WBAI Staff, Supporters, Elected Officials Gather At Steps Of City Hall Oct. 15 To Denounce "Coup" By PACIFICA Radio

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WBAI's fight to reverse the PACIFICA coup continues with news conference Tuesday. 
 
The resistance continues.
 
WBAI radio staffers, supporters and volunteers will be joined by listeners, elected Officials, and community organization leaders and their members at a press conference on steps of City Hall on October 15, to denounce an ongoing attempted coup at the station.
 
The news conference starts at 12 noon.
 
After nearly 60 years, noncommercial listener-supported WBAI Radio was suddenly shutdown by a faction of its parent organization, the Pacifica Foundation, led by their handpicked, recently appointed Interim Executive Director (IED), John Vernile. 
 
Attorneys and board members will update the media on "rogue efforts" to destroy WBAI, while producers and community representatives discuss the importance of the community radio institution to New York City and its surrounding area, and call for the restoration of this free-speech beacon to the rightful owners--the listeners. 
 
The station was shut down without warning in the early morning hours of Monday, October 7, when Pacifica representatives, including IED Vernile and two security guards entered the station unannounced, demanded the staff leave, locked the doors and fired 12 paid staff and 168 radio producers. They then rerouted the transmitter so that only programming originating in California would be aired – eliminating all local programming. 
 
There had been no advance vote by the Pacifica National Board as mandated by its bylaws to authorize this action, which could pave the way to sell WBAI’s valuable broadcasting license. 
 
In a dramatic turn of events over the weekend, a faction of the Pacifica National Board voted on Saturday to retroactively affirm the shutdown of WBAI by denying participation to three WBAI elected Board members. However, on Sunday, a majority of the board--12 members--called an emergency Board meeting, boycotted by the anti WBAI faction, and voted to rescind the shutdown and restore WBAI to full functioning under local control. 
 
The Board’s pro-takeover minority meanwhile has vowed to challenge the Sunday vote as “illegal.” So while the legal battle continues, the movement of listeners, producers, and community advocates is growing in its call to save WBAI and free speech radio in New York City.
 
 

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