On Monday morning, June 4, about 18 people stormed the offices of WBAI/Pacifica radio in New York City to protest the rightward trajectory of the station.
Kevin Prichard, an NYC Indymedia reporter, alleges that he was assaulted by WBAI morning show co-host, Paul DiRienzo. Prichard was later hospitalized with an injury to his finger.
According to reports on counter-Pacifica discussion boards, DiRienzo has claimed that he was the one assaulted by an Indymedia person that morning, that he was hit in the eye by that person and had his glasses bent in the process.
Paul DiRienzo has been a participant on various counter-Pacifica discussion boards but lately has become very critical of the counter-Pacifica movement. There is an alleged transcript of a phone conversation between DiRienzo and a WBAI listener who called during WBAI's recent fundraising marathon in which DiRienzo seems quite agitated and threatens himself to cancel the Democracy Now! program.
Counterclaims of assault are not unusual these days at Pacifica since Edwin Johnston was arrested at a KPFT/Pacifica protest in Houston on March 23 based on false claims of assault by station management. As a result of Johnston's false arrest, new claims of assault were alleged by Pacifica management against former WBAI producer, Ken Nash from an incident in early March when his show was interrupted by station manager Utrice Leid. Nash was interviewing Representative Major Owens at the time. Leid now alleges that Nash elbowed her during that incident.
Edwin Johnston has two court dates in mid-June. A jury trial is set for June 18 in Municipal Court agaisnt a false claim of simple assault filed by KPFT station manager, Garland Ganter. A plea hearing is set for June 13 in County Court against a false claim of assault/bodily injury filed by Ganter's wife, KPFT employee Molly (O'Brien) Ganter.
A Press Statement from Kevin Prichard's Legal Team http://nyc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=6313&group=webcast
Report of assault of Indymedia reporter at WBAI http://nyc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=6289&group=webcast
More Info on WBAI Demonstration http://nyc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=6287&group=webcast
Violence from KPFT (Johnston arrest) http://www.hal-pc.org/~edi/kpft.html
Houston Committee for People's Radio webpage http://www.hal-pc.org/~edi/hcpr.html
NY Newsday blurb on incident (bottom story) http://www.newsday.com/coverage/current/news/tuesday/nd2972.htm
If you listen to the links Lynn provides you can pass the first 52 minutes
of the first hour, its just the "dynamite" morning show there. The first
30 minutes of the second hour has the commentary by the shows host after
From what I can figure you, instead of Amy WBAI listeners get to hear the
urgent controversy of how Yoga was invented in Africa. The show itself was
mind numbing dull.
At the 55 minute mark or so we hear some commotion and the female host
sounding surprised. All I heard was one voice saying "We want Democracy
The next hour as the co host saying over and over again that Amy is the
cause of these "violent" episodes and that because she won't fundraise she
won;t be on the air until have the funddrive is over, meanwhile others will
raise her salary.
A producer comes in and claims one of the protesters hit him in the
face. (the protester claims it was the other way around).
He than goes on to say that the protester was from the Independent Media
Center, a group that is funding by right wing international capitalist
Also that the protesters were just like the anti abortionist who kill
Here's the audio from WBAI's air this morning during the
demonstration when 18 listeners entered WBAI studios http://www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=3158
Here's the deal.
After linking the Radio4All site, listen to the first file a bit to get a flavor in how far progressive radio has slid.
Remember folks, WBAI is in the 95's in the FM dial, we're not talking left end radio here. It is a STRONG signal. And now the jackals are snipping away at it, trying to gnaw the bone.
So after you get an idea of the wasted energy eminating from their transmitter, move the time setting up to 59:25, and be amazed. Incredible, reality has a fighting chance.
Then go to the second file and listen to the inanity which current commands the mic, with a distant echo of truth somewhere in the edges.
Enjoy, inspire, excite.