Saturday, December 29, 2007

Elaine Brown Withdraws as Green Party Presidential Candidate

[Very unfortunate news from the Brown campaign]


Renounces Green Party Membership

For Immediate Release

Brunswick, Georgia,
December 28, 2007


As of today, I am no longer a candidate for the Green Party nomination for president of the United States, and I hereby resign from all affiliation with the Green Party. I believe the leadership of the Green Party of the United States has been seized by neo-liberal men who entrench the Party in internecine antagonisms so as to compromise its stated principles and frustrate its electoral and other goals. They have made it impossible to advance any truly progressive ideals or objectives under the umbrella of the Green Party, and, thus, rendered it counterproductive for me to go forward as a Green Party candidate or member.

continued here.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Greens support public housing residents facing New Orleans Council demolition, condemn police brutality against protesters

Green Party leaders strongly condemned the actions of New Orleans police against protesters who opposed the New Orleans City Council's vote to demolish public housing.

Police used pepper spray and extremely dangerous stun guns against those attempting to enter Council chamber on Thursday, December 20. The Council is acting in cooperation with plans by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to replace the public housing units with new mixed-income housing, which would result in the eviction of tenants, nearly all of them African American, from their homes without any further plan to house most of them.

"By choosing to destroy existing structures instead of renovating them for the current residents, Council surrendered to a long-range effort to displace New Orleans' working class African American population," said Alfred Molison, , co-chair of the Green Party's Black Caucus and a Texas Green. "New Orleans politicians are cooperating with the Bush Administration's plan to exploit the Katrina disaster in order to reduce drastically the amount of low-cost housing in the city."

The vote eliminates 4,500 apartments in the city's four biggest public housing projects. Opponents of the demolition, including the Coalition to Stop the Demolition, have documented how past redevelopment efforts in the wake of Katrina have excluded public housing and other low-income residents. The Coalition has called for national support for public housing residents and the protesters.

more at:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rev. Pinkney jailed for criticizing judge.

Issued by Global Women's Strike, Women of Color in the GWS, and Payday men’s network. 215-848-1120 or 323-646-1269

Stop Press… Stop Press … Stop Press… Stop Press… Stop Press…

Black Community Leader of Benton Harbor, Michigan Jailed for Criticizing Judge

In the latest unbelievable outrage against Black low-income residents of Benton Harbor, MI, community leader Rev. Edward Pinkney, who has been under house arrest since he was falsely convicted by an all-white jury of election fraud, has been jailed without the immediate option of bail for criticizing the judge who sentenced him.

This persecution follows a successful campaign he led to recall a city commissioner considered corrupt and in the pockets of developers. He is now on a hunger strike until all this is resolved.

On December 14 at approximately 1:30 pm, the Sheriff's Department in Berrien County, Michigan arrested Rev. Pinkney and took him to the jail in St. Joseph. The sheriff also seized Rev. Pinkney's computer.

Background: Benton Harbor is 94% Black with an average income of $8,000/year. Rev. Pinkney and others in BANCO (the Black Autonomy Network of Community Organizations) regularly monitored courthouse proceedings, named those involved in corrupt and racist practices and opposed rampant police brutality particularly following the death of a Black teenager.

When the CEO of Whirlpool (HQ in Benton Harbor) announced a “development plan” for 465 riverfront acres in Benton Harbor, BANCO’s leader Rev. Pinkney was outspoken in opposition to this land grab. BANCO succeeded in having a City Commissioner recalled for being in the pocket of Whirlpool (though he was later reinstated).

But with so much money riding on it, the power elite attempted to criminalize Rev. Pinkney, accusing him of electoral fraud. Without either evidence or credible witnesses for the prosecution, an all-white jury found him guilty. Grassroots action succeeded in getting a possible 20-year sentence reduced to one year in jail and 5 yrs probation.

Until Friday, Rev. Pinkney was under house arrest – having to pay $84/week for the court tether he was required to wear in order to avoid serving time in jail. He was the only one under house arrest in Michigan who was being monitored by satellite.

Mrs. Dorothy Pinkney, wife and fellow campaigner for justice, reports that the sheriff's deputies presented a bench warrant to arrest the Reverend for violating the 15th condition of his probation (which she said they were totally unaware of) by being quoted in the Peoples Tribune newspaper as follows:

”The corruption and the deceitfulness continues in Berrien County Courthouse. Judge Butzbaugh has violated his oath. I support the constitution of the United States and the State of Michigan; we are still waiting on this racist corrupt judge to do the same. Judge Butzbaugh has failed the people, the community, his duties and his office."

What about Rev. Pinkney’s right to free speech under the Constitution? And why have they seized his computer? Have the sheriffs of Berrien County, Michigan nothing better to do than to persecute Rev. Pinkney? No violent crimes to solve, no rapists to catch, no people to protect?

The police examining Rev. Pinkney’s computer will find he and BANCO have supporters all over the world. For example, a delegation from the Global Women's Strike representing South America, Europe and the Caribbean visited Rev. and Mrs. Pinkney in mid-November, and are committed to gathering global support for him. “Benton Harbor’s struggle against racism and to survive in their own home city is our struggle,” they said.

Legal abuse and persecution of Afro-Americans in the Jim Crow South is flourishing in Michigan. We must not stand by while the white elite of Berrien County attempt again to silence a man whose only ‘crime’ is to be the voice of Benton Harbor’s Black community, calling out the racism and
corruption of local government, police and courts.

ACT NOW. Demand Rev. Pinkney’s immediate release!

Demand that all charges be dropped against him and that he be released from house arrest!

1) Call or write with your objections
Call the Sheriff’s Dept, Berrien County Michigan and inquire about Rev. Pinkney’s well-being.

Sheriff Paul Bailey
Berrien County Sheriff’s Department
919 Port Street
St. Joseph, MI 49085
(269) 983-7141

Copy Letters 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:

2) Demand Rev. Pinkney’s pardon and immediate release.

Gov. Granholm has the ability to pardon Pinkney or commute his sentence.

All individuals and organizations are urged to immediately write letters or post cards DEMANDING his pardon.

Governor Granholm
P. O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909
517-335-7858 (call may not be recorded)

3) Send donations to BANCO
Legal Fee Donations (non-profit so it's tax-deductible):
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

4) Write to the Editor of the main newspaper of Benton Harbor/St Joseph and say what you think of this outrage against freedom of speech.

Herald Palladium Newspaper (letters to the editor)
P.O. Box 128
St. Joseph, Michigan 49085

5) Support Rev. Pinkney and Sign the Petition:

6) Boycott Whirlpool and its subsidiaries, and spread the word: Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Gladiator, GarageWorks, Inglis, Estate, Roper, Magic Chef, Acros, Supermatic. ABROAD-Bauknecht, Brastemp, Consul, Eslabon de Lujo.

Let Whirlpool know that’s what you’re doing:
Whirlpool Corp. (World Headquarters and N. America Region)
2000 N. M-63
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022-2692
Tel: 269-923-5000

7) Demand an immediate investigation into this injustice. Contact:

The Congressional Black Caucus. Phone 202-226-9776, mail to 2264 Rayburn
House Office Bldg, Washington, DC 20515.

Your Congressional Representative. For phone number and address call

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

8) Send us your statements of support and we will compile them and put them on the website.

Statement from Women of Color in the Global Women's Strike We call on all people of conscience, those who love justice, to take immediate action against this ongoing outrage. In the aftermath of the great electoral frauds of 2000 and 2004, Rev. Pinkney stands as an example of the power of the people to demand accountability from politicians and use of the electoral process as it was intended.

His ‘crime’ is that he is refusing to bow down to illegitimate and corrupt power, but is instead tireless in the service of the community. Send a message to the body politic. Contact your elected representatives.

Let them know we are watching them. Let them know you demand both an electoral system and elected politicians who serve the people. Call Sheriff Paul Bailey and inquire about Rev. Pinkney's wellbeing.

Signed Women of Color in the Global Women's Strike/ Bay Area San Francisco;
Los Angeles; Philadelphia; England; Guyana; India (Chhattisgarh); Mexico;
Peru; Uganda; Venezuela. email:

UPDATE: Dec-21-07 Rev. Pinkney went before Judge Butzbaugh in Benton Harbor yesterday. The judge dropped trying to claim that Rev. Pinkney violated his probation by writing an article calling the judge corrupt and a KKKer. But the judge then ruled that those same words constituted a "threat to the judge and his family" and SENTENCED REV. PINKNEY TO ONE YEAR IN PRISON! Rev. Pinkney was then taken to jail to start serving the year. This will be appealed. If you haven't already, please contact Governor Granholm to demand that Constitutional rights be restored in Berrien County and that Rev. Pinkney be set free. DONATIONS ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED - send checks to BANCO, 1940 Union Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

An Unreasonable Man?

In case you missed it at the Detroit Film Theater earlier this year, PBS Channel 56 will be showing the film, 'An Unreasonable Man', a documentary about Ralph Nader on Tuesday evening at 10pm.

I'm reminded of my experience at the DFT showing. I was handing out Green Party flyers before the film and when I entered, I took a seat near the front of the theater, unable to locate Priscilla and Maureen who were saving a seat for me. It turned out I was a few rows in front of a clueless Democrat party apparatchik who made illogical and false claims about Nader. I tried to keep my mouth shut but let out a few 'told you so's' when the film debunked his remarks. At the end of the film he made a statement about Nader not having any foreign policy positions. Well, Ralph himself was at the screening and took some questions from the audience. The first question was on the Middle East. Nader made a extensive analysis of the situation and US involvement in support of Israel. When he was finished, I turned and remarked 'how's that for foreign policy?' All I got in return was an insult to my emotional intelligence. Go figure.

See the film, I give it a thumbs up!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Elaine Brown Campaign Statement




As a former leader of the Black Panther
Party, a Green Party candidate for mayor of
Brunswick, Georgia (2005), an author and college
lecturer, a community organizer—as co-founder of
Mothers Advocating Juvenile Justice and the
National Alliance for Radical Prison Reform, and
a local leader of the “No on One” campaign
(advocating same gender partnership rights)
(Atlanta, 1997-2004)—and as executive director of
the Michael Lewis (“Little B”) Legal Defense
Committee, an activist in the campaigns to free
political prisoners Imam Jamil Al-Amin, Chip
Fitzgerald and Siddique Hasan, and simply as a
black woman from the ghetto (Philadelphia), I
have a long history and significant credentials
in the struggle for social, political and
economic justice in the United States.

In the absence of a national progressive
movement toward the institution of fundamental
change in the United States, I believe a ballot
cast for a Green Party candidate or issue
represents the most significant instrument for
change available for the Marginalized
Millions—black people, brown people, other people
of color, poor working people, those languishing
in prison, those without decent housing or health
care and all the other oppressed people trying to
survive at the bottom of life in the most
powerful nation in the world. That is, change
will not be e-mailed, rapped in a CD or YouTubed.
To paraphrase Malcolm X, for the masses of
disenfranchised and disaffected millions in
America, the ballot is the bullet!

It is my intention to use my presidential
campaign to galvanize the non-voting Marginalized
Millions to seize the ballot of the Green Party
toward their self-empowerment. The Green Party,
too, must seize this moment of national malaise
and disillusion to come out of the morass of
being a repository for disgruntled Democrats and
open the Party’s doors to the non-voting millions
so as to actively and powerfully challenge the
status quo and become an effective force in the
national political arena. I believe I am a
catalyst the Green Party can use for this
necessary transition.

Beyond a call for the immediate,
unconditional and complete withdrawal of U.S.
troops and war machinery from Iraq and
Afghanistan, my platform focuses on the repeal of
the “three-strikes” crime laws across the nation.
No other domestic issue is more urgent for black
people, brown people, poor people. This
Clinton-promulgated law (1994) and its progeny
caused the doubling of America’s prison
population in the ten years since passage. The
result is, over two million people are presently
incarcerated in America, with five million more
on parole or probation, with families
representing millions more affected by their
incarceration, and millions of formerly
incarcerated people. In general, this mass
incarceration—distinguishing the U.S. as the
country with the highest incarceration rate in
the world!—has devastated black, brown and poor
communities, further impoverishing them and
destroying familial foundations. In addition, the
“three-strikes” crime laws overturned the
100-year-old juvenile justice system, allowing
for the inhumane housing of children in adult
prisons, in violation of the U.N. Convention on
the Rights of the Child. Finally, it has
generated a nefarious economic scheme of
financial gain for private prison profiteers.—For
blacks, this has been particularly oppressive,
given that 50% of prisoners are black, as
compared to 13% of the population, reflecting the
ongoing, institutionalization of racism in
America.—This criminalization and mass
incarceration of the poor, when compared to the
glorification of mass murder in Iraq and
elsewhere, demonstrates that in the United
States, crime is a political question. This law,
as it exists around the nation, particularly in
California where prison overcrowding has rendered
the state facilities gulags, must be repealed!

My platform, then, is one that urges
humanizing this society, as follows, a program
that can be easily supported by the immediate
transfer of the billions of dollars spent on
war—one trillion dollars last year alone:

1. Repeal of the “three-strikes” crime laws,
restoring a juvenile justice system, funding
programs of education and rehabilitation for
those incarcerated and transitional housing and
employment for those released, and restoring
voting and other civil rights to prisoners and
former prisoners.

2. Full and free health care for everyone, as
exists in most civilized countries.

3. Complete and free primary, secondary and
higher education for everyone, eliminating the
exclusion of the children of poor and working
families from obtaining a college education.

4. Complete opening of the borders of the United
States accompanied by the institution of a
guaranteed minimum living wage of $25/hour for
all workers, so as to elucidate the so-called
immigration question now confounded by racist
assaults on Mexicans and Central Americans coming
into the U.S. to work and to provide all people
working in the United States with a decent
standard of living.

5. Creation of a base of free or low-cost, decent
housing, so as to eliminate homelessness and
provide every human being the fundamental right
to a decent place to live.

6. The repeal of all laws that discriminate
against or dehumanize people on account of
ethnicity, gender, nationality, sexuality,
religion, age, or disability, and the creation of
laws that guarantee non-discrimination and human
rights to all.

7. Institution of laws and policies that promote
purification and cleansing of the air, water and
land and that outlaw polluting, contaminating or
adulterating them, toward reversal of the
pollution of nature itself, particularly as this
pollution seeps into and devastates the lives of
black and brown and other poor people trying to
breathe and live in the ghettos, barrios and
hollers of this nation.

8. The payment of reparations by the United State
government to native peoples for the theft of
land and to Gullah/Geechee and other African
slave descendants for slave labor.

9. Total dismantling of nuclear and other weapons
of mass destruction by the United States, and
recognition of and adherence to all international
agreements as to war, crime and human rights.

10. Imposition of wealth taxes and reduction of
taxes for poor and working people, toward a
complete and fair redistribution of the wealth of
the nation.

I have embraced and worked for the ideals
and issues set forth here, reflected in the Green
Party’s Ten Key Values, for most of my life. It
is my hope to seize the opportunity of being the
Green Party presidential nominee to widely
advocate for and promulgate this platform among
the Marginalized Millions to bring about the
concretization of it through election of Green
Party candidates in every city and state as well
as nationally.

Elaine Brown Online

Thursday, December 06, 2007

An open letter to all Green Party members from the Jared Ball campaign.

Dear Fellow Greens,

We embarked on this campaign which put forward Jared Ball, an African American college professor who was born in Washington D.C. and is a Desert Storm veteran, for the Green Party's Presidential nomination as an organizing effort to bring in new constituencies to the Green Party. It is our goal to create through the Green Party a political movement that extends across race and class to provide a political voice for the diverse “True American Majority.”

We welcome all other Green Presidential candidates to partner with us in our efforts to grow the Green Party. The 2008 campaign season is our opportunity to show this country the many faces of the Green Party and the vibrant array of ideas that we bring to the table of determining Americas role in solving the problems of: mass incarceration, world hunger, global warming, quality accessible health care and education, and the creation of just equitable humane economic systems. As candidates working together we will raise the profile of our campaigns and assure that we have candidates on the ballot in all 51 states. We invite other Green Party candidates for president to join us in planning joint events with local candidates and activists who are working on anti-war or social justice issues. Together we will create a groundswell of interest in the Green Party and will show the mainstream candidates for the do nothing corporate shills that they are.

In addition we call out to all Greens asking you to come on board to help your Green Party Presidential candidates get out the word to all Green Party members and beyond. We and all the presidential campaigns need your help to assure that Greens and potential new Greens are well informed about their choices before deciding which candidate to support. We offer this campaign as an outreach tool, in particular as an outreach tool to Black and Latino communities and need the help of volunteers in each state to make this effort a success. Together we can grow the Green Party and assure that we come out of the 2008 election cycle stronger and better organized than we go into it.

Jared Ball, with DC-based artist and co-campaign manager Head-Roc and their “Capitol Resistance” campaign tour speaking truth to power while upsetting the set up is asking for your support and assistance in bringing us to your area. Schedules are tight and resources limited so lets get creative and pool our efforts to do regional events. If you would like to plan a Jared Ball “Capitol Resistance” event in your area please contact contact us.

Head-Roc, Co-campaign Manager/Cultural Outreach Coordinator
Anita Rios, Senior Campaign Manager 419-243-8772

To volunteer contact our volunteer coordinator Nora Gaines at:
Check out our website at:
To make a donation:
Stock up on some fly gear at

Audio interview
with Jared Ball from

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Forum: Middle East in CRISIS

A Detroit Solidarity Forum

Middle East in CRISIS
and the Challenge for the Anti-War Movement

Neve Gordon is an author and an activist in the Israeli antiwar movement and a visiting professor at University of Michigan

Nadine Naber is an Arab American activist and assistant professor in American Culture at U of M and a member of the board of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence

Osama Siblani is the publisher of the Arab American News

FRIDAY December 7
7:00 pm
at the International Institute
in Detroit’s cultural center
111 E, Kirby at John R. Free, lighted parking.

For information and to reserve childcare: 313.841.0160

Sponsored by Solidarity a socialist, feminist, anti-racist organization