Protest & solidarity continues in Berkeley, W16Oct2019

This Wednesday, 16Oct, a group was again outside the Pacifica building in Berkeley, protesting the breakers’ coup against WBAI & Pacifica. (Vid is 15:58.)

One speaker is Tom Voorhees, a Pacifica director, & KPFA listeners-delegate (1:36). The breakers are trying to oust him as a director, replace him by a breaker, turning the PNB back into a 11-11 paralysis. Two weeks or so after the launch of their petition for a new Pacifica constitution, the breakers on Th26Sep called a KPFA delegates assembly to oust Mr Voorhees. This takes place Sa26Oct. It’s crucial that he’s supported both within the meeting & outside. https://kpftx.org/pacalendar/cal_show1.php?eventdate=20191026

A similar action by the protest/solidarity group occurred the Wednesday before: https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2019/10/09/video-of-kpfa-peeps-supporting-wbai-pacifica-solidarians-reject-the-breakers-s-move/ (the vid is much longer, 35:58)

WBAI statements at NY City Hall, Tu15Oct2019

. . . but what’s the plan addressing the deficiencies, both WBAI & Pacifica-wide? . . . (photo courtesy of Paul ‘Weegee’ DeRienzo)

(video, 1:09:32)

Director & temporary PNB Chair, Alex Steinberg: 12:27

Director Ralph Poynter: 15:35

Legal counsel for WBAI peeps, Arthur Schwartz: 16:24

GM Berthold Reimers & PD Linda Perry (our photogenic duo): 58:15

He says he was elected temporary Chair of the Pacifica Board at its Su13Oct meeting – why this wasn’t done in public, he didn’t even address. The politics of ‘not in front of the children’ has to end.

Video of KPFA peeps supporting WBAI: Pacifica solidarians reject the breakers’ move

Today, a small group declared their support for WBAI, standing outside the Pacifica building housing KPFA, in Berkeley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyRrgN7JP08 (35:58)

This video was made by the Labor Video Project. They also published another one today, on Monday’s home invasion station invasion. Steve Zeltzer spoke with Chair Carolyn McIntyre & Vice-Chair Michael White of the WBAI Local Station Board, & station manager Berthold Reimers. (Carolyn was misdescribed in early court documents as a “McGuire”.): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyamU2dvvtU (11:56)

~~~

It’s important to note that the action by IED Vernile violates the union agreement, according to Becky Hayes from Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, SAG-AFTRA:

From: Becky Hayes

Sent: Monday, October 7, 2019 5:52 PM

SAG-AFTRA demands to bargain over the effects of WBAI and Pacifica’s decisions to cease assigning work to SAG-AFTRA members employed at WBAI, effectively laying them off as of today’s date. We request to meet at the earliest availability.

In addition, in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement, SAG-AFTRA demands immediate payment of the following for all covered bargaining unit members:

• Four (4) weeks’ notice pay under Article XVI(A)(4)

• Severance of one day of pay per month of service (up to a max of 125 days) under Article XVI(A)(5)

• Payout all accrued and unused time, including, but not limited to, vacation, comp time, etc.

• Payment of any and all other monies owing to each SAG-AFTRA member in connection with his or her employment.

We would also like to highlight other applicable sections of the contract including Article XVI(A)(7) which provide that the Company “shall recall all employees on layoff within the previous eighteen months” “before hiring new employees” to perform the work covered by the collective bargaining agreement.

The demands above are on behalf of any and all covered employees, including, but not limited to, Michael Haskins, Reggie Johnson, Max Schmidt, Shawn Rhodes, Leonard Lopate, Jesse Lent, Ilana Levinson, Juliana Forlano, Graceon Challenger, Barry Brooks, Andrea Katz, and Ian Foster.

Additionally, we believe the Company has already violated Article XVI(A)(1) by failing to inform the Union at least four weeks in advance before the layoff took place, thereby depriving us of the opportunity to “economic alternatives to the proposed layoffs,” of any nature.

Finally, please see the attached information request [not included], made in connection with the above demands.

Best,

Becky Hayes

Broadcast Manager and Labor Counsel

Tracy Rosenberg: IED Vernile had turned up with “Foundation board members”

Former Pacifica Treasurer, Tracy Rosenberg, had her take today on what’s happened, & happening, ‘Supreme Court of New York Stops Pacifica’s Attack on WBAI’. She claims that IED ‘Venal’ Vernile turned up at WBAI with (unnamed) Pacifica directors:

In the morning, a crew of Pacifica Foundation board members led by brand new IED John Vernile, locked out the staff at WBAI-FM in New York and then fired them all, told the landlord to rent the space to someone else, and started piping in content from the West Coast over mid-Manhattan [my emphases]

https://mega.nz/#!67QkWSqL!yAPb4N8dPJjKQPs2t5u_eP5dTCqnSh2qbPbeV35Dgh0 (this, unfortunately, lacks live links; got a proper one?)

Accountability requires that these Pacifica directors are named. Perhaps it will take the court proceedings of F18Oct – unless they’re such proud breakers they’ll come clean. It’s been reported that one of them was Bill Crosier, having flown in on Sunday. He’s a former IED & current PNB Secretary, besides being a KPFT listener delegate in Houston.

No expense spared – just keep those charitable contributions rolling in, folks, doesn’t matter whether they’re membership subs or listener donations. The main thing is just keep funding the planned chaos so break-up happens almost organically, in the greenest way possible.

Tracy also notes that WBAI are currently in fund-drive! They’re bigger wreckers than I thought!

The lockout interrupted a fund drive in process that would normally book around $300,000 [my emphases]

Ms Rosenberg has had a blog, https://pacificainexile.org/, since July2015. Regrettably, there have been few posts since Feb2018, when Pacifica was getting ready to borrow $3.7m from the Foundation for the Jewish Community, FJC. I made a few comments there, & tried early last year to get on her mailing list, & I’m still waiting. I tried again the other week, so yes, I live in hope.

It seems that at the mo there’s a lag between a newsletter article & it being posted at Pacifica in Exile. Given circumstances, it makes sense to post the latest one here, today. Hopefully, Tracy will soon put me on her list.

Pause, & reflect on how disputes & station financial performance have been addressed in the past

The quality of discussion by Pacifica decision-makers has, how can one put it, left much to be desired. This is especially so since 2Apr2018, when Pacifica borrowed $3.7m from the Foundation for the Jewish Community, FJC.

This document, kindly suggested by Nalini Lasiewicz, was written just over 20 years ago. Yet it’s of great relevance, if only for the tenor it should induce in the reader. The crisis in 1999 was much more intense than the current one. We need to pause, and reflect. And learn from the past. https://www.salon.com/1999/07/17/kpfa/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=bb20b0a6-0501-410e-9f17-9042ab986fb1 (17July1999)

The document:

Garland Ganter, Bessie Wash, & Mark Schubb, Funding National Priorities: Station Perspective & Suggested Solutions, 23Sep1999, 4 pages

https://mega.nz/#!DjYjwCpQ!UOCpRTF_d6eVqNG9lKx6RujGTzOUzMLkHpPyvy3yPa4

This Pacifica report is in a series of documents being posted here, drawing attention to the sort of written work that Pacifica’s decision-makers used to produce. I would draw your attention to another one, posted at this blog two months ago, 9Aug, the Pacifica Financial Recovery Plan, 28Feb2012, written by the Financial Recovery & Audit Taskforce. https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2019/08/09/pacifica-financial-recovery-plan-28feb2012-not-today/

The PNB Finance Cttee meets tonite, & it’s being livestreamed from 8.30pm ET at https://kpftx.org/ (best bet is probably ‘Direct Link’). It’s chaired by director Chris Cory, who was the breakers’ nominee for temporary Chair of the Board at the Th19Sep PNB meeting, the first after the launch of the breaker petition for a new Pacifica constitution, & the first display of paralysis, the vote splitting 11-11. The PNB itself meets this Thursday, livestreamed from 7.30pm ET, an hour earlier than usual, same webpage; this had been called last Thursday, so before the venal Vernile house invasion station invasion.

Success! Judge grants restraining order until F18Oct against Dictator Vernile & Breakers Co., M7Oct2019. 3 of 3

[Please use this convenient folder to read all available docs on the attempted coup by Vernile & the other breakers against Pacifica, with WBAI as the current main target: https://mega.nz/#F!OuwyiKxY!wFtGGKGkG2R9x3A65uX4Gg]

Second of the two-page judgment by Judge Nervo, granting a restraining order against Pacifica Foundation, Inc. (unfortunately, there had to be separate posts as the software only allows one large image):

https://mega.nz/#!K6Qx2CAB!KAr_9KxEIDSw73clbaTaOEFLcQhCpsz1tCPH7vSuju4

See what happens when pseudo-progressives try to streamroller their way through? Remember, Dictator Vernile & Breakers Co. have never presented an evidenced argument to smash WBAI by reducing it to a relay transmitter. No doubt Interim Chief Financial Officer Tamra Swiderski will compile some figures into a dossier to give to the judge. These concocted figures must be challenged by a certified public accountant, not least because ICFO Swiderski recently told the PNB Finance Cttee that Pacifica lacks current statements, both management & financial, for any station & therefore for the Foundation as a whole. Pacifica must also be requested to provide all the data, so including supporting evidence, used in compiling these figures. The contrived nature of the figures must be exposed.

It’s no less than unfortunate that it takes a capitalist court to begin a process of enforcing the transparency, & accountability, that the pseudo-progressives dominating Pacifica have proved so inept in achieving.

They have perpetuated an obdurate & deep secrecy culture that has disabled Pacifica & helped bring it to this point. This must change.

Success! Judge grants restraining order until F18Oct against Dictator Vernile & Breakers Co., M7Oct2019. 2 of 3

[Please use this convenient folder to read all available docs on the attempted coup by Vernile & the other breakers against Pacifica, with WBAI as the current main target: https://mega.nz/#F!OuwyiKxY!wFtGGKGkG2R9x3A65uX4Gg]

First of the two-page judgment by Judge Nervo, granting a restraining order against Pacifica Foundation, Inc. (unfortunately, there had to be separate posts as the software only allows one large image):

https://mega.nz/#!PuJ32AqJ!vPwJkbZzbdbeQrJicBwGrBbLF3Der6Db-F-pjuAk-GY

See what happens when pseudo-progressives try to streamroller their way through? Remember, Dictator Vernile & Breakers Co. have never presented an evidenced argument to smash WBAI by reducing it to a relay transmitter. No doubt Interim Chief Financial Officer Tamra Swiderski will compile some figures into a dossier to give to the judge. These concocted figures must be challenged by a certified public accountant, not least because ICFO Swiderski recently told the PNB Finance Cttee that Pacifica lacks current statements, both management & financial, for any station & therefore for the Foundation as a whole. Pacifica must also be requested to provide all the data, so including supporting evidence, used in compiling these figures. The contrived nature of the figures must be exposed.

It’s no less than unfortunate that it takes a capitalist court to begin a process of enforcing the transparency, & accountability, that the pseudo-progressives dominating Pacifica have proved so inept in achieving.

They have perpetuated an obdurate & deep secrecy culture that has disabled Pacifica & helped bring it to this point. This must change.

Success! Judge grants restraining order until F18Oct against Dictator Vernile & Breakers Co., M7Oct2019. 1 of 3

[Please use this folder to read all available docs on the attempted coup by Vernile & the other breakers against Pacifica, with WBAI as the current main target: https://mega.nz/#F!OuwyiKxY!wFtGGKGkG2R9x3A65uX4Gg]

General Manager Berthold Reimers email to staff, with copy of the restraining order attached, 10.38pm, M7Oct2019 (unfortunately, there had to be separate posts here as the software only allows one large image; copy of the restraining order appears as the next two posts): https://mega.nz/#!XyBFCIKD!TIwlGLtGdJA9BJVRIWWhn3gLy5UaMNNWAsCRrb72K6A

Pacifica affiliate rejects proposed new Pacifica constitution – why provoke the affiliates into becoming Bostonians?

The work of the breaker faction is making waves in PacificaWorld. The first public response seems to come from a Pacifica Network affiliate, Riverton Radio Project Association (RRPA), & REC Networks. They unambiguously oppose the constitutional proposal of those who have proudly published plans to break up Pacifica. A prime reason is because “[t]he current plan would completely gut the board”.

RRPA & REC Networks say affiliates spread the Pacifica message, & rightly have representation on the Pacifica National Board, providing two of the 22 directors. It’s unjust to exclude them from decision-making. Exclusion/inclusion: we all know which is the Pacifica value. This isn’t voter suppression by the breaker faction, it’s worse: it’s disenfranchisement. “The Pacifica affiliates deserve a voice at the table. They worked hard to achieve a louder voice. Let’s not silence that voice.” The view of RRPA & REC Networks is definitive: “[s]ay ‘no’ to this petition”.

In recent months, the Pacifica affiliate programme has been given more prominence, being linked from Pacifica’s homepage, https://pacifica.org/. The programme’s work is at the heart of what Pacifica is trying to do: “[t]he Affiliate Program has over 200 contracted affiliates generating approximately $200,000 in fees”. It has now become its own accounting unit within Pacifica. https://pacificanetwork.org/resources-3/affiliate-representation-on-pacificas-national-board/

So why jeopardise this? Why have the breaker faction deliberately chosen to exclude affiliates from direct decision-making within Pacifica? Why are they trying to deny representation to those who are co-funding Pacifica?

Summarily, why is the breaker faction trying to turn the affiliates into Bostonians?

The statement was issued this Wednesday, 18Sep. Here it is, in full:

Joint position statement of REC Networks and Riverton Radio Project Association
There is currently a petition being circulated to make some major changes on the board of directors at Pacifica Foundation. This board includes representatives from all Pacifica-owned stations (KPFA, KPFK, WPFW, WBAI and KPFT). Starting recently, the board also has representatives of the Pacifca affiliates. These are the many LPFM and full-service FM community stations that promote the Pacifica Mission through the airing of programming and through the submission of programming to other affiliates.  
The current plan would completely gut the board, including those who I know, who are working hard to “fix” Pacifica from the inside. This current plan also eliminates the local station boards which are the voices who represent the unique cultural needs of each of the 5 Pacifica-owned stations. 
REC’s main concern is around the affiliates. We note that the petition does not even have a space for affiliates to fill out a petition if they wanted to. Its only limited to paid members and staff of the 5 stations.  Under the proposed plan, affiliates can be represented by “at large” members appointed by the new board however there is no requirement that they do.
The Pacifica affiliates deserve a voice at the table. They worked hard to achieve a louder voice. Let’s not silence that voice.  
Say “no” to this petition.
Michelle Bradley
on behalf of both REC Networks and Riverton Radio Project Association

https://recnet.com/node/2920

Details of the signatories, as per their statement:

“REC Networks is an unincorporated entity owned and operated by Michelle Bradley. Since 1984, REC has been providing inforomation, entertainment and support which today, includes regulatory advocacy related to spectrum access, especially for community broadcasting. REC also provides programming for J1 Radio, a Canada-based cluster of internet radio stations providing Japanese-language entertainment world-wide and one English-language network, REC-FM.”

“Riverton Radio Project Association is a Delaware non-profit corporation operating under the direction of Michelle and Eva Bradley and the operator of a Part 15 broadcast station is an affiliate of Pacifica Network.”

Can Pacifica cope with young peeps? The Red Wave slate for the WBAI Local Station Board

Red Wave gets the Gezi penguin of approval from PacificaWatch

Can Pacifica cope with the youfff, here we’re talking about people under 35?

We’ll soon find out, because something’s happening in New York. The organisation that benefited most from #feeltheBern was the DSA, the Democratic Socialists of America, a middle-of-the-road social democratic group. They grew perhaps tenfold, & much more in terms of active members. It’s become the principal home in the US of anti-capitalists who aren’t anarchists.

The DSA’s largest chapter is NYC. And they’re in WBAI. A weekly one-hour, drive-time programme, 5pm Tuesdays, Revolutions Per Minute (RPM), is usually hosted by two members, Jack Devine & Lee Ziesche. In fact, it seems to be de facto proprietary – and I’m not talking Pacifica:

NYC-DSA now has a weekly radio program, Revolutions Per Minute on 99.5 WBAI. If you are interested in getting involved come join! There’s room for everyone, no experience necessary!

https://www.socialists.nyc/events/2019/3/21/revolutions-per-minute-monthly-meeting

Seems becomes definitive, the statement heading RPM’s Twitter page:

*The official* radio show and podcast of NYC Democratic Socialists of America @nycDSA. [my emphases]

https://twitter.com/nycRPM

There is no mention of this on their WBAI webpage: https://www.wbai.org/program.php?program=306

That page was augmented today, three links, & a pretty logo.

One link is to the RPM website, which archives the weekly programmes. The inaugural broadcast was M7Jan this year, & it carried an interview with State Senator Julia Salazar, a DSA member, impressively 27-years-old, & more impressively said to be the first socialist in the Senate for well on 100 years (35:31): https://revolutionsperminute.simplecast.com/episodes/january-7th-noamazonnyc. RPM do outreach, having had their first monthly public meeting in March; they also publish a weekly newsletter. The three links: RPM website, http://revolutionsperminute.simplecast.com; their nest, https://twitter.com/nycRPM; & http://bit.ly/rpm-newsletter. [UPDATE: as of Tu27Aug, the logo & three links have been deleted, without explanation, from the programme’s WBAI page. Quite odd.]

Not surprisingly they’ve got a slate of candidates, the Red Wave, in the current WBAI Local Station Board elections.

They have seven listener-candidates & two staff-candidates, here in ranked order: Safia Albaiti, Michael Mordowanec, Charlotte Albrecht, Rosa Palmieri, Simone Norman, Jez Zerbe, & David Torcivia; Jack Devine, & Amy Wilson. (As for the competition, there are 26 verified candidates for the nine listener-seats, & four for the three staff-seats, so Red Wave will win at least one of the latter.) “We’ll have a website up soon with a detailed platform and vision”, in the meantime, https://www.facebook.com/RedWaveWBAI/ & https://twitter.com/RedWaveWBAI (luv the Pisa transmitter, non-Stalinesque socialist realism, in the honest sense). https://airtable.com/shrnu59exwc0rRKad (gives the rankings, & also has a form for email updates from the Red Wave Collective)

A to-&-fro between WBAI listener-candidates featured four of their number, Cdes. Albaiti, Albrecht, Palmieri, & Zerbe. They acquitted themselves well, especially Cde. Albaiti (she is indeed, astutely, ranked #1 on their listener-slate). The video was published this Thursday, 22Aug, on the YouTube channel of National Elections Supervisor Renee Penaloza, & on her website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpYa0DhFGB4 & https://elections.pacifica.org/wordpress/wbai-forum-stephen-finkelstein-david-andersson-dee-dee-halleck-jack-de-palma-jez-zerbe-william-heerwagon-safia-albaiti-rosa-palmieri-charlotte-albrecht/ (snappy URL – it’s ‘Heerwagen’ too). All nine candidates, bar Cde. Palmieri (perversely so, as she’s an actress), have a vid of their one-minute statement at the two sites.

Oddly, not one of their statements mentions that they constitute a slate, nor do they mention each other. Demonstrates they’re new to electioneering. https://elections.pacifica.org/wordpress/wbai-candidate-statements/wbai-listener-statements/ & https://elections.pacifica.org/wordpress/wbai-candidate-statements/wbai-staff-statements/

It’s also surprising that no statement stresses that the candidate isn’t a grandparent or great-grandparent, making the slate a fresh broom for WBAI. This isn’t to be ageist, simply drawing attention to perhaps the biggest persuasive plus they have: voters, one suspects, don’t plumb so much for candidate politics as they do for personal characteristics, & with everyone knowing that Pacifica is getting even older, lots of voters will be pleased that under-40s, even those in their 20s, are running. Letting voters know this will certainly not harm their chances.

If word of their slate spreads, with the positive message that they are part of Pacifica’s & WBAI’s future, they have every chance of getting at least five elected. They really need to hammer home their comparative advantage. The recent past shows that a listener can get elected at WBAI with what seems to be little campaigning. Eve Moser did so with nine votes in the first round of the 4Jan2016 election, out of 920 voting (election report, pages 2 & 56), winning out only in the penultimate round of redistributing the votes (p. 56). https://mega.nz/#!3rxxjAAa!WX4Jz65LkNJC3NYFQyArJwptK1dGX8USofVIq4qRCxM (this substitutes for the public link, broken without notice, presumably by NES Penaloza, c. Mar-June this year, http://elections.pacifica.org/wordpress/wpcontent/uploads/2016/01/UPDATED-13Jan-16-WBAI-Listener-Results-Certification-LetterSimply-Voting.pdf)

Then on 5Mar this year (results certified 18Mar), Hazel Pinder did the same with three such votes, out of 830 voting (other low achievers, likewise getting elected, were Dacio Quintana with five; Michael White, nine; Jim Dingeman, 12; Carolyn McIntyre, 13; & King Downing, 14). You see how even being a parent comes in useful? Remarkably, our Hazel was then elected in the second round, the only candidate to do so, having picked up 88% of Errol Maitland’s 198 redistributed votes! So, sadly, all down to the slate, not Hazel’s magnetism. The first & last rounds of the nominal 2018 pseudo-election: https://mega.nz/#!yz4lEChK!AzaYP0_nv9b30hYQGb3xr3O71DnY7msBracGaajIkhg & https://mega.nz/#!6zxxHajY!J2dOgxN6paySjOENYqugm8A2hMBAdwkXKjY0lnxaCaM

Redistributed votes. The Pacifica voting system meant that March this year, for the WBAI listener pseudo-election, once one got 60 votes one got elected, be it the first round, the 25th round. (For the staff, it was 17 votes.) And how many in the NYC chapter of DSA? . . . “5 500+”. (At the 19Nov2018 ‘record date’, there were 6 806 WBAI listener-members & 177 staff.) https://www.socialists.nyc/ & https://mega.nz/#!fyAwGICZ!-4uWYMHZW3CHxt6yCOITu006SVZ4AyNPjT9bWw6csb0 (Election Final Report 2018, pp. 7-9, 9, 1, 19; in Stalinist style, no longer publicly available on a Pacifica site – with Pacifica, its pervasive & entrenched anti-transparency culture, integral to its unthinking common sense, download written records whilst you can!)

On Monday, 19Aug, Red Wave had an intro to Pacifican morality, having to issue a denial statement because the dastardly Steve Brown had put their candidates as endorsers on one of his mailers. A leopard never changes its spots; a slug never loses its slime. Did he ever know Jeff, one may wonder? https://www.facebook.com/notes/red-wave-wbai/red-wave-statement-on-the-stephen-brown-endosement-mailer/113899156636566/

Red Wave have set things up nicely, giving the WBAI members a test. How will they respond to the shock of the new, the shock of the youfff?

Will the Red Wave sweep all before it? Or will it be dammed, reduced to a ripple?

Can WBAI cope with this injection of youfff?

Or will WBAI carry on, undisturbed, confirmed & contented in its alienation, as if #feeltheBern never happened?

WBAI is fortunate to be presented with this opportunity, for Red Wave to bring a two-generation shift to the LSB. But will it be a step too far for the WBAI members?

This is a test of Pacifica’s capacity to change with the times, to embrace a harbinger of the future.

What transpires will be a portent, evidence of Pacifica’s capacity to re-new.

Whither Pacifica?

And the Gezi Park penguin graffito? There are very few green spaces, let alone parks, in much of Istanbul, population c. 20m, especially in the built-up retail areas. Gezi was to be destroyed, turned into shops & a barracks (where’s the surprise). People protested. When the rioting police moved in at 1am, Su2June2013, CNN International covered the attacks live; CNN Türk carried on showing their documentary, Penguins: Spy in the Huddle, starring 50 spycams. (Would have brought a smile to the face of Gil Scott-Heron.) Penguin graffiti ensued, along with a popular chant, responding to a police supply problem: ‘the people demand the old tear gas’.