Open Letter to Utrice Leid
Utrice Accosts Amy
Open Letter to
dated August 13, 2001
To Ms. Utrice Leid and the Pacifica Board majority:
This is outrageous. Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, the old WBAI, and the old Pacifica are treasures. If you cannot learn to appreciate this, you need to acknowledge that your funders, the listeners, do. If only for pragmatic reasons, you need to ensure that all staff at WBAI be allowed to do their jobs without harassment, let alone physical intimidation, banning, and firing.
|Demonstrators target the corporate leaning Pacifica National Board. April 28, 2001 © Copyright, Diane Greene Lent, 2001|
Frankly, however, Amy Goodman has been going through proper channels for at least 10 months now, and all of you have shown indifference at best (excepting Ms. Leid's participation in a November 2000 rally called on Amy Goodman's behalf before an apparent turnaround on Ms. Leid's part). Therefore, it cannot be expected that you can maintain safe and legal working conditions for WBAI staff, let alone respect Pacifica's best journalists, producers, staff, and traditions. It is well past time for each and every one of you to resign.
Those who assault Amy Goodman find themselves in the same unseemly company as the US-backed Indonesian death squads and the Seattle police whose tear gas she breathed on the air *for us*. But as much as I respect her work and am outraged at her harassment, there is something else that disgusts me even more. I am appalled by the way the 1991 East Timor massacre by the US-backed Suharto regime in Indonesia is being used as a political football.
The denial of massacres and genocides is a very nasty business. That this is being done by Ms. Leid and her supporters, with the tacit approval of the Pacifica Board majority speaks volumes about what you are doing to Pacifica. It also speaks volumes about what needs to be done.
Resign or be ousted!
Serve the people,
Network in Solidarity with the People of the Philippines
Pacifica listener since 1979
Gave to WBAI in 1999 and 2000; won't give again until you resign or are ousted
bcc: Indonesia activists, other activists, friends
Utrice Accosts Amy
by Juan Gonzalez
August 12, 2001
On Friday afternoon, Amy Goodman was physically accosted by WBAI Interim General Manger Utrice Leid.
According to eyewitnesses, Amy came upon two WBAI staffers rifling through the personal possessions of fired WBAI Program Director Bernard White. Amy objected to the invasion of privacy, and when the two people refused to stop, she went to her office, got her camera, and took a picture of their illegal search.
WBAI interim manager Utrice Leid, who appeared on the scene at that point, ripped the camera out of Amy's hands and stalked into an adjacent office. Amy followed her and demanded her camera back. Leid simply laughed in Amy's face, saying she would have the film developed herself. Leid, a tall robust woman who towers over Amy and weighs at least 50 pounds more than her, then physically shoved Amy out of the way and marched down the hallway to her own office whereupon she shut the door. But Amy would not be intimidated. She stood outside Leid's office and again demanded the camera back. Leid finally relented, opened the door and handed it to Amy.
Amy reiterated that it was wrong to be going through Bernard White's
possessions. Leid asked her how she knew anyone was doing that. Amy replied
that she had witnessed the incident. "Just like you witnessed the massacre
in East Timor?" retorted Leid sarcastically, echoing a common slander that
has now been made by several WBAI staffers who are followers of Leid: that
the 1991 East Timor massacre that Amy witnessed
and reported about was fabricated by her.
For those who live in the WBAI listening area, this incident will come as no surprise. We have heard numerous on-air diatribes by Leid and her followers routinely vilifying Amy and other dissidents at the station. Amy has been threatened with violence, made the object of racist and sexist slurs, and denounced as a "criminal," a "saboteur" and a "Svengali" who is responsible for the entire Pacifica crisis. Leid has said that Amy's contribution to Pacifica is "vomit" and "defecation" and her followers have at times used sexist epithets to degrade Amy, even deriding her on the air as "childless."
Amy has directed numerous complaints to interim executive director Bessie Wash and to the Pacifica Board majority about the harassment and slander, but they refuse to intercede. Are they waiting for Leid or one of her stooges to physically assault Amy?
We urge you to act now.
Starting on Monday, please pick up the phone. Call the people listed below. Tell them to:
1) Stop the threats, slander and physical intimidation against Amy Goodman
2) Resign. Step aside and allow for new leadership to begin the rebuilding process.
Together we can stop this madness.
Stop the Harassment of Democracy Now!
Please call, fax and/or e-mail the following individuals. Please contact as many times as you feel necessary for your voice to be heard. You can make one phone call a day over the next five days or five today. Your phone calls are important. Keep the message simple and straightforward. No harassment and resign now.
WBAI Acting GM Utrice Leid
Pacifica Executive Director Bessie Wash
Tel: 202-588-0999 x 348 or 888-770-4944 x348
Pacifica Board Vice Chair Ken Ford
E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pacifica Board member Valrie Chambers
E-mail: Valrie.Chambers@mail.tamucc.edu, email@example.com
Pacifica Board member Wendell L. Johns
Cut the below list of email addresses, paste it into the To: line of your email composition form. Also go to: http://www.progressiveportal.org/letters/pacifica/resign/
Bmwpacifica@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, KenFordPacifica@aol.com, email@example.com, wendell_L_johns@fanniemae.com, Alfigo@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Valrie.Chambers@mail.tamucc.edu, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
The Pacifica Campaign is a grass-roots organization representing listeners and staff alike, fighting to preserve Pacifica's 50-year tradition of progressive, community-based radio.
Tax deductible contributions to support the work of the Pacifica Campaign may be made to our fiscal sponsor, a 501 (c) (3) organization. Make checks payable to: Institute for Media Analysis-Pacifica Campaign. Our mailing address: The Pacifica Campaign, 51 MacDougal St., #80, New York, NY 10012.
Mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!
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Visit our office
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New York, N.Y.
Editor's note: All these people have since resigned. No need to contact them now. I just wanted you to know that there was a very ambitious campaign to force them out. Between that and the boycott of pledging money to Pacifica, these people all are out of power leaving the good people still in power, people like Leslie Cagan for example.