Amy Goodman Physically Accosted at WBAI

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Posted by on August 13, 2001 at 00:44:46:

August 12, 2001


On Friday afternoon, Amy Goodman was physically accosted by WBAI Interim General Manger Utrice Leid.

According to eyewitnesses, Amy came upon two WBAI staffers rifling through the personal possessions of fired WBAI Program Director Bernard White. Amy objected to the invasion of privacy, and when the two people refused to stop, she went to her office, got her camera, and took a picture of their illegal search.

WBAI manager Utrice Leid, who appeared on the scene at that point, ripped the camera out of Amy's hands and stalked into an adjacent office. Amy followed her and demanded her camera back. Leid simply laughed in Amy's face, saying she would have the film developed herself. Leid, a tall robust woman who towers over Amy and weighs at least 50 pounds more than her, then physically shoved Amy out of the way and marched down the hallway to her own office whereupon she shut the door. But Amy would not be intimidated. She stood outside Leid's office and again demanded the camera back. Leid finally relented, opened the door and handed it to Amy.

Amy reiterated that it was wrong to be going through Bernard White's possessions. Leid asked her how she knew anyone was doing that. Amy replied that she had witnessed the incident. "Just like you witnessed the massacre in East Timor?" retorted Leid sarcastically, echoing a common slander that has now been made by several WBAI staffers who are followers of Leid: that the 1991 East Timor massacre that Amy witnessed and reported about was fabricated by her.

For those who live in the WBAI listening area, this incident will come as no surprise. We have heard numerous on-air diatribes by Leid and her followers routinely vilifying Amy and other dissidents at the station. Amy has been threatened with violence, made the object of racist and sexist slurs, and denounced as a "criminal," a "saboteur" and a "Svengali" who is responsible for the entire Pacifica crisis. Leid has said that Amy's contribution to Pacifica is "vomit" and "defecation" and her followers have at times used sexist epithets to degrade Amy, even deriding her on the air as "childless."

Amy has directed numerous complaints to interim executive director Bessie Wash and to the Pacifica Board majority about the harassment and slander, but they refuse to intercede. Are they waiting for Leid or one of her stooges to physically assault Amy?

We urge you to act now.

Starting on Monday, please pick up the phone. Call the people listed below. Tell them to:

1) Stop the threats, slander and physical intimidation against Amy Goodman
2) Resign. Step aside and allow for new leadership to begin the rebuilding

Together we can stop this madness.


Juan Gonzalez



Stop the Harassment of Democracy Now!
Resign Now!

Please call, fax and/or e-mail the following individuals. Please
contact as many times as you feel necessary for your voice to be heard.
You can make one phone call a day over the next five days or five
today. Your phone calls are important. Keep the message simple and
straightforward. No harassment and resign now.

WBAI Acting GM Utrice Leid
Tel: 212-209-2800/2820
Fax: 212-747-1698

Pacifica Executive Director Bessie Wash
Tel: 202-588-0999 x 348 or 888-770-4944 x348
Fax: 202-588-0561

Pacifica Board Vice Chair Ken Ford
Tel: 202-822-0228
Fax: 202-822-0369

Pacifica Board member Valrie Chambers
Tel: 361-825-6012
Fax: 281-655-0266

Pacifica Board member Wendell L. Johns
Tel: 202-752-5355
Fax: 202-752-4281

Cut the below list of email addresses, paste it into the To: line of
your email composition form. Also go to:,,,,,,,,,,,,

The Pacifica Campaign is a grass-roots organization representing listeners and staff alike, fighting to preserve Pacifica's 50-year tradition of progressive, community-based radio.

Tax deductible contributions to support the work of the Pacifica Campaign may be made to our fiscal sponsor, a 501 (c) (3) organization. Make checks payable to: Institute for Media Analysis-Pacifica Campaign. Our mailing address: The Pacifica Campaign, 51 MacDougal St., #80, New York, NY 10012.

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