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Latino Demonstration against
Lack of inclusion at WBAI



120 Wall Street in Manhattan
Saturday, September 27, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Miguel Maldonado, WBAI LAB Chair, (917) 345-2867 Silvia Arana, (212) 904-2972

The Collective of Latino and Latina Members of WBAI will carry out a protest in front of WBAI 99.5 FM at 120 Wall Street in Manhattan this coming Saturday, September 27, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We have been forced to demonstrate at our own radio station because there is no other way to call attention to the exclusion of the Latino community at every level of WBAI Radio, which has a paid staff of 40 with only 2 Latino members. There is a minimal inclusion of the Latino community in the programming, and the programming that exists does not wholly reflect the Latino community in New York City. There is no policy for hiring a staff that reflects the Latino population of our city.

In January 2002, after 13 months of fighting to restore WBAI Radio after what has become known as the Christmas Coup in December of 2000, a diverse coalition of activists was able to achieve a settlement by which all the fired and banned staff members and producers of WBAI were returned to their positions, and a new Pacifica National Board was formed. Pacifica is a national radio network of five progressive, listener sponsored radio stations across the U.S., of which WBAI New York is a part. Members of New York=92s Latino community were prominent among those activists who made considerable sacrifices to save our community radio station and to insure that all of the fired and banned at WBAI were able to return to their former jobs.

Unfortunately the contribution of Latinos and Latinas has been largely ignored by those who most benefited from it, and WBAI New York has made little effort with respect to the inclusion of the Latino community at the radio station. The Latino community has met with the WBAI management several times about the situation of the exclusion of Latinos and Latinas at the station, but nothing has changed. In fact, the situation is getting worse with the suspension of the only Spanish-language show, "El Colectivo Latino" ("The Latino Collective"), as well as the illegal suspension in a secret meeting of WBAI Local Advisory Board President, Miguel Maldonado, a Latino activist in New York.

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