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DATE: July 10th 2001

TIME: To be decided at each location

WHAT: Activists will picket peacefully and legally at affiliate offices and local events of the National Home Builders Association to protest the NAHB’s aggressive strong-arm tactics and to demand that Ken Ford, manager at the NAHB, resign from the Pacifica Radio Network’s board of directors.

Educate the public about the NAHB’s repressive attacks on the media, the environment, disability rights, and internet activists. Tell Ken Ford and the NAHB they can't destroy our progressive media! To date, approximately 13 groups around the US have weighed in on the action, as well as one in Croatia (!), where the picket will be broadcasted on radio.

Join us! Contact your local community radio station and ask them to cover the action. We, at the Pacifica Campaign, will provide you with a boiler plate press release for local coverage, a downloadable flyer, information about picketing, and any other support you will need. We will also be pursuing press coverage on the national level.

Contact the Pacifica Campaign at or call 646-230-9588



The Pacifica Campaign has a core strategy of TURNING UP THE HEAT. By this we hope to hold the members of the Pacifica Board, who are direct decision-makers in the current crisis, accountable for their actions.

The following guidelines delimit clearly nonviolent direct action as we expect it to be practiced within the aegis of this campaign. The Pacifica Campaign will only initiate or support actions that follow these guidelines.

Pacifica Campaign Direct Action Guidelines:

1. We will commit no violence, either physical or verbal, especially racist, sexist, demeaning, unnecessarily heated language, or the use of expletives that serve only to escalate a conflict. We are not engaging in direct action to get into a shouting match; we are speaking truth to power.

2. We will neither use nor carry weapons.

3. We will neither bring nor be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

4. We will not destroy property.


Mass protests require extensive organization, permits, sound systems, and advance publicity. They can be difficult to sustain over a long period of time. Therefore, we introduce below the low-intensity protest, designed to be sustainable and economical, that can be self-organized by small, autonomous groups of busy people.

You will be conducting an informational picket and have no reason to tangle with the police. You don't need a permit as you won't be blocking the sidewalk or making noise. You don't need a crowd, just half a dozen to a dozen friendly listener-sponsors dressed to look unremarkable in the area you will be in, usually a business or financial district. You should also create a flyer, if you can, to be handed out to passers-by explaining what the role of Ken Ford and the NAHB is in relation to Pacifica and free speech rights. The best time to do this is during the lunch hour.

Many of the people you encounter won't know the NAHB or Pacifica. That doesn't matter; the purpose is to convey to passers-by and people who work in the same building with the NAHB affiliate, that the NAHB and Ken Ford are involved in assisting with the theft of a public institution and suppression of free speech rights on the air and the Internet. Most people have donated to a non-profit organization at some time in their lives and it is in the general community interest that non-profit boards behave ethically.


Professional advocates expect to be treated as invisible conduits for their clients' and employers' positions and desires. They deflect accountability for their own, often considerable, role in the process, by hiding behind the "I'm only doing my job" rationalization. NAHB and Ken Ford need to know that anybody assisting the Pacifica Board in its activities to steal Pacifica is complicit and culpable.


The advertising industry has learned that a simple, universal, emotional message is most effective in creating a memorable association to the product/client/brand. Less is more. For example, consider the Nike campaign. These ads consisted of an image of a celebrity or other attractive image, the Nike logo, and the slogan "Just Do It." What does "just do it" mean? Just buy Nike products? Just win an Olympic medal? Just quit your job and move to Tahiti? Just get up the courage to ask your co-worker to dinner? Who knows? It's left up to your imagination. Therefore, a subconscious association is created between your pleasant desire and Nike.

In our case, the aim is to create a negative association, but the mechanics are the same. Signs with simple slogans and images are best. They do not necessarily need Pacifica written on them. The fliers will explain. For examples, look at the signs shown on the radio4all web site at from which we borrowed this information about pickets.


People in the affiliate office or other businesses may try to stop your picket in various ways. Here are a few possibilities.

1) They will call the police - you have a first amendment right to express your views. You are not interfering with any persons entering, leaving or passing by. You are not creating a disturbance. You are on public property. You are merely engaged in an informational picket to inform the community about the threat to a public institution and of the NAHB's role in that. Politely explain this to the police if they arrive. Designate someone in the group who is able to talk to the police calmly without being frightened or enraged.

2) They will threaten you with legal action - as long as you are on the public sidewalk, they can't arrest you for trespassing. And they can't threaten you with defamation type suits, as you are merely expressing your dislike with their involvement in the Pacifica matter, something that concerns your vital interests. Of course, they may hope that you don't know that. SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against political participation) suits are a favorite tool of corporations. Of course, you ought to let any NAHB spokesperson who threatens you with any of the above know that you intend to widely publicize their threats. Be calm but firm. Don't give them any ammunition to claim that they were "in fear for their safety" - this is an often-used Pacifica ploy. This protest method was used with great success against Fineman and Associates, the PR firm hired to do spin control on the KPFA lockout. Coupled with calls, e-mails and letters, Fineman was off the case in one week. Fineman realized that continuing to represent Pacifica would damage their reputation with other potential clients.


Identify people who have affiliations that can be used, brainstorm groups who might be interested; look into organized labor, religious groups, community and political organizations, students. In this case, look into Ecological activists and disability rights activists - groups that have ongoing conflicts with the NAHB over legislation issues. Ask these groups to insert your flyer in their next mailing, post an email to their membership, print a notice in their newsletter, or allow you one-time access to their mailing list.

Find gatherings of like-minded people who would probably like to hear about your picket, and go there with flyers. These can be other rallies, concerts, teach-ins, picket lines, movies, or wherever you can identify a likely audience. Consider targeted leafleting like this versus reaching out to the general public with sidewalk leafleting.


On the day that you picket an affiliate office, you can also organize phone and email pickets from those who do not wish to physically go to the location. This is very valuable back up ofr the actions of the people on the street.

When calling or emailing, tell them Ken Ford is a manager at the Washington DC Headquarters of the NAHB who is actively participating in the destruction of a highly valued public and nonprofit media institution, the Pacifica Network. He has grossly violated the public trust, abused fiduciary responsibilities, squandered the organization's funds, and stayed past his second and final term on the board. It is urgent that Mr. Ford resigns from the Pacifica Board. Please contact him at 800-368-5242x228 or Bruce Smith, NAHB president at 800-368-5242x408. Tell them Ken Ford must resign immediately!

Be polite but firm. Call as often as you feel you must to make yourself heard.

Again, we reiterate that we are nonviolent and that we do not engage in any verbal violence. We are not engaging in a campaign of harassment. We are voicing our opposition to the Pacifica board's campaign of harassment, and to the destruction of the Pacifica network.

Direct Action Resources

Direct Action Network
PO BOX 1485
Asheville NC, 28802

Contacts and links for groups around North America

The Ruckus Society
2180A Dwight Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone: 510 848 9565
Fax: 510 848 9541
Excellent on-line manuals for direct action.

Pretty Good Privacy - email encryption freeware

ACT-UP NY (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) - Civil Disobedience Resources

National Lawyers Guild
Great online manuals
Mac Scott, Membership Coordinator- NLG National office
(212) 627-2656 ext. 14

The Epstein, Becker & Green Protest Kit:

Additional on-line reports of Pacifica-related protests can be found below. (audio streaming) Audio of May 17 EB&G action