Fanny Mae Email Campaign is censored.
Wednesday Picket line reports.
November 15, 2001
Pacifica Campaign Update
EARTHLINK, FANNIE MAE SUPPRESS E-ACTIVISM
Today, the Pacifica Campaign and the activist website http://progressiveportal.org launched a letter writing facility that enabled people to send their personal views on Pacifica Board Treasurer Wendell Johns to a number of his colleagues whose email addresses are publicly available.
Less than a few hours into the letter campaign, Fannie Mae, the world's largest non-bank financial institution, had apparently pressured progressive portal's internet host to shut down the legal site. The webmaster's letter follows, along with a press release on the Friday, Nov. 16th Democracy Now! webstream demonstration, which, thanks to the DC Independent Media Center (IMC) (http://dc.indymedia.org), will be viewable as a live video webstream at http://clients.loudeye.com/dclive/dcimc.ram Check out the protest LIVE on the web from 9-11 AM Eastern Time by clicking on this link.
In the meantime, go to: http://www.techforpeople.net/~progport/cgi-bin/test3.cgi
Letter from Progressive Portal:
Around 11:30 a.m. today (PST), Progressive Portal was taken offline by Earthlink Networks, the Web host for the site. After a couple of hours of inquiries, I was able to determine that the site was cancelled (along with my personal Internet service) because of a complaint that a letter being sent to colleagues of Pacifica Radio board member Wendell Johns was "spam." While the letter-writing on our site is nowhere explicitly prohibited in Earthlink's anti-spam policy, that policy does give Earthlink discretion to censor whatever it likes.
Earthlink has also blocked access to my email, so any messages you sent to me today have not reached me, and may never be recovered.
I am working to get Progressive Portal restored as quickly as possible. I request that you do NOT complain to Earthlink at this point; I am still negotiating to retrieve my blocked email from Earthlink.
I have moved the Wendell Johns letter to another location, so that Pacifica supporters may continue to send it. You can find it at this address:
We will be back online as soon as possible. Meanwhile, any email communications should be sent to me at:
I am sorry for the inconvenience this has caused.
November 15, 2001
Media Activists use Creative Tactics in Community Radio Struggle:
Plan 9 a.m. Friday Wireless Webcast of Award-Winning National Radio Show, Democracy Now! in Exile's War and Peace Report, in Front of Pacifica Radio Network's Headquarters and DC Radio Station that Bans the Show from its Airwaves
Activists Gear Up for the Weekend Meeting of Embattled Pacifica Radio Board of Directors
Washington, DC--Media activists will protest outside of Pacifica Radio Network's headquarters WPFW, 2930 Champlain St. NW Wash. DC, Off Columbia Rd., Friday, November 16 from 9 - 11 AM. As part of the protest, they will use state-of-the-art wireless internet technology to audio webcast Democracy Now! in Exile's War and Peace Report, a national radio show that was previously aired on WPFW but has been banned from the station's airwaves since August 14, 2001. The protest itself will be sent out over the internet as a live video webstream, viewable at http://clients.loudeye.com/dclive/dcimc.ram
Democracy Now! (http://democracynow.org) is the flagship national program of the Pacifica Radio Network, and its host Amy Goodman has won numerous journalism awards. But, as part of the ongoing conflict within the Pacifica Radio Network, Goodman was forced off the airwaves at most Pacifica stations and has now joined the ranks of dozens of journalists who have been censored, fired or banned by Pacifica.
Democracy Now's host and producers were physically and verbally harassed out of the studios of WBAI in New York City when that station was "re-programmed" by Pacifica management and board leaders and subsequently banned from four of the largest Pacifica Radio stations, including WPFW. But rather than stop producing the show, Democracy Now has expanded, and has begun broadcasting a daily national cable television show, "The War and Peace Report", through a collaboration with Deep Dish Television.
Since the attacks of September 11, Democracy Now! has provided some of the most incisive programming on war and terrorism to be found anywhere on radio or television. The live wireless webcast of Democracy Now!, and the protest at Pacifica headquarters/WPFW 89.3 FM are among a series of events planned for this weekend, when the Pacifica Radio board of directors will meet at the DoubleTree Crystal City Hotel.
Pacifica has been embroiled in controversy since 1999, when the Network's managers shut down KPFA of Berkeley. That shut down caused the largest protests in Berkeley since the Vietnam War. In December 2000, Pacifica "re-programmed" its New York City station, WBAI, by firing and banning long-time programmers and eviscerating the station's progressive political programming. Most recently, Pacifica suspended Amy Goodman and removed Democracy Now! from the Pacifica airwaves.
For more information about the struggle at the Pacifica Radio Network, see http://pacificacampaign.org. Following is a list of other events planned for the Pacifica Foundation Board of Directors Meeting:
SATURDAY NOV. 17th
9:00 AM - 5 PM. Pacifica Foundation Board of Directors Committee Meetings. Doubletree Crystal City, 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA
6 - 9 PM. Event: Independent Media in Time of War: Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, David Moore (son of Pacifica Founders) and speakers from Pacifica/s five listening areas. All Souls Unitarian Church, 1500 Harvard Street, NW.
SUNDAY, NOV. 18TH
9 AM - 3 PM. Pacifica Foundation Board of Directors Meeting. Doubletree Crystal City, 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 12:56:18 -0500
Picket Line Report
Approximately ten spirited pickets were thrown up Wednesday at Fannie Mae branch offices and affiliates nationwide. Picketers demanded the resignation of Pacifica Board Treasurer Wendell Johns in the wake of the financial mismanagement at the 52-year-old network. Demonstration sites included New York City, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Rockland County, NY, St. Paul, Minn., Pasadena, CA, Columbus, Ohio, and even Hilo, Hawaii.
In New York City, 30-40 people held up signs with photographs of Wendell Johns, chanting, "Fannie Mae don't you know, Wendell stole our radio." Protesters were not allowed into Fannie Mae's but security guards delivered a letter of explanation to the office.
Seven people gathered at Fannie Mae in Columbus, Ohio and distributed fliers to people passing by and exiting the building. Two entered the building and attempted to reach the Fannie Mae office but were turned back by security guards who had apparently been expecting them. One of the Fannie Mae staffers who was still present but who refused to meet with the protesters commented that she "had no interest in meeting with people like them."
In Washington, DC, half-a-dozen picketers gave out flyers at the Fannie Mae HQ. They conversed with Mr. Johns? assistant who assured them that Johns could see them from his office. Fannie Mae's public relations officer also came down to the street to meet the picketers.
Among other Fannie Mae executives who received letters of explanation about the pickets was Kate Fralin, public relations officer (202-752-6720). She said she would convey our concerns to Mr. Johns.
Yes to Financial Accountability and Open Books!
During his tenure as a national board member, Fannie Mae's Wendell L. Johns has brought the foundation to the brink of collapse. He is responsible for the reckless expenditure of millions of dollars of listener money on gold-plated P.R. firms, security companies, and white-shoe law firms. This includes a reported $2 million, or 20 percent of the annual budget of Pacifica, on firms like Williams & Connolly and Fulbright & Jaworski.
Alarmingly, an independent review of Pacifica's books has warned of possible gross negligence, fraud, and self-dealing at the highest levels of the organization. And California State Senate President John Burton has publicly demanded an open financial review of Pacifica's books.
As an officer of the Pacifica Foundation, Mr. Johns is entrusted with not only preserving the mission of the organization, but also with direct oversight of the finances of the network. We believe that Mr. Johns should take responsibility for the crisis that has occurred under "his watch" and resign now from the Pacifica board.
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