OCCUPY THE PGA — FINALIZED PLANS:
Death March everyday: May 23-27 (big day: Sat. May 26)
We encourage protesters to wear all black if possible, everyday.
Arrive between 10 – 10:30am, Benton Harbor City Hall, 200 E. Wall St.
Sat. & Sun: Bring Kites if possible.
Demonstrate in protest of land stolen by Whirlpool Corporation.
Benton Harbor, Michigan
May 9, 2012
Occupy the PGA—a coalition of Benton Harbor residents, community groups, and allies from around the country and the world—issued a letter today asking the 2012 Senior PGA to transfer 25% of its profits to the city of Benton Harbor. The group plans a demonstration from May 23 to 27, concurrent with the golf championship in Benton Harbor.
The group also demanded a public acknowledgement at the tournament of the “theft of public park land for private profit,” referring to the lease of 22 acres of dunes on Jean Klock Park for transformation into three holes of the Harbor Shores golf course at which the Senior PGA Championship plays later this month. The letter links the transfer of parklands to the “complete undermining of democratic structures” via the installment of the Emergency Financial Manager in Benton Harbor in December2010.
Accompanying the demand letter is a lengthy summation of community grievances against the Harbor Shores development, ranging from the taking of the park land to unfulfilled promises of significant jobs and tax revenue for Benton Harbor residents. The packet, including maps illustrating the transformation of Jean Klock Park, also analyzes the failures of state and federal agencies to protect the public interest, the unpermitted use of public water resources by the private development, and the origin of the Emergency Financial Manager bill. The group also demands that the packet be distributed to all 2012 Senior PGA participants.
Spokesperson Rev. Edward Pinkney of the local community group BANCO said, “Benton Harbor continues to be a city under seige. The mishandling of public trust couldn’t be more massive, unjust, inhumane, and unconstitutional. The Senior PGA needs to hear our voice. It’s time to stand up and fight for what’s right.”