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 firstname.lastname@example.org or
GUIDELINES FOR THE ACTIONS
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
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.
LOW INTENSITY PROTEST METHOD
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
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.
HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE
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.
SIGNS SHOULD HAVE SIMPLE MESSAGE
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 www.radio4all.org/freepacifica/murdock/index.html
from which we borrowed this information about pickets.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
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
EMAIL AND PHONE PICKETING
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
Be polite but firm. Call as often as you feel you must to make
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
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
Phone: 510 848 9565
Fax: 510 848 9541
manuals for direct action.
Pretty Good Privacy - email encryption freeware
ACT-UP NY (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) - Civil Disobedience
National Lawyers Guild
Great online manuals
MASS DEFENSE COMMITTEE
Mac Scott, Membership Coordinator- NLG
(212) 627-2656 ext. 14
The Epstein, Becker & Green Protest Kit: http://www.radio4all.org/freepacifica/murdock/index.html
Additional on-line reports of Pacifica-related protests can be
Audio of May 17 EB&G action