WBAI STRUGGLE - Updates & Events – June 2016

From the WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign, www.justiceunity.org

  1. WBAI - Divided and Teetering: Lawsuits & Pacifica National Board regarding WBAI financial options
  2. Local Station Board Elections: Ensure Your Ballot with Membership by June 30, 2016
  3. Local Station Board meeting - Wed., June 8, 2016
  4. Transitions: Muhammad Ali, Ramon Jimenez, Michael Ratner
  5. Walk4Justice: Congratulations to Sharonne Salaam
  6. Community Info & Events


1.   WBAI - Divided and Teetering: Lawsuits & Pacifica National Board regarding WBAI options

Some in Pacifica's national office and on the national board are considering drastic medicine to "cure" WBAI's sustained inability to remain independently current on expenses, including the broadcast antenna rent, which is higher here than at the other four Pacifica stations combined.

Faced with the loss of their dominance when term limits and the results of the last election led to a 12-12 tie with Justice & Unity, the so-called "Independents" / Indy-ACE people, as demonstrated by their bloc's absence from 5 consecutive required monthly meetings, won't engage if the results aren't predetermined.

In addition to apparent love of drama, by absenting themselves, they are trying to separate themselves from responsibility for the station's condition after more than 8 years of their control. This is not unlike their frequent (baseless) cries that the Justice & Unity board members want to break up the network or sell the licenses when, in fact, their own national leaders have specifically called for such action.

The Indy Caucus-ACE group has chosen to sue to change the board composition while their fake election and repeated failures to attend properly-called meetings to choose 2016 national board members guarantees significant under-representation on the national board that is deliberating the station's fate.

This April 21 directive from the National Board remains in effect:

The PNB directs the iED [interim Executive Director] and CFO [Chief Financial Officer] to each produce a list of options within 60 days for restructuring WBAI

in a manner that would stabilize the station's finances and help stabilize the network's finances. The list shall include an assessment of each option's costs, benefits, risks, implementation time, and impact on the network's overall finances.

Justice & Unity is working with station management on short-term emergency fundraising efforts. We urge everyone to generously donate to the station and, if you can afford it, become a BAI Buddy. Go to give2wbai.org.

2. Station Board Elections: Join by June 30 to Ensure Your Ballot

Local Station Board elections began with the opening of nominations on June 1. Staff whose work qualifies as of June 30 and listeners who between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 will have contributed (not just pledged) at least $25 or performed 3 hours of supervised work, or who receive a hardship waiver, are eligible to run and/or vote.

This election is more crucial than ever, given the station's crisis. You'll want to be sure you can vote for representatives whose vision of a strong, dynamic, and diverse station is the same as yours, and who will work well with others to strengthen our station. For more information, visit the website: http://elections.pacifica.org

Check your bank statements for the date of your last contribution or contribute now: http://www.give2wbai.org/Default.asp

3. Local Station Board meeting - Wed., June 8, 2016

How much longer can we keep WBAI and what will it take? With your help, Justice & Unity is prepared to do the work. Come and bring your input.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016, 7:00-9:45 PM
ARC Senior Center
120 W. 140th St. (bet. Malcolm X & Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvds.)

Harlem 10030. Wheelchair accessible. Public Comment essential.

Travel: 2/3 train to 135th Street & Malcolm X Blvd. near the Schomburg Center (elevator station) and walk north to 140th Street, then west (left); M2 bus to 140th Street.

The board has 24 seats, so we need 13 people present to conduct ordinary business. However, J&U has only 12 board seats. To sign a petition urging the "other side" to do their jobs and attend meetings and participate in the rebuilding effort, go to https://www.change.org/p/wbai-indy-ace-board-members-end-phony-boycott-step-up-or-step-aside.

4. Transitions: Muhammad Ali, Ramon Jimenez, Michael Ratner

We thank and release to the ancestors Brothers Muhammad Ali, Ramon Jimenez, and Michael Ratner. May their legacies continue to inspire us as did their lives, and may the beauty and endurance of the universe help their families and friends in their grief.

5. Walk4Justice: Congratulations to Sharonne Salaam  (Justice & Unity LSB member)

It was fitting that the #Walk4JusticefortheWrongfullyIncarcerated began on Mother's Day (May 8) in Harlem. More frequent exonerations are finally bringing into focus the double trauma inflicted on innocent persons forced into involuntary communities, often far from home, for decades or for generations. However, the devastation visited upon the families, especially parents and children, is still largely unrecognized outside the circles of advocates for mental health or the imprisoned. 

The purpose of the 8-day, 140-mile walk, which was coordinated by Sharonne Salaam, culminated on Monday, May 16, in visits with Albany lawmakers, was to draw attention to the plight of those who, after being incarcerated for crimes they did not commit, are released without prompt and adequate restitution to help begin reconstructing their lives. 

More: http://justiceunity.com/joomla34/index.php/57-candidates/405-walk4justice-for-wrongfully-incarcerated-is-success

6. Community Information & Events

Information about "Other WBAIs"

a. Listen to and Support CPRMetro.org (Community Progressive Radio – Online)

CPR Metro is an alternative broadcast run by former Program Director Bernard White and Wed. Morning Show news reporter Don DeBar that puts community issues and voices in the forefront of the struggle for peace with justice.

To help with streaming and storage services: http://www.gofundme.com/fdbkoc

Listen:  http://cprmetro.blogspot.com/

b. Ralph Poynter’s “What’s Happening” - Tues. 9-10pm on the Human Rights Demand channel of Blog Talk Radio.

     Listen:  http://is.gd/wP6Bbz

     Call-in: 347 857 3293


a. Sat. 6/11, 12 Noon - 7pm:  27th Anniversary of the Tribute to the Ancestors of the Middle Passage

In memory of those millions of Africans who did not survive the months at sea from the continent of their birth to intended enslavement in the land of the free, and whose spirits give strength and encouragement to those of us here in the "new world" and at home.

This celebration is organized by Akeem Productions, the Medgar Evers College Student Government, and the People of the Sun Middle Passage Collective. Bring fruit & flowers for tribute and drums for praise. Many wear white.

Ancestors' Circle, Coney Island Boardwalk at W. 16th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11224

b. Sat. 6/11, 5pm - 10pm: Libation Concert

A warm-up to the International African Arts Festival with hot performances from Nigeria's Wunmi, Brazil's Jackie Ribas, Anguilla's British Dependency, Razia Said of Madagascar, T'dad-T'go's CASYM Steel Orchestra, and South Africa's Thokoza & Thuli Dumakude and The Mighty Zulu Nation.

Advance tickets (thru 6/9) are $15; at the door $22; add $10 for reception. Tickets: www.libation.brownpapertickets.com  Info: (718) 638-6700, info at iaafestival.org

The Amphitheater at Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225

c. Fri. 7/1 - Mon. 7/ 4 (10 am - 9pm, rain or shine): 45th Annual International African Arts Festival 

The music, dance, spoken word, fabric & clothing, carvings, food and more of Africa and its Diaspora…in living color, in Brooklyn. Includes children's activities and a vibe that can't be beat. Voluntary contribution.

More to come: http://iaafestival.org

Commodore Barry Park, Navy Street btw. Park and Flushing Avenues, Brooklyn, NY 11201


WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign
Twitter: @justiceandunity
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(212) 591-2111
Inclusion on all sides of the microphone…