Tuesday evening, July 27, 2004
WBAI Local Station Board Regular Meeting
Penn South Community Center in Manhattan. 343 8th Ave between 26th and
27th in Community Room 8A
Note: The previous two BAI LSB meetings had been chaotic, with LSB
members being intimidated by uproarious and disruptive behavior, and in a
few instances - by outright physical attack. Some of this can be viewed in
a number of video clips at http://www.angelfire.com/retro2/bobdobbs/.
In the clip http://www.angelfire.com/retro2/bobdobbs/tncmgr7704.mov,
a Theater for New City (which had provided the venue for the July 7th
meeting) staff person can be viewed warning the LSB audience that if she
"sees one more person being hit" she will call the police.
Subsequent to this meeting, much discussion ensued about the
disruptions and violence. The Pacifica National Board was notified about
the perceived hazards to LSB and audience members, and the possibility of
lawsuits should anyone be injured. I brought a video and still camera to
the meeting, as others did, hoping the presence of more cameras would have
a salutary effect.
|Left to right, behind table: Shawn Rhodes, Roger Manning, Cerene Roberts,
Zara Khan, Ray Laforest, Alex Steinberg, R. Paul Martin, Miguel Maldonado, Berthold
Riemers, Robert (Bob) Owens,
Paul Surovell (back to camera)
Not Quite Kodak Moments, But Cameras Rolled
and there was business conducted...
I got to the meeting after it had started. It was a small room with at
least one pillar, making viewing less than perfect. A sign on the wall
stated that no more than 60 should occupy the room. At its peak, there may
have been 80 there. If the goal of the recent conveners at Riverside
Church was to flood these meetings with Bernard supporters, they failed,
but I was surprised that the LSB booked such a small room. Actually (and
strategically), what probably matters most is getting the troops to join
committees. And presumably to get them to show up for 3 consecutive
meetings to become voting members would be a HUGE hurdle for any faction,
BAI's activist record of 2001 being what it is.
I was happy to find 3 video cameras already running (so I didn't have
to unpack mine), plus two security guards present. It was announced during
the meeting that the PNB had ordered the videotaping and that the WBAI GM,
Don Rojas, had provided the guards (at the PNB's orders?). A few audience
members made much of Pacifica "calling in the cops." One large
intimidating guy was particularly inspired with revolutionary/workers
fervor by this theme and stormed nervously (well, he made ME nervous)
about the room at various times and shouted out his allegiance to
"workers" and opposition to the fascist LSB/PNB, etc. in the
face of "racist" cops, etc. This was all the more notable due to
the fact that he was a white guy in a suit (albeit, rumpled) and the
security guards were Black and, uh, workers.
Revolutionaryman was confrontational at a number of other points,
shouting out argumentatively about his right to talk out, etc. He handed
me an anti-Null flyer when I came in. I have a feeling he was an embarrassment
to EVERY faction. Someone sitting near me wondered if he had missed his
meds. It was hard not to agree and his behavior and made me appreciate the
potential for actual danger presented by the nurturing of conflict re the
16 LSB members were present, plus Don Rojas. Absent were Ghosthorse,
Gaston, Pennisi, Liu, DeRienzo, Warren and Lucas.
I made notes about motions, etc., but being out of the loop, much of it
was not easy to follow. Thanks probably to the cameras and guards - and
the absence of the main combatants, it was a fairly normal meeting. There
were two Public Comment periods (accompanied by more huffing, this time
about Miguel holding on to the mic for speakers - an obvious plot to
subvert Mimi's Right To Mic For Life). Cerene tried to get more comment
periods allowed, but, as with most of her motions, this was voted down. At
one point there was a motion or amendment to allow for public comment on
each item being voted on - one for and one against. Cerene, stating her
great respect for listener input, then said if one is good, why not three
or four pro and con. It didn't fly.
Many of the public comments were anti- Null, Pennisi and PDR.
Committee reports were given. There were disagreements, but no
menacing. There were differences re who would be part of the Management
Evaluation Committee and some controversy whether the two staff unions
should be part of it.
The meeting was still going when I left around 10PM.
Member: International Camera & Photographer Protection Assn.
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7-27dr-lsb.jpg Don Rojas addresses the LSB
and thanks all for "your decorum."
7-27surovel.jpg Paul Surovel delivers
Management Evaluation Committee report.
. . .
http://www.wbai.org/lsb/ is the
site for WBAI Local Station Board minutes, meeting and other
Email LSB: lsb ["at"] wbai.org
Phone LSB: 212-209-2919
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