Pacifica Management's new, and very expensive, public relations firm has been busy with a media blitz directed at Democracy Now! and Ms. Amy Goodman in particular. Reportedly, Ms. Goodman learned of her suspension from the following article.
The Washington Post Breaks the news.
The media blitz has also gotten into local, New York City newspapers.
Coverage in the New York Daily News Half way down the page.
The Staff of Democracy Now! has written a memo to Pacifica Management stating their side of the story.
The Pacifica Campaign has issued a press release about this and called for a national day of solidarity with Democracy Now!
The folks in charge of the lawsuits against Pacifica Management went to court in an effort to block these actions against Democracy Now! and Ms. Goodman.
As you all know, for many months now Amy Goodman and the staff of “Democracy Now!” have been subjected to a campaign of harassment and threats, including a recent physical assault, by WBAI interim station manager Utrice Leid, and other WBAI staff members, as well as Pacifica's National Program Director Steve Yasko, and the Executive Director Bessie Wash. The object of this campaign has clearly been either to drive Amy into quitting or into a position where she could be fired for insubordination.
This campaign against Amy has been conducted with the full knowledge of the Pacifica board of directors, who despite repeated requests from Amy Goodman, her lawyers, and from the five “dissident directors,” have taken no action and have permitted the harassment to continue.
As a result of these conditions, the Democracy Now! staff no longer felt safe at the WBAI studios and, last week, began producing the program from a remote location and sending it to Pacifica by highspeed ISDN telephone lines. It should be noted that other Pacifica programs, including the popular Gary Null show, are remotely produced and delivered to WBAI and Pacifica over ISDN lines. However, Pacifica has refused to broadcast the remote Democracy Now! program or to provide it to the 50 or so Pacifica Affiliate stations who purchase the program from Pacifica, and has been broadcasting re-runs from the Democracy Now! archives. KPFA and a few Pacifica Affiliate stations have independently obtained the ISDN feed and have broadcast the current Democracy Now! “in exile” programs.
It should be noted that AFTRA, the union for Pacifica's national program staff, after tense negotiations last week and over the weekend, has ordered Amy and her staff back to work at the WBAI studios. Fearing for their safety, the Democracy Now! staff has refused to go.
We hope those of you with union connections will express your dismay and displeasure in writing to AFTRA for failing in their duty to fairly represent of Amy Goodman and the Democracy Now! staff.
Because of our concern over the irreparable harm to the Pacifica Foundation should Democracy Now! be lost to the network, the plaintiffs in the pending lawsuits in California Superior Court last June negotiated a “stipulated court order” requiring Pacifica to give 30 days notice pior to taking any action regarding Democracy Now!. We believe the defendants have violated that stipulation, and our lawyers will go to Court on Wednesday this week seeking an emergency order enforcing the stipulation and requiring Pacifica and all its stations to broacast Democracy Now! as produced from its remote location.
While Pacifica may be free under their union contracts to harass and intimidate staff members and force them to work in an unsafe and hostile work environment (which we do not believe), we believe Pacifica is not free to do so under their separate stipulation with us, which is not based upon the union contract, but upon our interest in preserving the financial health and the good will and reputation of the Pacifica Foundation until trial, when we hope to remove the board majority for breach of trust and gross abuse of their authority and discretion or fraud or dishonest acts.
I'll let you know how the judge rules!Thanks for your continued financial support, we couldn't do this without you!
The attempt to have the judge stop Pacifica Management's discrimination against the cast and crew of Democracy Now! failed.
Well, as I feared, the judge ruled against us on our emergency motion re Democracy Now! The ruling came out late yesterday afternoon. But I'm a sore loser <grin> so it has taken me 24 hours to be in a frame of mind to write this.
We do need to get this judge's attention, and get him to understand that they are destroying Pacifica employee by employee, program by program, and station by station -- just like you can take a building down brick by brick. What we are trying to do is to preserve what is left until we can get to trial -- there comes a time when the whole building will collapse if you take away one more brick.
I do think that his reading our papers and documents about the Democracy Now! situation will help him to get it, to see the pattern of destruction, when he is considering the new motions we filed this week. Those motions will be decided on September 13th. It is really important that we stop the “board packing” elections now set for a board meeting on September 19th. If he lets them do that, then the destruction will only continue at an excellerated pace, I'm afraid.
Meanwhile, I feel like we're in a surreal science fiction battle with alien insects from outer space ... kind of like the “Borg” from Star Trek who keep repeating over and over again “RESISTANCE IS FUTILE” and who have no understanding of who we are or what values motivate us. That, finally, is their greatest weakness. They have always underestimated us.Carol Spooner
Pacifica Management has chosen to put a spin on this issue which is now at odds with the AFTRA statement on their Web site.
Meanwhile, audio and a transcript have been released of an example of the off-air abuse Amy Goodman has endured at WBAI in recent months.
Back to the Pacifica Theft Page.
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