Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
This series will kick off on Dec. 5th at Lion's Gate Lounge, 1957 Kennedy Road @ Progress. A panel discussion will take place between 8-9 pm and a full blown celebration will follow featuring a long line up of local and respected artists including: King Turbo, Blessed, Tasha T, Sean Bush, Rootsman, Lady X and many many more!!
For more information make sure to visit www.reggaemania.com
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Tonight about approximately 20 locked out programmers/volunteers and community allies showed up to El Mocambo to peacefully protest the illegitimately AGM, called by tony barnes, mike phillips. dj snapp, d. james, josie minor, doug barrett and the rest of "their" board. This AGM was to replace the other illegitimately called session scheduled for October 29th at Oakam House - a meeting that did not take place due to lack of internal support and consensus as well as outside pressure and protest.
The CKLN mismanagement and board have been looking to carry out an AGM to justify their process to the RSU so that student fees held in trust could be released in full to them (monies desperately needed since the most recent fundraising drive failed to bring in as much financial support from community as it had in past years). Since the meeting of the 29th involved police participation at the request of CKLN mismanagement, the SCC building administration cancelled the station's rental privileges within Student Centre premises. The Ryerson Student Union had already warned mismanagement in past occasions that police presence was not welcomed in the building.
Also, the RSU had on several opportunities encouraged mediation and a reasonable resolution of this dispute. Most recently, their legal counsel met with CKLN mis-reps and their legal counsel to address the "AGM" which was re-scheduled for the 23rd of this month. At this meeting both CKLN staff and mis-reps and their lawyer agreed to postpone this meeting until a list of eligible attendees was sorted out and agreed upon by both sides (the legitimate board elected months ago and the illegal board that includes recent student appointments and dismissed community and volunteer mis-reps). In a clear violation of an agreement made in good faith between two parties and their legal counsels, the mismanagement and "their" board decided to go ahead with their scheduled illegitimate AGM tonight at El Mocambo.
The meeting was only open to those who were approved volunteers (by mismanagement), Ryerson students, and community supporters who had donated $50 in the most recent fundfest. These requirements made the event exclusive and exclusionary. But not all were allowed in, d. james was positioned by the entrance hiding behind two club security staff with a list in hand to check who mismanagement and "their" board had agreed would be considered legit participants at "their" meeting. Doug Barrett was also on door duty, though not too close but overlooking from a set of stairs, making sure that his colleague and security would carry out orders. Metro Toronto Police on bike were also called and stationed on the sidewalk (between 3 to 6 officers from time to time).
A peaceful and informative picket was set up outside the club. Flyering was done to educate those who were attending as well as the general public. Speeches were given to raise the issue that this was not a legitimate meeting and that this action was being carried out in bad faith and in an exclusionary manner. Many of those of us who attended this picket tried to get inside to bear witness but we were all turned down by security at the instruction of d. james. Some were pushed aside and verbally abused and/or disrespected by those who support this unjust and illegitimate behaviour.
Half of an hour to 8 pm, we got word from the inside that the meeting was not happening as seamlessly as irrationally expected. People were questioning mismanagement and "their" board on a variety of issues and that no elections had taken place thus far. The body count inside was estimated to be between 25 and 30 at the start. Toward the 7:30 pm mark, 3 people had left the meeting because "there was too much shouting and arguing" and not much was being done in terms of discussion and decisions.
The weather was chilly but the energy was good. Kudos to Owen, Don, Cathy, Oriel, Joeita, Jeff and Lilka for all the prep work and for bringing flyers, banners and megaphone to help carry out this important action, and to all of those who came out and stood there for an hour or two to bear witness to this injustice.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Pickets are on!! Come down and join us every Sunday at NOON in front of the Student Centre (55 Gould Street).
Nov. 23rd picket has been moved to EL MOCAMBO and will take place between 6-8 PM!!!
Written by Vanessa Greco for the Eyeopener
CKLN 88.1 FM can no longer book rooms at the Student Campus Centre (SCC) after their Annual General Meeting (AGM) escalated into a shouting match. The meeting ended when police were called to remove dismissed volunteers and other community members who wanted to attend.
"This isn't the first time police have been called. It's just become unacceptable," said Michael Verticchio, interim general manager at Oakham House.
"CKLN has lost their booking privileges until they prove they can hold a peaceful meeting."
The campus-community radio station's AGM on Oct. 29 was supposed to be an opportunity to discuss a pending financial report, union negotiations and announce their new station manager, Sam Snapp. But, when CKLN managers called the police to remove community members who were attempting to join in, SCC executives pulled the plug on CKLN's meeting and booking privileges.
Jeremy Salter, chair of the Student Campus Centre board, said CKLN managers booked two rooms on Oct. 29 — one to host their meeting and the other to mislead "unwanted community members" hoping to attend. According to Salter, when the unexpected guests discovered the real meeting location, CKLN staff members refused to open doors and instead alerted police.
"The whole situation is extremely undemocratic," said Salter, adding that constant police presence is unnerving for students and not desired in the SCC. Before their SCC booking privileges were revoked, CKLN was already facing financial strain from the Ryerson Students' Union (RSU). The RSU is withholding more than $100,000 from the station until infighting involving their board of directors is resolved.
"It is student money and we want to make sure we're giving it to the right people," said Toby Whitfield, VP finance and services and RSU rep on CKLN's board. Peter Toh, an MBA student and host of the CKLN show Africa United, said he is saddened by the decision to withhold money.
"It is disheartening to know that the RSU and CKLN cannot find common ground."
Between withheld student money, the dismissal of more than 25 volunteer programmers, conflict surrounding their board of directors and revoked SCC booking privileges, newly-minted station manager Sam Snapp admits he has his hands full.
"There's a lot of dissent that's grown and it's time to take the station back to the basics," said Snapp.
"Right now, the station is in a position where it has a good chance to rebuild."
In February 2008, CKLN members voted to remove the non-student members from the Board ofDirectors, and to dismiss the Station Manager and Program Director. This was done in accordance with CKLN’s By-laws. Even more important, it was done to return CKLN’s Board to transparent and accountable action as well as to ensure financially sustainable programming in support of CKLN’smission and vision.
Subsequently, two community members, two volunteer members and a core staff member were elected to the Board, in accordance with the By-law.The Board members and senior managers who were removed/dismissed refused to leave. This situation still needs to be resolved.
What has the Board’s strategy been to resolve this?
We have taken a number of steps to try to get resolution. We proposed that we get together with the others and resolve the situation through discussion. We supported lawful actions by locked-out programmers and community members to bring all parties to the table to resolve the situation. We opened our Board meetings to all stakeholders so that they could take informed action and we could listen to other strategies we could support. We solicited the assistance of Industry Canada to resolve the dispute. We solicited the assistance of the law firm that has long represented CKLN. We reluctantly supported the Ryerson Students’ Union decision to withhold student fees from CKLN as a way of urging resolution. (Our reluctance was based on the fact that we do not want to hurt CKLN and had to weigh short term pain against long term gain.) We sought legal advice as to whether we could get a court decision in our favour - we had conflicting opinions and decided that we would continue other strategies. (We decided that it was too risky to lose in court and we did not want to take that chance.)
Did anyone associated with this new Board steal CKLN funds?
No. We have made a clear and prudent decision: We will hold any funds we receive for CKLN - and not touch them - until the dispute is resolved. To do otherwise would leave ourselves open to liability for failure to exercise due diligence.
Is it true that the new Board doesn’t care about volunteers?
Dismissing volunteers in a manner that appears, at least, to be capricious and arbitrary is unacceptable. We are very concerned to ensure that CKLN remains true to its mission. Volunteers are key to that. They always have been. We want that to continue.
Are student members of the Board involved with you?
We are committed to ensuring full student involvement and not just in name only. We consider all duly elected student members to be members of the Board and we have worked hard to get their full participation - although still with mixed results.
What about this Annual General Meeting called for November 23 at El Mocambo?
Our opinion, based on our reading of the By-laws, is that all members in good standing are entitled to attend and participate in all CKLN meetings. We passed a resolution that anyone who pays $10 to CKLN through us will be a community member and should be entitled to attend, participate and vote.
Send your membership fee - with your full name, address and phone and/or e-mail address - to Arnold Minors, 964 Avenue Road, Toronto, ON M5P 2K8
We believe that we are close to getting resolution. If that is not successful, we will seek resolution in Court.
Contact information for the non-student members of the Board:
Conrad Collaco (Vice Chair; Former Core Staff Rep) - Conrad.Collaco@cbc.ca;
Heather Douglas (Treasurer; Volunteer Staff Rep) - email@example.com;
Geoff MacDonald (Secretary; Community Rep) - firstname.lastname@example.org;
Arnold Minors (Chair; Community Rep) - ArnoldMinors@sympatico.ca;
Ron Nelson (Volunteer Staff Rep)- email@example.com
Monday, November 17, 2008
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 23rd, from 6 - 8 PM
@ EL MOCAMBO, (464 Spadina Ave., College and Spadina)
With this meeting, they seek to replace the AGM which was to be held on Oct. 29th but never took place due to an internal lack of consensus, coordination and direction by those in mis-management positions and their supporters.
JOIN THE PICKET!!
Locked out programmers and community allies were there on the 29th to peacefully protest this blatant abuse of power. So was the police which was called by Barnes, Phillips & dismissed board members in a move that constituted a clear violation of the Student Centre mandate (as a result the SCC has revoked CKLN's rental privileges for the time being).
This shamed and failed AGM was marked by unfriendly treatment towards community and volunteers deemed "too critical or outspoken" by mis-management. Furthermore, a couple of programmers have been dismissed/locked-out of their shows in retaliation for their perceived "inability" to be YES people - while turning a blind eye to injustices - and go along with these blatant violations of regulations, bylaws and mandate.
COME OUT TO EL MOCAMBO ON THE 23rd!!
Most AGM's are open to the public, yet the ckln.fm website states that this particular meeting will be a "MEMBERS ONLY MEETING" open exclusively to "current volunteers in good standing, community members who have donated $50 or more and have paid in full, and currently enrolled students of Ryerson University". Their agenda includes:
1. New Station Manager introduction
2. Financial Report
3. Union negotiations
4. Elections for community reps to CKLN Board of Directors (2)
5. Other business
This re-schedule and it's "exclusive" nature, are both reactionary actions which clearly seek to disenfranchise the community at large, the locked out programmers and anyone who disagrees with the status quo calling the shots at CKLN.
DON'T LET THEM SILENCE OR EXCLUDE YOU, RECLAIM CKLN!!!
Friday, October 31, 2008
"Yesterday several dozen disenfranchised community members and "fired" volunteers showed up for what was supposed to be a 7 pm meeting. Management panicked and changed the location of the meeting and then tried to exclude anyone they didn't want from attending. They were unsuccessful. They then ran away to have an "emergency" board meeting in which they decided to call the cops with the intent of having the police remove individuals who management didn't want there (ie. the majority of the attendees). The cops showed up but the manager of the student centre refused to allow CKLN management to use the cops to throw people off Ryerson Student Union property and so they cancelled the room booking. CKLN management then returned and adjourned the meeting claiming they were doing so for "safety" concerns (when in fact they were doing this because the Ryerson Students Union refused to let them use the cops to throw people out). They then said that they'd reschedule the meeting for a later date."
Keep your eyes on this blog for more updates on future actions and other strategies that will hopefully help us reclaim our community radio space. The struggle continues!!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Come out and join us @ Oakham House, Room G, 55 Gould Street (next door to Ryerson's Student Community Centre, southwest corner of Gould and Church).
SAY NO TO RIGHT WING CENSORSHIP AND UNDEMOCRATIC ACTIONS!!
RECLAIM COMMUNITY RADIO NOW!!
The crisis of governance at CKLN Campus/Community Radio continues to escalate. The illegal Board of Directors & management have called an AGM to take place this Wednesday, following its illegitimately held Staff Meeting of October 22 as well as the recent internal hiring of DJ Snapp as contract station manager. Exiting manager Mike Phillips has placed on the agenda:
1. a long overdue Financial Report (a year and a half in the making/breaking),
2. union negotiations (or more like violations given mis-management's and illegal board's firings of unionized staff Kristin Schwartz and Tien Providence),
3. and the election of Community Reps (to sub those appointed by mis-management and their allies).
Mike Phillips and his board croonies have no legal authority to call a CKLN Annual General Meeting, because he was democratically voted out of office by an overwhelming 90% majority in a non-confidence motion on February 23, 2008 at a Special General Meeting called by the membership in accordance with CKLN by-laws. Nevertheless Phillips and a right wing clique have occupied the radio station for the past months and are violating the politically progressive and inclusive mandate of the station through the systematic expulsion of over 35 volunteers, the firing of long-time dedicated staff, and the arbitrary interpretation of station guidelines/bylaws. As a result, programming has deteriorated, community funding has decreased and relationships with the Ryerson Student Union have been damaged.
At previous meetings Metro Police have been employed to bar the new board and its supporters from participating. We intend to challenge this exclusion on October 29th! COME OUT AND MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!!!
For more info, contact Catherine Holliday 416 533 6630, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Come out and join us this Wednesday, October 22 at 7 p.m. outside Oakham House to protest the sham staff elections which the current dismissed management hopes to conduct inside Room 'G' at 55 Gould St. (next door to Ryerson's Student Community Centre, southwest corner of Gould andChurch).
Dismissed Station Manager Mike Phillips has called this meeting to discuss "CKLN Station Manager Hiring" and carry out "Volunteer Rep Elections". As "locked out" volunteers and community supporters, we strongly object to this meeting for the following reasons:
1. As dismissed management Mike Phillips has no legal authority to call a CKLN staff meeting. Phillips was democratically voted out of office by an overwhelming 90% majority on a non-confidence motion on February 23rd, 2008; a decision he has continued to ignore.
2. A Staff Meeting has already been held for the year of 2008. Volunteer seats were also filled in a democratic and legitimate manner at said meeting on Tuesday, April 29th. Heather Douglas and Ron Nelson (Reggaemania) were elected as new volunteer representatives and former station manager Conrad Collaco was elected to the former core staff post. The current dismissed CKLN management, though present and participant at this meeting, has refused to acknowledge these elections and representatives.
We therefore ask all "locked out" CKLN volunteer programmers and hosts (35 so far) as well as concerned community supporters and Ryerson students to join our picket in opposition to this Staff Meeting tomorrow Wednesday at 7 p.m. and stand with us in solidarity with us in the struggle to reclaim our beloved community campus radio.
Monday, October 20, 2008
CKLN locked-out programmers and other community radio allies will participate in a workshop addressing the "future of campus community radio in Canada". Join us for this FREE and informative session at 2:30 pm at U of T's International Student Centre (33 St. George Street) .
So what's missing in the media? Who is left out from mainstream news coverage in Canada today?
A large coalition of independent media organizations, advocacy groups and media activists will ask these questions and more at this year's Media Democracy Day on October 23rd through a series of thematic & skills-building panels and workshops on media democracy followed by a rabble.ca relaunch party with guest speakers Maude Barlow and Linda McQuaig, and musical guests LAL, KoboTown and Maryam Tollar.
When: Thursday, October 23, 2008, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (workshops and panels); and 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. (rabble.ca relaunch party).
Where: Free workshops and panels at International Student Centre (33 St. George Street), University of Toronto; Pay-what-you-can rabble.ca relaunch party (suggested $10 to $25 donation to rabble.ca) at the Steam Whistle Roundhouse (255 Bremner Blvd.)
For program details and a list of participating organizations please visit: www.missinginthemedia.ca.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Do you miss your favourite shows on CKLN? Are those DJ’s and Hosts who you have supported over the years no longer on the air?
The rogue and illegitimate management currently controlling CKLN has decided to hold FundFest, CKLN’s annual fundraising drive, one month earlier beginning Sept. 26th and running until Sunday Oct. 5th. After unjustly firing and locking out over 35 programmers (mostly people of colour, queer, trans, and feminist programmers), dismissed management and removed board members have the AUDACITY to ask listeners for money to continue to support their illegal operations and machinations under the false claim of celebrating “25 Years of Independence”. Most of those programmers who are responsible for the most "in-depth, edgiest and freshest content" have been let go after providing years of service to the station, their listeners and their communities.
As it stands, the RYERSON STUDENT UNION has decided to hold fees collected from students for CKLN in trust until a fair resolution to this situation is reached.
We believe you should support community/campus radio but not during this FundFest and not until order has been re-established at CKLN. Instead consider making a contribution to the Take Back Our Radio legal fund. Email email@example.com for more info.
And if you can, take some time and call the On Air line and let those inside know why you are not pledging money this year!
416-345-8810 and 416-595-8810 are the numbers to call.
Support the reclamation of CKLN, by the people and for the people!
"Jam the lines, because the lines are broken; Jam the lines, because the people have spoken!!" Nik Redman (locked-out host/producer, AfroTransit)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Find out more about what is happening at your radio station!
Teach in: Thursday, September 25th, 20087:00 - 9:00 pm
At Oakham House, 65 Gould Street (corner of Church and Gould)
Confirmed Speakers: Barbara Goslowski, Don Weitz, Owen Sankara, Joeita Gupta
· 30 volunteers have been locked out of campus and community radio station CKLN 88.1 FM
· CUPE 1281 is contesting the recent dismissals of several paid staff
· A Special General Meeting in February overwhelmingly voted (90%) to dismiss management and impeach the Board of Directors
· Although A new Board has been elected in accordance with CKLN By-laws, the illegal board continues to occupy the station and control its funds
What you can do:
· Come out and Join us at this session!
· Sign our online petition
· Join weekly pickets every Sunday at Noon
· De-fund fundfest - instead donate to "Take Back Our Radio" (Acct # 4882570 at Alterna Savings branches at Bay/College or Ryerson University - Jorgensen Building)
Check out this blog for more info and updates!
Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (416) 533-6630
Monday, September 15, 2008
The small group of paid staff at the mostly volunteer station voted to join CUPE 1281 almost a year ago. Well into the negotiation process, management argued that news director Kirstin Schwartz and music director Tien Providence should not be in the bargaining unit – a case usually made when a bargaining unit certifies and one that the employer could still try to make today at the Canada Industrial Relations Board.
Management's solution? Forget the Board; fire the workers. Schwartz, who had just returned to work from parental leave, and Providence were terminated in a move that CUPE 1281 calls clearly illegal.
You can help this Sister and Brother to be re-instated in their jobs by sending a message to CKLN management."
Vancouver Co-operative Radio, CFRO, 102.7FM is one of Canada's oldest community radio stations. We were founded in 1974 as a volunteer-run, listener-supported radio station. With over 30 years of functioning in a co-operative model providing alternative perspectives and music to our listeners, we have provided Canada with a model for sustainability in our sector. We base our core values on shared governance and a responsibility to bring under-represented voices and stories to the airwaves.
We are writing to express our concern over the current situation at CKLN. We have reviewed on-line materials from the CKLN website and the "Take Back Our Radio Station" blog. We understand that several volunteers have been expelled from the station without any apparent process or reason. Specifically, volunteers were given a one-sentence letter stating that their services were no longer required and were kept out of the radio station through the use of hired security guards. We have also learned about the firing of staff member Kristin Schwartz shortly after her return from maternity leave. From the information we have been given, there was no just cause for this dismissal and no disciplinary process preceding the dismissal. We have tried to contact Mike Phillips in an effort to find out your views and rationale for the actions that have been taken. Unfortunately, we did not receive a response. As such, we write this letter with the information we have gathered. We feel it is our responsibility to contact you, as fellow community radio producers, to express our concerns and appeal to you to follow your own internal policies for fair process around programming and staffing decisions.
Co-op Radio and CKLN share a lot in common. We both share a long history of covering progressive politics and providing training and airtime to marginalized members of our communities. Like you, our programming is produced entirely by volunteers and we have policies and procedures to follow when dealing with programming concerns. These internally-created processes ensure that volunteers are treated fairly and that there is due process for any decisions being made. From the information we have gathered, there is no evidence that CKLN staff used due process in their decision to expel approximately 30 volunteers from programming. In fact, there is no information about the reasons for these dismissals. As a community radio station, we feel it is imperative to follow internal procedures and guidelines when making decisions.
Similarly, staff members must be given a fair process prior to any disciplinary action. The fact that a long-time staff member was fired without reason shortly after returning from a maternity leave leads us to believe that there is a lack of organization at CKLN and that decisions are being made for personal rather than professional reasons. These are unacceptable working conditions.
We have also learned that there was a Special General Meeting of the membership in which there were concerns raised about the current leadership. While we understand that there is some debate about the legality of this meeting, the spirit of this process clearly shows that a significant portion of your membership are not satisfied with the direction the station is currently heading. Regardless of whether or not the meeting was legal, it seems evident that a Board and Staff who value the input of their members are required to act in response to this meeting. Rather than focusing on the details of legality, it would be more productive for you to focus on the spirit of the concerns being raised and begin responding to them.
Without the support of volunteers, staff and the community, we cannot do what we do. Community radio cannot operate on the efforts of a handful of people. It takes the on-going hard work of volunteer programmers, board and committee members and staff to keep the station running in a sustainable way. We are concerned that your recent actions will ultimately result in the destruction of your radio station.
The community radio sector faces many challenges in our country. We want to show our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in our sector. We want to ensure that the voices, stories and sounds not heard in the mainstream media continue to have a place on our airwaves. As such, we intend to air re-broadcasts of some of your suspended programming while these programs await their return to live broadcast on CKLN.
We urge you to keep your promise of performance to your listeners. We appeal to your responsibility to the campus and community radio sector to keep under-represented and marginalized voices and perspectives alive. We urge you to reconsider your recent decisions around volunteer and staff dismissals. We appeal to your responsibility to your membership and listen to their requests. For the sake of community radio, we sincerely hope you are able to consider these requests seriously.
Our community will continue to follow the situation at CKLN in anticipation of a swift and just resolution.
The Board and Staff of Vancouver Co-operative Radio, CFRO, 102.7FM
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Interim CKLN station manager Mike Phillips is full of shit (NOW, August 28-September 3).
Phillips need look no further than himself, interim program director Tony Barnes and democratically impeached board member Josie Miner for any undemocratic secrecy and censorship going down at what was once a damn good community-campus radio station.
Since last May 5, Phillips has fired (“dismissed”) and locked out 30 of us volunteers arbitrarily and unjustly axed 19 programs, including the grassroots OCAP Show and my monthly “Anti-psychiatry Radio” – the only anti-psychiatry program in Canada.
Our dissident and grassroots voices have been silenced for now, but many of us are fighting to take back CKLN as the powerful and empowering community station it was and will be again. Please join our weekly pickets every Friday at 6 pm and Sunday at noon in front of Ryerson’s Student Community Centre (55 Gould).
Radio heads blowing hot air
I’m a former tech for Friday’s Word Of Mouth show. The CKLN membership removed Tony Barnes and Mike Phillips from their positions on February 23, 2008, by a vote of 135 to 7. Since that time, the two have been illegally occupying the station and paying themselves salaries from CKLN’s account. These people are not “management.”
Monday, September 1, 2008
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Art. Mayworks is a multi-disciplinary arts festival that celebrates working class culture. Founded in 1986 by the Labour Arts Media Committee of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, Mayworks is Canada's largest and oldest labour arts festival. The Festival was built on the premise that workers and artists share a common struggle for decent wages, healthy working conditions and a living culture. Mayworks' goal is to promote the interests of cultural workers and trade unionists, and to bring working-class culture from the margins of cultural activity onto centre stage.
We are outraged at the recent actions of the CKLN Board of Directors and management, who have fired News Director Kristin Schwartz (a journalist and producer of programming which has aired across Canada and the United States) and staff member Tien Providence, and dismissed over 30 volunteers – all without cause. These are violations of Kristin and Tien’s rights as unionized workers in the midst of bargaining for a first contract, and profoundly disrespectful toward volunteers – activists like Adhri Redman, Verlia Stevens, Nik Red, Don Weitz and many others - who have given many many hours of their time and their passion to CKLN and its listeners.
Up until recently, we have been able to rely on CKLN's news department for broadcasting progressive perspectives on the critical issues of our time and for providing access to the airwaves to marginalized people who are underrepresented or misrepresented in mainstream media. CKLN also created opportunities for students, youth and community members to learn about broadcasting. As a small non-profit organization, Mayworks was very appreciative of Kristin Schwartz’ and the CKLN team’s excellent support for community events such as ours. But with these most recent actions, we must conclude that the CKLN board no longer is committed to a social justice or community building perspective.
Mayworks joins many in our community who protest this unjust treatment of staff and volunteers, which seems targeted at those who have challenged the board, and we demand that all those who have been dismissed be reinstated, and that the people currently controlling the board step down and that the legitimately elected board be reinstated, to return CKLN to its former well-respected position.
Anna Willats, Chair
Mayworks Festival of Working People & the Arts
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Confirmed pickets for the month of September:
Sunday, September 7 @ 12 noon
Sunday, September 14 @ 12 noon
Sunday, September 21 @ 12 noon
Sunday, September 27 @ 12 noon
Outside the Ryerson Student Campus Centre (SCC)
55 Gould Street
(Near Yonge and Dundas)
*CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES*
Bring along placards, noisemakers, drums, whistles, friends and family!
For more info contact: email@example.com
Friday, August 29, 2008
Organizing meetings are ongoing every Wednesday at the Imperial Pub (2nd floor), 54 Dundas St. @ Victoria (just East of Yonge). The next meeting is Wednesday, September 3 at 7:00 pm. Please attend if possible.
Dear colleagues in community radio:
This letter has been signed by numerous volunteer and staff members of CKUT 90.3fm in Montreal who are deeply disturbed by the recent events that have changed the programming as well as staff and volunteer make-up of CKLN 88.1fm, one of Toronto's oldest and boldest campus-community radio station. We are writing to support of the work of Kristin Schwartz and the recently banned members of CKLN.
We hope that our experience as a sister-station in the campus-community radio sector can assist you in evaluating some of the concerns that have led most recently to the firing of Kristin.
CKUT Radio in Montreal has been greatly inspired by the work of CKLN's News Department over the last decade. We have collaborated on numerous occasions to produce and share content that amplifies progressive perspectives on critical issues, including regular reports as well as special focus programming around International Women's Day, LGBTQ Pride, and Prisoner Justice Day (all of which Kristin helped to coordinate for years).
Since 2003, CKLN has also collaborated with CKUT, to host the national Homelessness Marathon, a talk radio show that takes place in the middle of winter and is hosted outside from the frozen streets of Montreal. CKLN volunteers have not only contributed airtime to this marathon, but also provided local content in addition to broadcasting the marathon live locally on the streets of Toronto, ensuring that poor people have access to this important national platform. CKUT's news department has also relied on reports from CKLN on numerous issues that provide our listeners the opportunity to hear from Toronto's poor and working people, racialized people, women, queer and trans people, youth, disAbled people, and others who are underrepresented or misrepresented in mainstream media.
Kristin and CKLN volunteers have also played a key role in the development of GroundWire, a national news programming currently airing monthly across Canada. Kristin's rich experience in the community news sector has been invaluable to the development of this important vehicle for community news producers across Canada. Her time on the board of the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA) helped to create space for GroundWire to grow. Today, GroundWire is produced collectively by stations across Canada, with more than 30 contributing producers (including some of the banned volunteers of CKLN). One of the goals of GroundWire is to develop news departments across Canada and create space for students, youth and community members to learn about broadcasting to air their news productions nationally. Much of the mandate of GroundWire has been influenced by Kristin's decade of experience at CKLN with its volunteers and listeners.
Finally, the firing of Kristin is a grave violation of her rights as a unionized worker with a 10-year history as a paid-staff person at CKLN. We understand that there are concerns about Kristin's working relationship with the current board of directors and for this reason she was terminated, effective immediately. Kristin is a leader and her history with CKLN should be a vital asset to the current situation at CKLN, not the opposite. Our sector deserves to have committed, experienced people like Kristin who are firmly rooted in the mandate of campus-community radio. We all owe it to ourselves and to our sector to work through whatever problems exist, on the basis of sound information and respect for a person's contributions and rights.
CKUT's Community News Collective
-Christian and Charlotte, producers of Travel Against Canada
-Evan Light, former NCRA board member
-Tariq Jeeroburkhan, host and producer of the Friday Morning After
-Jaggi Singh, No One Is Illegal Radio
CKUT's Steering Committee
-Marc Montanchez, Technical and Production Coordinator
-Gretchen King, Community News and Production Coordinator
-Julie Delorme, Financial Coordinator
-Joanne Penhale, Volunteer Rep
-Andrea-Jane Cornell & Alex Moskos, Music Resources Coordinators
-Charlotte Scott, Spoken Word Coordinator
-Louise Burns, Sales Coordinator
CKUT's Board of Directors
-Dr. Darin Barney
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
TORONTO, ON, Aug 19, 2008 --- Longtime news director Kristin Schwartz and at least five more volunteer hosts have been unjustly booted from CKLN community radio station without reason. “After 10 years of service to CKLN, and only six weeks after returning from a year-long parental leave, I was told that the current board of directors and I ‘do not see eye to eye’. For that reason I was terminated, effective immediately,” says Schwartz. She was fired last Monday and will be fighting the seemingly arbitrary dismissal with the backing of CUPE 1281.
Also last week, five volunteers with years of service received letters from Mike Phillips (former interim station manager dismissed by a 90 per cent vote of non-confidence in February) saying their services were no longer needed. This brings the number of dismissed volunteer programmers to over 30 since the Special General Meeting in February saw the membership vote to dismiss management and impeach the Board of Directors. Management continue, however, to occupy the station and control its funds.
Denise Benson of Mental Chatter, Nik Red of Afrotransit, Francis Yee Loy (DJ San Fran) fill-in for Afrotransit and former Full Moon host, Mano Narayanan (DJ Dialect) and Cheldon Paterson (DJ Vision) of Bruckbeat Radio have joined the long list of LGBT, racialized, First Nations, and psychiatric survivor voices silenced from the airwaves. Some of these volunteers have been at 88.1 FM for over 10 years and are a large part of the CKLN community, often holding events attended by frequent listeners.
The dismissals came after a July meeting where volunteer staff were once again successful in wrestling control from Phillips and illegitimate program director Tony Barnes when it seemed former management wished to dictate the manner in which participation was to occur. Some of the recently dismissed volunteers played a key role in holding the illegitimate management and board accountable for the inexcusable dismissals of 25 volunteers earlier this spring. At the meeting’s conclusion the membership voted not to hold elections until a resolution was reached with the dismissed programmers. Instead, Phillips has continued with these undue dismissals.
The unjustly dismissed volunteer programmers and their community supporters will continue to fight to restore CKLN as a voice for marginalized community voices, social justice and independent local music.
Nik Red (locked out volunteer, Afrotransit): 647 234 7333, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susy Alvarez (locked out volunteer, Word of Mouth): 416-996-5540, email@example.com
Lisa Skeete West (locked out volunteer, Reggaemania): firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers on the Following Programs Have Been Silenced:
HONOUR THE EARTH
LIMIN' IN DE AFRICAN DIASPORA
LOWDOWN 2 UPTOWN
NO ONE IS ILLEGAL RADIO
SATURDAY MORNING LIVE
SOUNDS OF AFRICA
WORD OF MOUTH NEWS
Dear friends, colleagues, comrades:
I am writing to seek your support. On August 11 I was fired from my position as News Director at CKLN 88.1fm, without warning and without cause. After 10 years of service to CKLN, and only six weeks after returning from a year-long parental leave, I was told that the current board of directors and I "do not see eye to eye". For that reason I was terminated, effective immediately.
It is true that I "don't see eye to eye" with the current board as they have taken many steps that I disagree with, including interfering in news programming in ways that are totally unprecedented, and expelling 30 volunteers who have produced excellent, community-based, progressive programming at CKLN, without giving any reasons or opportunity to appeal. This course of action is shameful and demonstrates a complete lack of responsible leadership, in my view.
But "not seeing eye to eye" is not a lawful reason for firing employees. Thankfully, I now have some protection from this board's arbitrary behavior because our workplace is unionized with the largest labour union in the country, the Canadian Union of Public Employees. CUPE Local 1281 is fighting my termination on my behalf.
Please, take a few moments to write a letter in support of my work at CKLN. You may want to highlight these points:
- the importance of CKLN's news department for broadcasting progressive perspectives on the critical issues of our time - war, poverty, violence, ecological devastation - and for providing access to the airwaves to poor and working people, racialized people, women, queer and trans people, youth, disAbled people, and others who are underrepresented or misrepresented in mainstream media
- the opportunities our news department has created for students, youth and community members to learn about broadcasting
- my work as a journalist and producer of programming which has aired across Canada and the United States
- my excellent record of supporting annual special programming for International Women's Day, LGBTQ Pride, and Prisoner Justice Day
- my contributions to the National Campus/Community Radio Association, and
- the outrageous violation of my rights as a unionized worker, in the midst of bargaining for a first contract.
You may send a copy to me at email@example.com, our union at firstname.lastname@example.org, and to Toby Whitfield, a member of CKLN's board of directors representing the Ryerson Students Union, at email@example.com. The RSU is CKLN's largest funder.
Thanks for your support.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Confirmed pickets for the month of August:
Friday, August 8 @ 7 pm
Sunday, August 10 @ 12 noon
Friday, August 15 @ 7 pm
Sunday, August 17 @ 12 noon
Friday, August 22 @ 7 pm
Sunday, August 24 @ 12 noon
Friday, August 29 @ 7 pm
Sunday, August 31 @ 12 noon
Outside the Ryerson Student Campus Centre (SCC)
55 Gould Street
(Near Yonge and Dundas)
*CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES*
Bring along placards, noisemakers, drums, whistles, friends and family!
For more info contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
I just found out my DJ got fired! The local college station here, CKLN-FM, this older African woman named Chloe Onari, who had a show called "Dat Dere". There's some weird changes going on at the station, and she got canned, I guess for expressing certain views on the radio station. I have to find out about this; I have to get to the bottom of this. The replacement DJ just fucking blows. I don't mind the odd soca tune, but she would play...like, she loves Cecil Taylor, you know, she would play the most far-out jazz, and then play some schmaltzy, soulful R&B. And then just go everywhere, all over the map kind of thing...
OCAP News coverage of Day of Action Against Poverty
Stef Gude for OCAP News focuses on Six Nations land reclamation efforts
Friday WOM Interview exploring the racism underlying Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto
Susy Alvarez feature piece on singer/artist Lila Downs for Ventana Al Barrio
Susy Alvarez contribution to the series “Free Thought Area of the Airwaves”
Heather Douglas assists on “Deconstructing Dinner”, an indie show about the politics of food
Monday, July 21, 2008
10 July 2008
What’s happening at CKLN? What’s not happening at CKLN?
This is a statement from the Board of Directors of CKLN. We hope that it sheds light on what’s happening at CKLN. We encourage you to contact us for any additional information that will help you to be informed (see contact information at the end of this statement).
The essence of the situation is this:
In February, 2008, members voted to remove the non-student members of the Board of Directors and to dismiss the Station Manager and Program Director. This was done carefully and in accordance with CKLN’s By-laws. Subsequently, two community members, two volunteer members and a core staff member were elected to the Board, in accordance with the By-laws, in every respect.
The Board members and senior managers who were removed/dismissed have refused to leave and are taking actions they have no right to take. With a huge impact on CKLN.
CKLN’s mission statement, which has been guiding CKLN for 20 years, is a remarkably progressive statement. CKLN has a history of continually striving to reach the ambitious goals outlined in its mission statement. Doing so has not been without conflict: CKLN has had a history of conflict, often messy. That is hardly surprising. The attempt to achieve a just and harmonious society where people who are and have been marginalized in Canadian society makes for conflict, even within the people in communities that CKLN has admirably spoken for. It is particularly admirable that CKLN has ensured that the voices of working people; poor people; people of colour; people with disabilities; lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgendered and two-spirited people are heard IN THEIR OWN VOICES.
We will answer the following seven questions in this statement:
1. Are there two Boards of Directors?
No. There is only one Board. Members of CKLN had become very concerned that the recent direction of the station is inconsistent with its proud history. In February, 2008, members voted to remove the non-student members of the Board of Directors from the Board. At the same meeting, they also voted to dismiss the Station Manager and Program Director, both of whom are automatically members of the Board of Directors, through CKLN’s By-laws. That vote was held at a Special Meeting that was called and conducted in accordance with the By-laws, in every respect.The subsequent election of two community members, two volunteer members and a core staff member to the Board were also conducted in accordance with the By-laws, in every respect. We have a document that outlines the process of removal, dismissal and subsequent elections. We are happy to share it with anyone. We’re happy to answer questions about this document. We’re happy to provide information so that people can draw their own conclusions.
Assertion that the February meeting was invalid: The non-student members who were removed from the Board have asserted that the process of their removal was invalid. They also assert that the subsequent elections of new non-student members is also invalid. We stand by the position that their saying so does not make it so. Assertion is not proof. Clearly, they have a vested interest in making the assertion.
Where is the legal opinion? The non-student members of the Board have also said that they - not the Board, but they themselves - received a ‘legal opinion on the process used to call the “Special Meeting” as well as the reasons stated as “just cause” for removing certain Board members and the management staff.’ We have asked for that opinion. We have not received it. Counsel for CKLN is Paula Boutis, of Iler Campbell. She has refused to give us a copy of the legal opinion. Furthermore, she says she is ‘not obligated or permitted to provide us with [the] opinion’.
In our opinion - and that of other lawyers we have informally consulted - she is not acting for the Corporation in taking the stance she has.
"CKLN’s paid staff made the members vote to remove/dismiss" - former Board members say: As you may know, the former Board members have put a statement on the CKLN website. It implies that, because of paid staff instigation of the Special Meeting in February, the meeting was invalid. We reject that idea. Even if we were to accept that the Special Meeting was inappropriately initiated by paid staff, we believe that it is insulting to the intelligence of the members who voted at that meeting that, after open, free and lengthy discussion of the issues, they were manipulated into voting to remove non-student members and dismiss management staff. This can be resolved simply: Some time ago, we made a simple proposal to resolve this: that we receive a copy of the legal opinion to which the removed Board members refer; that, after our review of the opinion, Ms Boutis facilitate a meeting with the removed Board members and ourselves, with a view to resolution of the dispute and in the best interests of CKLN. Not only did Ms Boutis refuse this proposal, she told us not to contact her again.
We have a very simple view of all this. On the basis of every single factual piece of information we have, we are the Board. If we receive information from Ms Boutis that clearly and persuasively outlines why we aren’t, we can and will simply fold our tents and leave. Ms Boutis wants an unnecessary and expensive resolution. Why? Ms Boutis wants us to go through the expense of taking the matter to court. This is patently ridiculous. She could save expense and unnecessary conflict by GIVING US THE OPINION and making clear that she gave the opinion to the Board, not some members (who are not free of a conflict of interest in this matter). One of the student members has already confirmed that she has never seen the opinion. We continue to actively try to resolve this. If necessary, we will go to court, but only as a last resort. We do not want to burden CKLN with unnecessary expenses. Based on all the information we have, we are confident that, in court, we would be confirmed as the Board. We have no idea why Ms Boutis is taking the position she’s taking.
2. What is the Union’s position in this?
We are the employer, in our opinion. The negotiations with CUPE should be with us. We have advised the Union to that effect. We believe that CUPE Local 1281 took the correct position when it decided that it would not continue negotiating this first contract until CUPE was clear as to who the employer was. That seems to be a prudent position for CUPE to take and not ‘bargaining in bad faith’, as the former Board members interpret CUPE’s position.
3. Did anyone associated with us steal CKLN funds?
There is a rumour that a volunteer has stolen CKLN funds. Our response to this rumour is simple and clear: No one we know has stolen anything; not a dime.We do know this. Since we are not able to get access to the station as legitimate Board members, we have to act prudently. When we learn of funds that are due CKLN, we have taken a simple position. We will hold them -and not touch them - until the dispute is resolved. We cannot and will not put funds in the hands of persons who, in our opinion, have no right to spend those funds. Period. End of story.
4. Is it true that the new Board doesn’t care about volunteers?
The Board is not responsible for - and should not take responsibility for- direct supervision of volunteer programming staff. That’s the job of the Station Manager and Program Director. However, we are responsible for ensuring - through supervision of the Station Manager and Program Director - that there is an environment at CKLN for volunteers to produce programming consistent with the mission. That there is an environment of fair play and natural justice. It is bad enough that dismissed senior staff are acting as though they still have authority to manage. It is even worse that their behaviour - in its result - is neither fair nor just. Dismissing volunteers in a manner that appears, at least, to be capricious and arbitrary is unacceptable. It is particularly problematic that at the same time as Prime Minister Harper - not a person who enjoys a widespread reputation for advocacy of marginalized peoples - apologized to First Nations peoples for the harm caused to them by their abuse in federally-financed residential schools, that CKLN either removed the one First Nations woman from her show or made conditions such that she had to leave. We are very concerned to ensure that CKLN remains true to its mission.Volunteers are key to that. They always have been. We want that to continue.
5. Where are the student members of the Board in all of this?
The By-law stipulates that there are four student members of the Board. In addition, the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) also appoints a member to the Board. The RSU position is presently vacant. It is apparent to us that student member involvement in Board meetings in the past has been, at best, inconsistent. It seems that, at least recently, there hasn’t been active reaching out to student members to ensure their consistent involvement. We want to change that. We have had conversations with three of the student board members. One has resigned. One has stated an intention to resign; she is out of the country. One has participated in one of our meetings and told us that her work schedule is erratic and makes it difficult for her to commit to meetings. She has subsequently said that she wants not to be involved until the dispute is settled. It has become clear to us that there may bean incomplete understanding by student members of their responsibility as Board members. Accordingly, we have decided that we will ensure a full orientation of student members as to their responsibilities. In addition, we have set up four task forces, one of which is to ensure that we have engagement of students in CKLN and that they can actively influence its direction. We are committed to making student involvement be full and not token. In the meantime, we take the position that the duly elected student members are members of the Board.
6. What about this Annual Staff and Volunteer meeting on July 16th?
We have heard about the meeting. In our opinion, it is not legitimate called; the people who called it have no authority to do so. Decisions taken at it are invalid, in our opinion.We will be writing a memo to the former Board members, including the former senior management staff, stating that their actions are not legitimate and that any decisions that flow from that meeting are invalid. Note that, even if it were called by people who authority to do so, the By-laws clearly state who can attend CKLN meetings: volunteers, staff, students and community members may attend. The By-laws do not allow anyone to pick and choose who can attend. We also urge anyone who attends that meeting to ask the following questions: Why is this meeting legitimate?On the basis of whose opinion? Is there a legal opinion on that? If so, to whom was the legal opinion given? What does it say?
7. What is CKLN’s future direction?
We are passionately committed to CKLN’s mission. Its vision for a just society is a vision worth working for. We intend to ensure that CKLN is accountable, diverse and transparent. We will create the conditions to ensure that paid and volunteer staff, supporters and listeners, and Ryerson students can rely on CKLN to be responsive to them. We acknowledge that conflict is inevitable and valuable; it helps us to move forward. We will make sure that we have processes in place to resolve conflicts that arise, as they arise. We believe that we can be true to our mission and be successful. We are determined that CKLN will be.
Where can you get more information? We post Board meeting agendas publicly. Board meetings are open to members. We make time available to members to give us information at our Board meetings. We invite feedback. We are always willing to respond to questions from members. Here is who we are and how you can contact us:
Conrad Collaco (Vice Chair; former Core Staff Representative) -Conrad.Collaco@cbc.ca
Heather Douglas (Treasurer; Volunteer Staff Representative) -email@example.com
Geoff MacDonald (Secretary; Community Member Representative) -firstname.lastname@example.org
Arnold Minors (Chair; Community Member Representative) -ArnoldMinors@sympatico.ca
Ron Nelson (Volunteer Staff Representative) - email@example.com
Monday, July 14, 2008
We (a large group of volunteer, donor, community and student supporters) do not recognize this meeting as legitimate since those who have called the meeting and proposed the agenda for said meeting were democratically dismissed from their positions at a Special Meeting of the CKLN membership on Feb 23, 2008. Furthermore, any elections that take place at the proposed meeting this Wednesday are INVALID.
Phillips and Barnes have made explicit that attendance at this meeting "will be restricted to current volunteer & staff members (including Ryerson students) as verified by the 2008 volunteer contracts and id cards". Voting at this meeting will be restricted to those participants they feel, according to their interpretation of the CKLN Bylaws and Volunteer Handbook, are "volunteer" members of the station. We believe this is an attempt to shut out voices of dissent at the meeting.
This meeting is INVALID, and any elections or decisions made at this meeting are ILLEGITIMATE.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Interview with CKLN locked out radio host Don Weitz from John Bonnar on Vimeo.
Don Weitz, host of Anti-Psychiatry Radio was recently locked out of CKLN. Here he explains how this happened. A meeting was organized in February to dismiss management and impeach the board of directors. Ninety per cent of the 144 members at the meeting voted in favour of the dismissals and impeachment. New members have been elected to the board, but the former board and management refuse to recognize them and have instead chosen to systematically target and lock out volunteers.
Correction: Heather Morgan is NOT a student representative on the board of directors. The student representatives are Laura Suen, Irene Quarcoo and Rebecca Tucker.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Community Pickets CKLN After Volunteers Locked Out
Management, board, voted out in February, refuses to cede control, bans volunteers
TORONTO, ON, June 26, 2008 --- Locked out CKLN 88.1 FM volunteers and community supporters will hold their first picket outside the community radio station on Friday, June 27 beginning at 6 PM and continue through the evening. The pickets will be led by programmers who would normally be on-air at these times. However, several weeks ago, Mike Phillips unilaterally cancelled these programs and many others, and barred dozens of long-time volunteers from entering the building, sometimes hiring police to guard the entrance.
Phillips continues to misrepresent himself as CKLN’s Station Manager, refusing to recognize the Feb 23 vote of dismissal. Along with Phillips, former Interim Program Director Tony Barnes and former board members Josie Miner and Doug Barrett, will not accept the 90 per cent vote of non-confidence at a meeting of 144 community, volunteer and student members. The CKLN membership democratically elected new community representatives on April 29 and new volunteer representatives on May 3 in accordance with CKLN bylaws, but the old board has refused to relinquish control.
The Friday programs taken off-air are Frameline, Word of Mouth (which also hosts OCAP Radio, No One Is Illegal Radio and Anti-Psychiatry Radio) and Reggaemania. Those claiming to be CKLN management have now locked out over 25 volunteers, including those behind CKLN’s only feminist programs, Radio Cliteracy and Frequency Feminisms, and silenced the the voice of Audrey Redman, the only First Nations woman to host a show on the station. Redman was last heard on Honour the Earth May 11, when Phillips cut her off mid-show as she interviewed other locked-out CKLN members.
Locked out volunteers are urging supporters to sign the online petition to CKLN’s lawyer Paula Boutis at http://www.gopetition.com/online/20115.html. The petition calls for Boutis to recognize the democratically elected board, chosen by CKLN members by elections in late April and early May. This board, elected in accordance with the CKLN bylaws, includes Heather Douglas (volunteer rep), Ron Nelson (volunteer rep), Geoff MacDonald (community rep), Arnold Minors (community rep) and Conrad Collaco (former core staff rep) along with the student representatives elected last Fall.
Verlia Stephens (locked out volunteer, Limin’ in De African Diaspora): 416-530-1492 (h), 416-723-1271 (c), firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara Goslawski (locked out volunteer, Frameline): 416-778-9157, email@example.com
Susy Alvarez (locked out volunteer, Word of Mouth): 416-996-5540, firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers on the Following Programs Have Been Silenced:
HONOUR THE EARTH
LIMIN' IN DE AFRICAN DIASPORA
LOWDOWN 2 UPTOWN
NO ONE IS ILLEGAL RADIO
SATURDAY MORNING LIVE
SOUNDS OF AFRICA
WORD OF MOUTH NEWS
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
- Anti-Psychiatry Radio
- Dat Dere
- Frequency Feminisms
- Honour the Earth
- Limin' in De African Diaspora
- Lowdown 2 Uptown
- OCAP Radio
- Radio Cliteracy
- Saturday Morning Live
- Sounds of Africa
- Word of Mouth
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Iler Campbell LLP
890 Yonge Street, Suite 700
Toronto, ON M4W 3P4
Telephone: 416 598 0103 x 117
Fax: 416 598 3484
CC: Charles Campbell, E: email@example.com
CC: Brian Iler, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am adding my name to the following petition due to serious concerns about what is happening at CKLN 88.1 FM (Toronto, Canada). I understand that you are the lawyer currently representing CKLN and that you have stated that the non-student members of the Board which were legitimately removed by a valid Special General Meeting carried out by eligible members of CKLN Inc. on February 23, 2008 are still valid representatives of the station."
I am a supporter (student/volunteer/donor/ally) of CKLN and I have heard that you have not provided a legal statement backing your position on this matter. CKLN is undergoing tremendous upheaval as a result of several actions being directed at volunteer programmers who participated at the Special General Meeting and have been outspoken in their opposition to the current state of chaos, which governs this community radio station. I am disturbed and concerned over your behaviour as legal counsel secured by the monies, which these programmers and their community and student allies helped gather during the most recent fundraising drive.
I understand you have a professional and legal obligation to represent the station through its Board of Directors but you are currently failing to perform this duty as you are providing advice and representation to individuals who were dismissed and removed from their leadership positions months ago in a legitimate manner and in accordance to the bylaws which govern CKLN and its membership.
I ask of you to stop representing those persons who are illegally controlling the space, equipment, finances and programming of CKLN (Josie Miner, Tony Barnes, Mike Phillips, Doug Barrett) and recognize the legitimately elected volunteer and community reps - Arnold Minors, Geoff MacDonald, Heather Douglas, Ron Nelson, Conrad Collaco - and the board which they have formed with backing and support of the membership of this beloved and well-respected community and campus radio station.
TORONTO, ON, May 8, 2008 --- At least a dozen CKLN volunteer programmers received letters from Mike Phillips this week, discharging them from the station.
“Please be advised that your volunteer services at CKLN Radio Inc are no longer required
[sic] effective immediately,” read the form letter. Phillips gave no explanation in the letter.
When longtime CKLN volunteer Verlia Stephens went to the studio Wednesday morning, she was escorted out by Ryerson security. Stephens hosts Limin’ in De African Diaspora every Wednesday from 11 AM to 2 PM. Stephens says Tony Barnes responded, “It is complicated,” when asked why security was booting her out and how the appeal process works. “The security guards were really uncomfortable because they knew I had every right to ask,” says Stephens.
Barnes, the former interim program director, along with former interim station manager Phillips, and former board members Josie Miner, Doug Barrett and Heather Morgan were dismissed by a membership vote on February 23, 2008. Over 140 community, volunteer and student members attended the emergency meeting in February. More than 90 per cent voted to dismiss the interim station manager and interim program director and impeach the non-student members of the board.
More recently, Morgan tendered her resignation. The other members in question, will not, however, recognize the vote. They refuse to step down from their positions. Phillips and Barnes continue to control CKLN radio station and its funds illegally.
Other volunteers who are being shut out include: Omme Rahemtullah (Saturday Morning Live), David Barnard (Lowdown to Uptown), Sharron Mcleod (Dat Dere), Chloe Onari (Dat Dere), Dale Whitmore (Word of Mouth), Don Weitz (Anti-Psychiatry Radio), Susy Alvarez (Word of Mouth), Usheak Koroma (Word of Mouth and Sounds of Africa), Heather Douglas (Frameline), Farid Omar (Saturday Morning Live), Barbara Goslawski (Frameline), Carmelle Wolfson (Radio Cliteracy), Claudia McKoy (Upsurgence), and Black Krishna (Rude Awakening).
More volunteers are expecting letters in their inbox later this week. Phillips has also told members that if they did not sign the new volunteer contract within the one-week period given them, their access cards to the station would be de-activated. Many of those who received letters have signed this contract.
Phillips called a volunteer meeting last Tuesday to hold annual elections. Volunteer Usheak Koroma took over chairing duties after Phillips would not recognize the flood of comments from the floor. Elections were held. Heather Douglas and Ron Nelson (Reggaemania) were elected the new volunteer representatives and former station manager Conrad Collaco was elected to the former core staff post.
A committee of volunteers organized elections last Saturday, May 3 to vote in new community representatives. Community members voted unanimously to elect Arnold Minors and Geoffery MacDonald to the two posts.
Phillips and Barnes say they will not recognize the newly elected board members.