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September 13, 2008

Support The WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign

If you want radio station WBAI (99.5 FM) to remain a powerful and progressive tool for disenfranchised communities of color, BECOME INVOLVED IN THE WBAI JUSTICE AND UNITY CAMPAIGN.

For years, WBAI has offered a powerful array of programs unavailable on either corporate or "public" radio or TV - challenging the powers-that-be. Besides multicultural music not heard elsewhere, there are programs that give voice to the issues and fightbacks of every peace and justice movement in the tri-state area. And after years of struggle, there are activist programs by and for African-American, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, Arab, Indigenous, immigrant and working-class communities. However, a small but determined faction known at different times as List Prog/ACE/Independents - now the majority on the station's governing board - is trying to turn back this progress, using false allegations and racist stereotypes to try to gain support.

The WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign is a multi-racial coalition of activists that stands for maintaining and expanding progressive, activist, anti-racist programming at WBAI and throughout the 5-station Pacifica Network, Justice & Unity runs also runs candidates for the board, which is elected by listener-members and staffers. Already, the Board's majority faction has started restricting community participation on key committees. Using the ruse of saving money, Board chair Mitch Cohen and his allies are openly calling for the removal of progressive people in key positions throughout the network. Target #1 is Bernard White, the progressive African-American program director of WBAI who has broadened the selection of progressive activist programs on the air.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP? WBAI is a listener-sponsored radio station - which means it refuses to be in the pockets of the corporate power brokers and therefore will not accept any corporate funding. This means that WBAI relies on listener donations to stay afloat. During these turbulent financial times, with rising unemployment among listeners and escalating operating costs, the station is experiencing a tremendous financial crisis. HERE'S HOW YOU CAN HELP:

o Immediately become a member of WBAI. A minimum of a $25 donation per year makes you a member - but give as generously as you can. In addition to helping the station financially, this will also ensure that you are able to vote in next summer's election for people who represent your interests to sit on the WBAI Local Station Board (LSB).

o Support WBAI's Fall Membership Drive (Sept. 8 - Oct. 4). Besides hearing strong programs on human rights violations, Bush/Cheney's impeachable offenses, questions about 9/11, exposures of pharmaceutical hype, and other issues, you will be able to get exciting CDs and DVDs for additional donations. Check www.wbai.org for details or tune in to 99.5 FM. For those who can't afford to contribute, if you volunteer for at least 3 hours (this includes answering phones during the drive), you also become a voting member. For information, call 212-209-2800.

o Tell your friends and network of community activists to tune in to WBAI and become members.

o Renew your membership each year - help the station stay afloat and maintain your voting rights.

o Use the WBAI Online Archives. If you miss any of WBAI's fantastic programming during the day, you can go to archive.wbai.org, where you can listen to and download public affairs programs for up to 90 days and listen to music programs for 14 days.

o Support the Justice & Unity Campaign - Sign up for our email list and elect our supporters to the WBAI board next year. Visit www.justiceunity.org for more information.

Supporters of Justice & Unity include: Fr. Luis Barrios, Amiri & Amina Baraka, Michael Tarif & Evelyn Warren, Dr. Leonard Jeffries, Fred Ho, Tim Wise, ACT UP/NY, Asia Pacific Action, CEMOTAP, Committee to Free the Cuban 5, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, Haiti Support Network, International Action Center, People's Org. for Progress, ProLibertad, and other progressive groups. Current Justice & Unity members on the station board are: Nia Bediako, Tibby Brooks, Omowale Clay, Lisa Davis, Sara Flounders, Vajra Kilgour, Ray Laforest, Bob Lederer, Fr. Lawrence Lucas, and Berta Silva.

For more information, please visit the WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign at www.justiceunity.org.
For a downloadable flyer, RIGHT click HERE and help distribute copies!