It is our distinct honor and privilege to invite you on behalf of BANCO to an event scheduled for May 23-27, 2012.

Occupy The PGA
Benton Harbor, Michigan
Senior PGA Golf Tournament

We are committed to escalating the Occupy Movement to support human rights in housing in addition to the push back against bailouts for fraudulent banks. They are stealing our homes and our lives.

Democracy is non-existent here in Benton Harbor. Joseph Harris, the Emergency Manager, must go. We have a dictator in Benton Harbor, Michigan!

The PGA will be played on a $750 million, 530 acre resort near Lakeshore with a Jack Nicklaus Signature designer golf course and with $500,000 condominiums. We cannot forget the three golf holes in the stolen land inside Jean Klock Park.

If your schedule permits your attendance is needed on May 26, 2012. Alternative action dates are May 23-25. Please let know if you can accept the invitation to Occupy The PGA in Benton Harbor.

We will meet at Benton Harbor City Hall, 200 Wall St. at 10:00am every day. Then we will March to the golf course! We will have speakers and food.

For more information contact:
Rev. Edward Pinkney

14 thoughts on “Update

  1. Hildy Krish says:

    occupying a golf tournament? Really? Seriously? wow. running out of places to occupy so you have to stretch it to a golf tournament. That’s just sad.

    • The Eric says:

      It is not sad that occupy is going to the golf tournament. It is a smart move to remand the world that there is injustice in America… The rick will keep taking if not stopped.

  2. occupythepga says:

    @ Hildy: Thank you for your comment. It sounds like you’re not familiar with the years-long struggle in Benton Harbor to fight the take over of both city government and of park land to pave the way for a luxury golf resort, in a predominantly Black city with massive unemployment that needs real opportunities for working people, not theft and gentrification. Yes, it is sad. This struggle preceded the Occupy movement, but the Occupy movement’s themes of public power, accountability, and reclaiming public spaces are in alignment with this struggle.

  3. Frankie says:

    Wasn’t derelict land reclaimed and used to create something that gives people a reason to come to Benton Harbor? A trophy golf course brings money in from other areas and helps create jobs. Didn’t the same private money that paid for the golf course also pay to have the beachfront re-done, and is now a cash generating enterprise? I can not explain how poorly your angst is placed. Get a life.

    • occupythepga says:

      @ Frankie: Thank you for your comment. It gives an opportunity to clear up some misconceptions. The golf course was not built on “derelict land”, it was built on land occupied by a beautiful beach and factories. Harbor Shores promised 2,000 jobs for the community (initial projections were over 4,000) and have failed to produce meaningful jobs. Most of the jobs created will be short-term construction jobs anyway, not the kind that will provide lasting employment in the community. But the community will change, because the golf course will bring gentrification. As land values and rent rates rise, Benton Harbor community members already living in poverty will be forced out to make room for more wealthy residents. The integrity and future of the culture and community are at stake.

      You’re correct that there was some derelict land involved–the scattered parcels that Harbor Shores offered in unfair compensation for the pristine 22 acres of Jean Klock Park stolen from the public. After the give-away was approved by federal agencies who failed to do their job, it came out that several of the parcels, previously industrial sites, are so contaminated with toxic heavy metals that they’re unsafe without remediation. Having the beachfront “redone” included clearing 8 acres of trees, stripping the dunes of vegetation, brush-cutting wetlands, and removing 900 truckloads of dune material to shape the course. This occurred despite lawsuits against the development being unresolved, so that by the time they reached decision on appeal, they were considered moot points. Pollution from the greens is reported to be running into the park via drainage ditches that were not indicated in the plans.

      You may continue to believe Harbor Shores’ promises if you choose, but they have failed to meet many of their commitments already. They have been caught illegally stealing water from Benton Harbor’s Paw Paw River. According to Harbor Shores themselves, over two-thirds of the projected tax revenue, assuming the project doesn’t fail in this era of declining popularity of golf, will benefit St. Joseph and Benton Township, not Benton Harbor. Likewise, the 2004 land grab that took four acres from the park for development has not translated to jobs or meaningful revenue.

      We stand for the human rights and self-determination of the people of Benton Harbor. The democratic processes that should have allowed them to have a real voice in what happens in their community and to their public parks were usurped by private interests, with the collusion of bought-off politicians.

      • Big Dave says:

        I suggest a flotilla of johnboats, rafts, innertubes, a party platform boat if you can rustle one up, along with a series of giant banners which say something like Whirlpool Paid Politicians To Strip Our Rights, Then They Stole This Land From Us. Help Us, Please! We Are Powerless Without Your Help. Keep it simple, keep it polite and respectful. Best spot is on the Paw Paw River 400 Yards West of the North Shore Drive Bridge. You will be right next to the 18th green, and you will be in full view of the TV cameras. I mean right in the center of their show! Take a look at the 18th green here: http://www.pga.com/seniorpga/2012/course/tour/index.cfm?holeId=18 They will get very nervous when you arrive, and will try to convince you that you are tresspassing. Just smile and nod at them, and hold up a sign that says “This Is A Public Waterway” and another that says “Have A Nice Day!”. Remember how Dr. King disarmed those that hated him. Call Al Sharpton or Rachel Maddow and ask them to join you. Who knows, maybe they’ll even charter some river appropriate boats for you.Those that don’t want to float should line that North Shore Drive Bridge over the Paw Paw. Be polite, make your very valid points. Get on TV! Have fun!

  4. gordon says:

    Benton Harbor’s Water Stolen by Harbor Shores/Whirlpool

    It looks like Whirlpool’s Harbor Shores organization has behaved again with incredible irresponsibility and arrogance. The extraordinary control that the Whirlpool Corporation has taken over the community of Benton Harbor, Michigan must have emboldened them to believe they could act with impunity.

    Three years ago, Harbor Shores tapped into the municipal water supply of Benton Harbor to irrigate their developing Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. It is difficult to imagine how the excavation necessary to accomplish this could be done secretly. On the other hand, with so much land destruction and development happening, maybe it was easy to conceal.

    Somehow, Harbor Shores drew on this water without paying the city, although the residents of BH were metered and paying for water usage. This was happening while the city was bankrupt, and was being run by a despotic emergency manager, Joseph Harris, who answers only to Gov. Rick Snyder. About a year after this tap-in began, a water main break necessitated excavations for repairs, and the Harbor Shores splice was discovered. (Water discoloration which forced BH residents to boil their water and many to notify local gov. forced the hiring of a company to come in to do the repair work.)

    Back payment for a year of heavy water usage was sought. Harbor Shores responded by drawing irrigation water directly from the Paw Paw River. The audacious Marcus Robinson admitted in a meeting that “they” bought a pump. This shows how intertwined Whirlpool and Harbor Shores are.

    Over the past two years, water rates for a typical household in Benton Harbor have burgeoned from $30/mo. to more than $100/mo. Apparently, the emergency mgr. has decreed that the water distribution deficit resulting from Harbor Shore’s pilferage would be paid for by BH residents.

    It’s almost unthinkable what the corporation has put this town through in the past decades. Whirlpool Watch believes that the Whirlpool Corp. financed the recent separation of Benton Township from Benton Harbor in order to further destroy BH. BT now has it’s own water system. Water provided the second largest source of income for BH, next to property taxes. St. Joe and St. Joe Twnshp. separated some years ago. The DEQ says it’s absurd for such small towns situated in a close area to have different water supplies.

    It’s all about gentrification, Whirlpool’s resort, and the racist genocide of a population. This information is still being researched by a member of Whirlpool Watch; check for updates and corrections at bhbanco.org.

  5. Judge says:

    Here is a poster design i made for this event. I hope it helps get the word out.

  6. C. Thon says:

    You do understand tournaments such as this one generate a revenue stream for the community right? You may have been able to investigate this if you weren’t busy being a professional fraud in other arenas. Ignorance from someone in a public forum whom somehow has generated a following like this is irresponsible and sad. Do your research before getting on your misaligned soapbox, it may save you some grief and legal fees. As for the occupy movement, I have begun a campaign to occupy your movement, good luck to you.

    • occupythepga says:

      Thank you for your good luck wishes. Yes, we took the time to do research. Read through the materials on this site and you’ll get a better understanding of the situation.

  7. Earl Duke says:

    Sounds like you have elected imbeciles to represent you. If what you say is true, it is the fault of your government leaders. As a developer, I have never experienced a local government where what you describe as having happened would have been possible.

    • occupythepga says:

      Thanks for your comment, Earl. It’s true, what’s happened in Benton Harbor is unthinkable in most places. If you read the materials on this site in full, you’ll see that the governor of Michigan unconstitutionally stripped our elected city officials from their authority and installed an Emergency Financial Manager who answers to no one but the governor and Whirlpool. That is central to the problems in Benton Harbor.

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