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KPFA Radio Activists Arrested
by anonymous
Tuesday Jan 23rd, 2001 8:03 PM
These free speech activists entered the SF offices of law firm Epsteein Becker & Green on 1/23/01 and refused to leave until EBG Attorney John Murdock resigns from the Pacifica board of directors.
arrestforfreespeech.jpg
KPFA activists believe that the threat to the Pacifica Radio Network will be lifted only when the current Board of Directors is reconstituted by removing members like John Murdock, an attorney at Epstein Becker & Green.

Murdock's law firm specializes in "maintaininng a union-free workplace." The firm is representing the Pacifica Foundation in lawsuits that have been filed against the board by concerned listeners.
§Reports on the arrests, 1/23
by sc Thursday Jan 25th, 2001 6:09 PM
PROTESTERS ARRESTED IN SAN FRANCISCO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2001
Contact: Tracy Rosenberg, Media Alliance, 415-546-6334

KPFA RADIO ACTIVISTS ARRESTED AT SAN FRANCISCO LAW FIRM

SF BAY AREA RALLIES TO SUPPORT KPFA'S SISTER STATION IN NEW YORK, AND DEMAND THE RESIGNATION OF PACIFICA RADIO BOARD MEMBERS WHO SUPPORTED THE WBAI TAKEOVER

San Francisco, CA--In an act of nonviolent civil disobedience, eight free-speech activists entered the San Francisco offices of the law firm Epstein, Becker & Green and refused to leave until EBG attorney John Murdock resigns from the Pacifica Radio board of directors. The activists were arrested for trespassing. A rally in front of Epstein, Becker & Green is planned for 4 p.m. today at Two Embarcadero Center.

The protests at Epstein, Becker & Green, which were called by Media Alliance and the KPFA steering committee, coincide with the one-month anniversary of the Pacifica Foundation's hostile takeover of WBAI, its New York station. During the Christmas holidays, Pacifica Radio national managers changed the locks at the station, fired the program director, and banned several long-time producers. The crackdown at WBAI mirrors almost exactly Pacifica's 1999 attack on KPFA in Berkeley, which resulted in a lockout of journalists there, and a demonstration of 10,000 listeners to get the station back on the air.

"The same board members who locked out the journalists at KPFA are at it again at WBAI. People who censor and ban journalists at their stations have no place running the only progressive radio network in the United States" said Andrea Buffa, executive director of Media Alliance.

KPFA activists believe that the threat to the Pacifica Radio Network will be lifted only when the current board of directors is reconstituted by removing members like John Murdock. Murdock's law firm specializes in "maintaining a union-free workplace" and is representing the Pacifica Foundation in lawsuits that have been filed against the board by concerned listeners. Since Murdock joined the Pacifica board, he has taken a leadership role; it is rumored that he is being groomed to be the next board president.

Free-speech activists staged a protest at the Epstein, Becker offices in Washington, D.C.--where Murdock is based--on Friday, January 19th. New York activists have been holding regular pickets outside of the company's offices in Manhattan, urging Murdock's employers to press him to resign from the Pacifica board.

"Until John Murdock leaves the Pacifica Foundation board of directors, we plan to call, email and fax him and his colleagues at Epstein, Becker & Green to beseech them to get Murdock to move aside and make way for free speech," Buffa said.

###


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Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 17:19:57 -0500
From: Eileen Sutton <efsutton [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: {FP} False Information

Friends,

Yesterday, there were two actions in San Francisco at the law offices of Epstein, Becker & Green (a national firm which employs Pacifica board member John Murdock). The morning action was a sit-in, with a rally in the afternoon.

I have learned that on this morning's WBAI Wake-Up Call, co-hosted by Amy Goodman, interim host Clayton Riley characterized those in the San Franciso sit-in as having *trashed* the Epstein, Becker office, with phone lines having been *ripped out.*

Here is how KPFA reporter, producer of Free Speech Radio News and arrestee Aaron Glantz described the event:

--We sat down in the lobby of the law offices. We had 15 copies of paper we wanted to fax to John Murdock. We left those copies around the office. It would have taken roughly 45 seconds to clean them up. We had an idea to call John Murdock--one of us started to dial the phone in the lobby, and then one of the building security people unplugged the phone. He didn't yank it out, he was very professional. In every respect, it was a model sit-in: we behaved very well, the building security behaved well, the cops behaved well. Nothing happened bad from any side.--

Below is an excerpted, longer report by John Sheridan in San Francisco of the afternoon rally. Listeners might want to inform interim Wake-Up Call host Clayton Riley of the facts, so that he might in the future report accurately on the crisis in the network.

onward,
Eileen Sutton Banned WBAI Unpaid News Reporter
Pacifica Reporters Against Censorship Hotline: 718-707-7189
To Volunteer: 800-825-0055
Email Sign Up: http://www.savewbai.tao.ca

==================================================

our thanks to John Sheridan for this post...

This morning [1/23/01, 11 followers of the democratic dream of an accountable Pacifica entered the offices of Epstein, Becker and Green at 2 Embarcadero, Suite 1650, in San Francisco.

Our fax to Murdock, printed on a pink slip of paper, was a letter of resignation by John Murdock from the Pacifica Board for the crimes of conflict of interest, illegal rewriting of Pacifica's bylaws and for the illegal and immoral firing and banning of workers at WBAI. The fax had a line for John's signature.

We said we would not leave until they had faxed it to him, he had signed it and he had faxed it back to us. As they could not convince us to leave, first security and then the San Francisco police were called. We all sat down, along with several observers and began to explain, in very loud song, chant and stomping that John Murdock has got to resign from the Pacifica Board.

We explained that though this may be the first time it won't be the last time that listeners would express this demand as we were doing today, and that they had better become used to it - or they could persuade John to quit the Pacifica National Board. It was very simple.

For an hour we made as much noise and attempts to convey our outrage as possible, overseen by jovial San Francisco police, one of whom complained that he couldn't get KPFA up in Sonoma where he lived. We also placed a good number of our flyers inside obscure pages of the firm's law library.

The folks who came today to the EBG offices were Ben Clarke and Andrea Buffa and Mario Zap from Media Alliance, Rebekka Rodriguez, Paul G., Terry Messman of the American Friends Service Committee, Aaron Glantz of KPFA News, and John Sheridan of the CdP. Observing were Scott Fleming of the National Lawyers Guild and 2 other KPFA supporters.

We were not finally persuaded to leave and were removed to a waiting police wagon and taken to the North Beach station on Vallejo Street. We were cited for trespassing, with a court date of March 13 and walked back through North Beach and Chinatown in the rain.

At 4 PM, we returned to 2 Embarcadero for a planned protest and were joined by perhaps 50 other KPFA supporters and staff. We picketed outside and heard words of support from Susan Stone and Matt Martin of KPFA. Larry Bensky recorded portions of the event. Sherry Gendelman of the KPFA LAB told us that the LAB suit was in deposition in D.C. when a phone call came in telling the attorneys there that a number of people were sitting in at the offices of EBG in San Francisco. Attorneys working for Pacifica called Sherry and told her to "tell her people to get out of the EBG offices immediately." She did not order people there so she suggested they call the EBG offices in San Francisco and tell the people themselves. So the deposition of the Bill Lucy was temporarily interrupted by the sit in.

Fed up with being kept outside the mall area of 2 Embarcadero, it was decided to continue the protest through the lower floor of the building. This is when the police stepped in and said that any movement into the building area would be met with arrests. Several people including Mary Berg, Mario Zap and others argued that court decisions held that the "public area" of a mall was indeed a public area and not private property.

The manager of the property told the police to move in and they walked into the midst of the protestors and began arresting people--Aaron Glantz and then Mario Zap both for the second time today. They also arrested Scott Fleming who was our legal observer in the morning sit-in, and another demonstrator named, I believe, Greg Getty who didn't move out of the way fast enough and who was videotaping the demonstration.

All four of these people were immediately, to a chorus of loud shouts, taken by police car to parts unknown where we think that at least Aaron and Mario are still being held this evening.

A marching picket line was formed and the protest continued for another 45 minutes or so. Pickets will continue at 2 Embarcadero next Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:30 -1 PM.

-- John Sheridan Coalition for a Democratic Pacifica

- /*This message comes via the freepac list. */
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