Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Don’t imprison community leader for speaking out against abuses of power
African American community leader Rev. Edward Pinkney was convicted of voter fraud, without any evidence, by an all white jury. He faces ten years in prison for the bogus charge of “felony voter fraud,” even though the forensic analyst could not tie the markings on the recall ballots to Pinkney and witnesses testified that Pinkney didn’t alter the ballots. This has happened because Pinkney was standing up for his community against corporate interests and a right-wing city government.
Pinkney has been fighting against City Hall and the Whirlpool Corporation, headquartered in Benton Harbor, MI, for years. The influence of Whirlpool in Benton Harbor has made the local government give them tax breaks, loans, and land to develop, at the expense of the citizens of the city. He has organized multiple mayoral recalls, and the local government has tried to make an example of him for years, prosecuting him in 2006 for similarly fake charges.
Imprisoning Pinkney on false charges just because he tries to organize the people in his community and hold corporations responsible for their actions is a violation of his civil rights. This is clearly a ploy to suppress the voice of the people of Benton Harbor, and must not go unnoticed or unaddressed. Sign this petition and stand with Rev. Pinkney.
Dear President Obama,
I am writing to you today to ask you to pardon Reverend Edward Pinkney, an activist and community organizer. He was accused of forging mayoral recall ballots and faces ten years in jail. All this took place without a shred of evidence against Mr. Pinkney and is clearly a politically motivated prosecution.
Pinkney has been opposing the Whirlpool Corporation’s actions in his community and has, because of this, organized many recall petitions against what he and others believe are mayors and city officials that give preferential treatment to Whirlpool rather than the citizens of Benton Harbor. He has been repeatedly prosecuted for alleged “voter fraud” by the local government. This is clearly to prevent and suppress the voices of citizens and community organizers who want to have a voice in their communities, and I am calling on you to pardon Rev. Pinkney as soon as possible.
By pardoning Pinkney, you can help the community of Benton Harbor by giving them back a valued member of their community. It will also help the voting public at large to know that the President stands by the democratic process and will not tolerate the suppression of voters’ rights.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: C.K. Tse via Flickr