In late 2009, I was elected to the WBAI Local Station Board. Unfortunately, the U.S. government had other ideas for my time and I was incarcerated for the next 4 years. (When first jailed in lower Manhattan, I tried to participate in major, non-urgent decisions by letter, but the board majority refused, so I resigned.) I survived my prison ordeal and am ready to run for the same important position on this policy-making board. I'm proud to do so with the WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign (www.justiceunity.org).
You may know that I was, for over 30 years, a People's Lawyer (so named by the late, great Professor Arthur Kinoy). I defended many social and political activists and causes. Now, after what was deemed my too-zealous representation of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, I am disbarred and on probation. My health is not robust but I know how to pace myself and I believe I can be an agent of change at WBAI.
Change what? As board members, my Justice & Unity colleagues and I will:
1. Oppose a station sale or signal swap.
2. Search for and recommend a Program Director who can serve as a professional and ethical model for producers and is committed to programming encompassing issues such as gentrification, immigrants, prisoners, and international struggles resisting encroachment by capitalism and banksters, as well as programs by and for young people. (The current board majority continually resisted establishing a search committee.)
3. Mandate and monitor processes around programming, staffing, serious financial planning and responsible spending, including financial transparency.
4. Inform fundraising methods and premium-selection to reflect a progressive, grassroots approach, as spelled out in the sustainability plan assembled by Justice & Unity and colleagues (http://wbai.org/dldetail.php?doc=172 ). (Last year, Justice & Unity combined this plan with those of other board members, but the board majority refused to forward the compilation to the Pacifica National Board for action.)
All segments of the Movement run on news and information and find strength in the culture of revolution. During my long legal battle and campaign for compassionate release, WBAI was absolutely essential in getting the word out and countering efforts to demonize me.
I want to help restore WBAI to greatness, to that 24/7 place for breaking news, cultural enlightenment, and intelligent, thought-provoking politics!
We are fortunate to have WBAI and must build it up and pass it on. The Internet allows us to reach across the world, but we know that around the corner some can't afford $60 per month to be wired to the latest technologies but do have to access 99.5FM on ever-present radios.
We need a Board committed to the station’s success as a tool for change, so I urge that you vote for all the Justice & Unity candidates -- endorsed by Charles and Inez Barron, Bernard White, and many others -- in the following order:
WBAI Community Updates & Station News - July 2015
WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign
1. Local Station Board News & Updates: Meetings, Elections, Your Turn to Serve
2. WBAI Program Notes: Hugh Hamilton, Haiti Show
3. Justice for the Wrongfully Incarcerated – Sat. 7/25, 1pm, Harlem
4. Million People’s March for Justice – Sat. 7/25, 12 Noon, Newark
5. Tribute to Dr. John Henrik Clarke – Sun. 7/26, 3pm, Bklyn
1. LOCAL STATION BOARD NEWS & UPDATES
Elections for half the seats on the Local Station Board (LSB) will soon be underway. Nominations are open through July 26. Learn more here: http://elections.pacifica.org/
A Station Can’t Live Without a Program Director:
AT LAST, the board majority is allowing a search for a permanent Program Director. There are openings for 2 staff members and 2 listener members who are NOT on the LSB. The application receipt deadline is August 5, 2015. Details here: http://www.wbai.org/articles.php?article=2742
2. WBAI PROGRAM NOTES
a. HUGH HAMILTON IS BACK! Well, kinda…
You can hear Hugh Hamilton in a 7:10am Thursday segment. It ain’t what it used to be but, for now, we’ll take it.
b. THE HAITI SHOW IS BACK!
“Lanbi Call” (named for the conch shell used to rally freedom-fighting enslaved Africans in Haiti) alternates with “Asia Pacific Forum” on Mondays at 9pm (next scheduled for Aug. 10). Currently Dominicans thought to be of Haitian ancestry are being stripped of their citizenship and bullied and forced off the eastern part of the 2-nation island into a Haiti still not recovered from the 2010 earthquake or its aftermath. Yet on July 13, the newly restored program about the internal challenges and external exploitation of the first free African nation in the West was pre-empted from one of its two monthly airings for a pre-recorded fundraising pitch.
Future of Peace & Justice Radio At Stake
Lynne Stewart Will Head Justice & Unity's Candidate Slate
Members of advocacy groups that organize for workers’ rights, human rights, tenant rights, anti-racism, release of political prisoners, prison reform and /or ending mass incarceration, etc. are regularly heard on WBAI Radio, 99.5 FM. While most non-profits solicit contributions, WBAI is not “just” another competitor for your donations, but an amplifier of those movements.
The station facilitates the distribution of information about struggles and victories and allows for engaging dialogue and debate about the issues of the day. We think it’s important to strengthen this radio station and ask that you adjust your finances in order to support WBAI.
Your membership will provide much-needed financial support and importantly, it will make you eligible to vote in this summer’s election for WBAI’s Local Station Board. (Only those who have volunteered 3 hours or contributed at least $25 in the year ending July 14, 2015 will have voting rights.) The local board SHAPES THE STATION’S DIRECTION, with a role in selecting and evaluating the station’s management and reviewing its budget and spending.
Much is at stake about the station’s path forward, both in surviving a difficult financial climate and in determining how and whether to strengthen its coverage of the critical movements for progressive change and the major problems facing us, including active and passive racial hatred and discriminatory and abusive systems like the schools and police organizations.
In order to advance efforts to keep WBAI strong on both counts, the WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign is assembling a slate of dynamic, diverse, anti-racist, community-involved candidates to run for seats on the board – headed by People’s Lawyer and former political prisoner Lynne Stewart. By becoming a member, you will have a say in who gets elected.
You can become a member by contributing at least $25 via credit or debit card, no later than July 14 at 10 PM, by going to: www.give2wbai.org or calling 212-209-2950 (the number is open 24/7).
WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign
Inclusion on all sides of the microphone
PACIFICA NATIONAL BOARD RESOLUTION: END RACE-HATE
Whereas, on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, nine people – Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel L. Simmons Sr., Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson – were engaged in the act of prayer when they were murdered in the “Mother” Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina by a self-identified white supremacist, and
Whereas, the AME denomination came into existence as a specific rejection of racially discriminatory treatment and is known for their commitment to social justice, and
Whereas, the Pacifica mission requires us to help build “a lasting understanding between nations and between the individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors; to gather and disseminate information on the causes of conflict between any and all of such groups; and through any and all means compatible with the purposes of this Foundation to promote the study of political and economic problems and of the causes of religious, philosophical and racial antagonisms”, and
Whereas racial hatred plays a large part in the oppression of peoples around the world including in the retroactive de-nationalization of Dominicans of Haitian ancestry and the expulsion of Haitian people from the Dominican Republic, be it hereby resolved that
The Pacifica National Board calls upon foundation broadcasters to utilize the airwaves to present programming that identifies, analyzes, and reduces this destructive element.
Passed without objection by the Pacifica National Board.
(KPFT Director Teresa Allen registered her abstention.)
June 25, 2015