmingly white St. Joseph, Michigan. City Commissioner Yarbrough, back in office after his recall was overturned by a George Bush-nominated local judge, is the primary backer of Whirlpool's efforts to take 465 acres of riverfront Benton Harbor to build a half a billion dollar marina/residential/golf course complex, Harbor Shores.

As stated in a document produced by Rev. Pinkney and his supporters after the trial, "These jurors were ordinary working class and middle class whites, themselves on the edge of economic insecurity. As the economy of Berrien County continues to decline, they needed to believe that what has happened to Benton Harbor will not happen to them. They needed to believe that what is good for Whirlpool is good for them. They needed to believe that somehow the 'Harbor Shores' development for rich people from somewhere else will be good for them. They failed to understand that they are one layoff, one injury or one illness from needing the same social services as the people in Benton Harbor. They failed to understand that the campaign for universal health care, education, productive jobs, limited development, protection of the environment, etc., can only be achieved when they unite around the protection of the poorest and most dispossessed, as opposed to running away from the obvious horror of life in Benton Harbor."

*Progressives around the country are needed NOW to take action on this case. It is critical that people write letters to the judge who will be sentencing Rev. Pinkney next month.* Letters should be respectful but should address the all white jury issue, the importance of protecting free speech, the fact that any time in prison would be an injustice for someone like this courageous and principled man.

Letters should be addressed to The Honorable Alfred M. Butzbaugh, Berrien County Circuit Court, 811 Port St., St. Joseph, Mi. 49085-1187, BUT they should be SENT TO: Hugh M. Davis, Constitutional Litigation Associates, P.C., 450 W. Fort St., Su. 200, Detroit, Mi. 48226. The phone number is 313-961-2255; the fax is 313-961-5999; and the email is

Contributions are also urgently needed for the appeals which are being prepared. They can be sent to BANCO, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, Mi. 49022. Rev. Pinkney can be contacted directly at 269-925-0001. And more information can be found at

We cannot forget Benton Harbor.

Ted Glick is active with the Climate Crisis Coalition and the Independent Progressive Politics Network. His Future Hope columns are archived at He can be reached at

Sunday, April 01, 2007

GPUS Planning for 2008

Gregg Jocoy, blogging at Green News and Opinion, has posted the remarks of GPUS Political Director Brent McMillan. His comments on the state of affairs and future direction of the national party were made at a strategic planning retreat held in California in late February. Cynthia McKinney also attended the retreat.

Gregg titled his posting with 'If you're Green, you need to read this!' I have to agree.