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NY Activists Disrupt Epstein, Becker & Green Seminar on Anti-Labor Techniques

At 11:20 PM -0500 2/15/01, Juan Gonzalez wrote:

New York City (Feb. 15), Posing as photographers for a GQ magazine shoot, free speech radio activists disrupted a Valentine's Day employment seminar hosted by the corporate law firm of Epstein, Becker & Green at the posh Manhattan Cornell Club on Wednesday.

EB&G, one of the top three law firms in the country specializing in union busting and hardball corporate litigation, has taken an active role in the destruction of the five-station Pacifica Radio network, the only independent media network in the country.

The Cornell Club seminar, titled "Surviving in the Labor and Employment Law Jungle," was interrupted just as the EB&G attorney was describing ways in which company managers can escape worker protection laws. A lone leafleter burst into the room, announcing to the 60 attorneys seated there that EB&G was guiding the union-busting activities of Pacifica Radio management and paving the way for the sale of stations in the 50-year-old network.

The conference attendees seemed generally receptive to the intrusion, and the EB&G lawyer dutifully launched into a description of the crisis at Pacifica Radio and at Pacifica station WBAI in New York where staffers have been fired and banned. A half-dozen hired enforcers closed in on the activist and he was hustled out by security.

Shortly afterwards, Shivers of the Ya Basta! Collective and his colleagues Shakes and Ms. Trembles posed as a fashion photography crew scouting sites for a GQ photo shoot. They were warmly welcomed by security. They thereupon set their voices against the amplified anti-worker litany of the EB&G counselor and distributed literature. They kept their comments to a couple of minutes before being escorted out of the building.

EB&G attorney John Murdock sits on the Board of Directors of the Pacifica Foundation, a non-commercial, listener-supported radio network. John Murdock has proposed changes to the Pacifica by-laws that will allow a small clique on the Board to sell one or more of the five Pacifica Radio stations without any accountability to other Board members or paid and unpaid staff, listeners and community. The proposed EB&G by-laws will permit Board members themselves to have a financial interest in the network, including getting remuneration from any sale. They will also allow the same small group to disburse surplus revenue from such a sale to other organizations.

EB&G also represents Pacifica in three separate California lawsuits challenging the aribitrary governance of the network.

Members of the Action Committee of the Concerned Friends of WBAI and the Campaign Against the Corporate Takeover of Pacifica (Pacifica Campaign) launched the action. A member of the People's Law Collective was present as a legal observer.

For More information, see http://pacificacampaign.org

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