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NAB Protest: Enemies of Free Speech
by Patrick Cadell
Wednesday Oct 4th, 2000 8:31 PM
Poster from S23
Add Your Comments
more info abou the NAB2000 protest
brad [at] salida.org
Monday Feb 26th, 2001 8:41 PM
A clear channel radio engineer , on vacation protesting
the corporate radio thugs that sign his own paycheck !
He now works FULL TIME starting up LPFM stations.
WHAT THE EVENING NEWS WON'T TELL YOU
September 21-23, 2000 S.F. Ca.:- It was a complete media blackout at recent protests of the National Association of Broadcasters
convention in San Francisco. While there was coverage provided by local public supported radio stations, KPFA 94.1fm Berkeley, and
KQED 88.5fm San Francisco, none of the Bay Area television stations aired any type of story about the 4 day protest. There were
news crews seen througout the protest events, but no stories ever made the mass media networks or local evening news. The
alternative paper The Bay Guardian had extensive coverage, while in contrast it's larger competitors the San Francisco Chronicle
and the Examiner had very few mentions if any. The Chronicle only reported one known related story about the National Lawyers
Guild attorneys being arrested on the steps of the Hall of Justice while trying to gain entry to the building in order to represent clients
who were arrested duing the protests. Journalists and media advocates are stunned to find out that press passes were confiscated
from reporters attempting to cover events at the Moscone Convention Center that week.
One of the FAIR,( Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting) Senior Analysts was arrested while covering a march from the Moscone
Convention Center to the offices of radio station conglomerates Clear Channel just blocks away.
NINE NON-VIOLENT MEDIA ACTIVISTS INCLUDING ATTORNEYS AND REPORTERS ARRESTED IN FRIDAYS PROTEST
Friday Sept. 22nd, Moscone Center, S.F. Ca.: Today was so far the most aggressive in regards to non-violent action taken by
protestors at the National Association of Broadcasters convention.Upon our arrival at the convention center at about 7:15am we
caught the tail end of a protest flag being taken down. It read "Media For Sale". A Direct Action protest took place just before 8am,
with about 100 activists entering the front the Moscone Convention Center via the upper walkway connecting the two convention
buildings. They entered the main entrance area chanting and demonstrating with signs. A theatrical demonstration ensued with large
cardboard cards made into Monopoly properties with the large corporate media groups names and assessts printed on them. They
were then displayed on the ground in a square in the driveway area in front of the entrance. Activists also made up playing pawn
representations of the Boot, Hat, Car, etc. and wore them on their heads jumping from property to property.
Along with that was the most direct of the action which had four young male activits "locked down" with metal u-shaped bike locks
interconnected and fasted around their necks. The four sat right in front of the door waiting for an opportunity to move into the building.
That opportunity came about 15 minutes into the protest as the four took advantage of an opportunity to non-violently force their way
into the lobby. Despite police officers attempts at keeping them from getting through, they were successful and remained there for
hours. The show of force from the SFPD was begining to increase and about 20 minutes after the activists entered the building, the
police gave the demonstrators an order to dispurse behind the barricades as a citizens arrest complaint had been signed by the NAB
and they would arrest any violators.
The demonstrators then began to move into the crosswalk and held up traffic for a brief time while proceeding down the street and
around the corner to their next destination. Meanwhile the four activists in lockdown remained at the Moscone Center lobby chanting
and vocalizing against the NAB. Eventually they were surrounded by a curtain to sheild the NAB attendees from seeing them, and
from others overseeing the welfare of the activists. The fire department was called in to saw the gentlemen from their bonds in which
they were taken into police custody.
The next event was held at the offices of KYLD and other Clear Channel San Francisco stations. Activists had marched from the
Moscone Center to KYLD/KMEL offices to protest the Monopolization of Bay Area radio markets. Enroute one protester was allegedly
beaten by police who were in escort formation and riot gear aside of the line of marchers. When the group arrived at 340 Townsend,
the Clear Channel offices, more chanting and speaking out was intiated. Not long after the arrival, two of KYLD's on air staff ambushed
the crowd with microphones in hand and aggressively engaged many of the protesters. When asked by one activist how long the
"personality" in question had worked in radio, the jock responded disrespectfully and began yelling and calling people "fat and ugly"
and attempting to provoke violence among the non-violent crowd. It was unclear exactly what caused their front glass door to sustain a
large crack, as the KYLD dj's were going at it with the activists and could have possibly caused the damage themselves. Another
protester was also arrested during the time of the mele, but it was unclear as to what the protester did to evoke the agressive arrest.
After about 15 minutes following the confrontation with the KYLD "DogHouse" crew, the crowd began to voluntarily dispurse to avoid
any further arrests or provoked violence from the radio group employees or the police.
The protest is finally getting some attention from WIRED. Read this article from WIRED about Thursday's protest!
Thursday Sept. 21st NAB Convention, S.F.Ca: Day two of the events at the Moscone Center wrapped up with some parties and a
labor forum. At 8:30 am, a crowd of about 150 drew to the front of the Convention Center to welcome the NAB members once again.
The protest was focused around a mock convention with parody players acting out characters such as Howard Sternum, Lolly Mays,
Eddie Fritz and other mock media icons. There was also an address by Media Alliance's Andrea Buffa.
The show of police force was very apparent as there were at least a dozen or so police vehicles and motorcycles showing their
presence. Protesters were told to stay confined behind a barricade and not to cross the barricade to approach anyone. It was fine for
the convention attendees to freely approach the vocal crowd. Several people were confronted for interviews and all of them either had
no comment or played as if they didn't know about why they were being protested. There were no incidents, and the crowd dispersed
peacefully to plan other events.
Later that evening a forum was held by the Labor Action Committee with a panel of speakers who talked about the media and labor
related issues.The presentation began with a great performance by Samsara who sang three acapella political parody numbers. The
focus was around how corporate media, including PBS has been neglecting labor realted issues and devoting less and less time to
labor segments. The bottom line was the media didn't want to ruffle any feathers by running news stories that could reflect negatively
on their advertisers. The coverage of the labor movement and even current labor issues such as strikes that are going on now is
nominal if non-existant. The guest speakers also praised community low power radio activists who are attempting to make these
issues aware to the public since corporate media refuses to do so. Labor unions have been ignored by the media unless a major
strike occurs, even then they are lucky to get a minute of time for their cause. Dick Meister a labor reporter formerly with the San
Francisco Chronicle and KQED radio talked about his experience and the downfall of labor reporting in the media industry. Bill Fiori a
labor activist and local San Francisco Community Access labor reporter discussed his experience with media. Janine Jackson,
Program Director for FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) and of Pacifica's "Counter Spin" came in from New York to add her
input and discussion of community radio, corporate media and labor issues, along with author Norman Solomon. The message was
one of the labor and community media activists starting to work together to strengthen the voices of the American public.
Another performance was given toward the end of the forum by Larry Shaw called "Who owns your dial?", a NAB protest song.
After that some of the attendees were heading over to the AK Press party and the showing of footage from the WTO protests at the
Roxy. An enlightening time was had by all.
Wednesday Sept. 20th NAB Convention, S.F. Ca: The National Organization for Women held a press conference outside the NAB
Convention today in support for their "Love your body" campaign. They were promoting womens issues in the media and supporting
efforts for low power community radio. There were about 100 people protesting outside the convention center, promoting pro-body
acceptance, and blasting radio show hosts such as Dr. Laura, Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh. Partytown Radio was there with
their Enemies of Free Speech sign with pictures of Eddie Fritts the NAB Dictator (CEO), Harold Furtchgott-Roth the only FCC
Commissioner who is against LPFM and is being honored at the Policy Makers breakfast, Lowry Mays the CEO of Clear Channel
communications radio conglomerate which has swallowed over 63 radio groups into their collective since 1996, and Tom Hicks, the
CEO of Hicks, Muse Tate and Furst a Texas leveraged buyout firm which is the owner of Clear Channel. These are some of the
biggest players in keeping the public from low power community radio. During the protest, media was on hand, CBS Market Watch,
KQED, Media Alliance and San Francisco Liberation Radio were getting interviews from the protesters. KRON Channel 4 in San
Francisco was also on hand reporting from the protest. It was ironic that one of the buses which was bringing in some of the NAB
conventioners parked strategically between the protestors and the convention's front doors as if to block the sight of protestors from
the NAB members. NAB security escorted one of our videographers away from the convention doors, as if we didn't have a right to be
on that side of the convention. Many corporate suits milling about got an earful and a good look at the sign that proudly displayed the
enemies of free speech. The protest ended around 1pm and was without incident.
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