Free Rev. Edward Pinkney!
Statement of WWP candidates
The Workers World Party election campaign expresses its total support for imprisoned Michigan activist, the Rev. Edward Pinkney.
On Dec. 15, 2014, Rev. Pinkney began serving a 2.5- to 10-year sentence after being railroaded by the court system in Berrien County, Mich. Rev. Pinkney was charged with altering dates on a recall petition against the then mayor of Benton Harbor. His trial was a mockery of justice. The all-white jury was told by the white judge and white prosecutor, “You don’t need evidence to convict Pinkney.” No evidence was presented to tie him to the “crime” except for the fact that he was the leader of the recall campaign and had a long history of activism and peaceful protest in the African-American community.
Rev. Pinkney has had the legal support of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild. Both of these groups recognize the danger his conviction holds for any and all progressive activists whose history of protest could be used against them as the sole “evidence” for having committed a crime.
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled against Rev. Pinkney on July 26, 2016. The court found that “his radio show,” “his recall efforts in the local community,” “his speaking engagements across the country” and “his search for justice and equality in general” showed “that defendant had a motive to alter the dates on the recall petitions, thus providing evidence of the identification of the perpetrator.”
The court went further in stating that even if Rev. Pinkney was not the one who altered the dates on the petitions — as several witnesses had testified — he could be convicted of aiding and abetting another person who might have done so because Pinkney was “leader of the recall campaign.” While the case is being appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court, Rev. Pinkney will serve at least another nine months — his minimum sentence — before being eligible for release.
Workers World Party presidential and vice-presidential candidates Monica Moorehead and Lamont Lilly pledge to continue to raise the plight of Rev. Edward Pinkney across the country in our campaign. Workers World newspaper has extensively covered the entire career of Rev. Pinkney. (See workers.org and search for “Pinkney.”)
Candidate Lilly attended and addressed the December 2015 Emergency Conference to Save Rev. Edward Pinkney following the prisoner’s transfer to the remote Marquette Prison and threats on his life by guards at that prison in October 2015.
Candidate Moorehead has spoken at many campaign meetings about this important case and has been directly in touch with Dorothy Pinkney, the spouse of this political prisoner.
Supporters are urged to write to Rev. Edward Pinkney #294671, West Shoreline Correctional Facility, 2500 S. Sheridan Dr., Muskegon Heights, MI 49444. Donations toward efforts to free Rev. Pinkney can be made at bhbanco.org.