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Juan Gonzalez and Mimi Rosenberg respond to cheap smear campaign

Letter from Juan Gonzalez

Dear Friends,

Anonymous accusers have a long and sordid history in the United States. And the Pacifica Campaign is not in the habit of replying to anonymous accusations and secret tribunals of one. But you may have noticed a recent anonymous e-mail, with an address similar to ours. The e-mail denounced fired WBAI/Pacifica union members as well as our campaign to restore free speech, labor rights and democratic accountability to the Pacifica Radio network. These same accusations are being aired -- unchallenged -- at WBAI.

Enclosed is the original e-mail and an abridged response by fired and banned WBAI programmer Mimi Rosenberg to this cheap smear campaign.

Regards, Juan Gonzalez

Anonymous email posted on 4/27/01 by Pacifcamp@aol.com

IT has come to our attention the Amy Goodman, Bernard White and others involved in the reunion of WBAI's Morning Call Program crossed a picket line of union construction workers in order to perform their program last Saturday.

This is a slap in the face to all of us who believe organized labor is the bedrock of the Progressive Movement. Amy Goodman Crossing A Picket Line! How could you? Those people were protesting for better pay and other working conditions and you and all the other people involved with this event have no right to call yourself members in good standing of any union.

No money should be contributed to the Pacifica Campaign until this horrible action is fully explained.

Mimi Rosenberg responds to false accusations

Unfortunately there are some people who persist in defaming those who resist the retrograde policies and practices of the Pacifica National Board and their managers. There are those whose self interest causes them to ignore the danger that these individuals pose to the maintenance of a progressive radio station and who similarly engage in slander and libel against their former colleagues.

Most recently, there was an erroneous report communicated to WBAI's listeners and the same misinformation has been circulated on the internet. The Theatre for the New City has nothing whatsoever to do with a labor dispute with Local 14-14B. The air rights over the Theatre are actually owned by the City of New York. The City has leased those air rights. The lessee of the air rights is in the process of building over The Theatre. Unfortunately, the lessee has employed a non-union contractor to erect the structure.

For the first time on Monday, April 23rd, not April 21st (the day of the wonderfully successful Radio In Exile event) a small group of union laborers gathered for an informational picket to protest and communicate their dispute with the non-union contractor.

Again, the picket appeared for the first time this past Monday. The business agent for the picketing local, Steve Skinner had never heard of WBAI, had never heard of myself or Amy Goodman and nobody transgressed a picket line. There is no boycott of The Theatre for the New City who is not involved in the labor dispute.

In fact, Mr. Skinner was approached by an individual who identified himself as being from WBAI and requested his business card. This individual deliberately sought to create an issue. Mr. Skinner was distressed over the manipulation of the actual dispute and the misuse of his name in conjunction with efforts to smear those who actually uphold workers rights. After all, in part the dispute with the Pacifica National Board and its managers regard an abrogation of workers rights (i.e. firings, bannings, hostile work environment, etc.) as well as issues of democratic governance, free speech and progressive politics.