This article was first published in 2007, at the time of the first vote fraud charges leveled against Rev. Edward Pinkney. We think the content of the article is still relevant so we are republishing it. The People’s Tribune dedicates these pages on the struggle in Benton Harbor, Mich., to the leaders whose courage in standing up to corporate power is setting an example for us all. — The Editors of the People’s Tribune
The attack on democracy and the conviction in March, 2007 of Rev. Edward Pinkney on phony charges symbolizes an entire process under way in America. The once stable working class community of Benton Harbor has been devastated by automation and globalization. Today, the industrial workers have become the marginally or permanently unemployed, and the open rule of corporate power is arising to oppose their struggle. The governing bodies that once controlled by buying up the people’s leaders now turn to intimidation and brute force. Benton Harbor shows what is in store for all workers of Michigan and finally for the entire country. The message is if you dare to stand up to corporate power, you will be struck down. The only solution is for society to take over the corporations before they take over the people.
Fascism, like democracy, cannot consolidate from the top. It consolidates down below by gaining victory after small victory until it has the base to rule the country. This is why it is so important that the movement learn to confront fascist, corporate power at every turn. During the 1930s, brutal fascist dictatorships arose, consolidated and began their aggression against the peoples of the earth. They could have been halted but political “leaders” assured the people that it was someone else’s problem. After years of war, death and destruction, the fascists were defeated. The people, those who suffered the most, declared that this must not happen again.
The American people must take a stand before it is too late. Our first battle in this war is the defense of our leaders. A movement that does not defend its leaders cannot grow. Defend Rev. Pinkney. Write letters of support. Raise funds for the appeal. Take this newspaper out and help awaken America.