If it smells like a coup, walks like a coup, and looks like a coup—by any other name: it’s a coup!

Ad Hoc WBAI LSB/Paid and Non-Paid Staff & Listeners Committee | 10/10/2019, 9:50 a.m.
Amidst a nation in political crisis with impeachment lurking in the wings and a presidential campaign underway, the country’s only ...
WBAI Contributed

Why did representatives of Pacifica tell WBAI’s landlady to “start looking for a new tenant” because “we no longer need the space”?

Most critically: why did the Pacifica personnel present at yesterday’s lockdown dismantle critical equipment, immediately shut down the bank account and suspend the payroll? One observer referred to it as a coup as she described the damage; they “effectively came into the station and dismantled it, deliberately wrecking the fund-drive and otherwise destroying our broadcast capabilities, as well as seriously impeding our administrative functioning.  This is illegal, as per the order of the judge and our station personnel is working feverishly to get the station up and running again.” 

On Monday evening Judge Frank P. Nervo of the Supreme Court of the State of New York granted a restraining order stating, in part, that “The Pacifica Foundation is ordered to show cause …  on the 18th day of October, 2019 at 9:30 o’clock in the forenoon of that date, why the Court should not enter an order pursuant, to Section 1315 of the Not for Profit Corporation Law and the Bylaws of the Pacifica Foundation, restraining and enjoining the Pacifica Foundation from:

1.Seizing any property, offices, or equipment of WBAI;

2.Terminating employees of WBAI;

3.Preventing WBAI from broadcasting its regularly scheduled programming;

4.Interfering in the orderly administration of the business and affairs of WBAI ...

5.Grant such other and further relief as is just and equitable; and it is further ORDERED that pending the hearing of this Petition, Pacifica Foundation, its officers, agents, and representatives are enjoined and restrained from:

1.Seizing any property, offices, or equipment of WBAI;

2.Terminating employees of WBAI;

3.Preventing WBAI from broadcasting its regularly scheduled programming;

4.Interfering in the orderly administration of the business and affairs of WBAI; ….

As of now WBAI personnel are working to restore our live New York programming back to the air. Obviously legal means will be needed if Pacifica doesn’t cooperate in restoring the bank account, credit card, phone system, website and more.

We are calling on our fellow journalists and producers in the broader media community to investigate this because there are a myriad of agendas here—not the least of which is a potential bankruptcy declaration—leading to the sale of WBAI’s license.