Co-op Radio Matters
An e-publication of The Democracy Movement
in Vancouver Co-operative Radio (DM-VCR)
You are viewing the opening page http://Co-op-Radio-Matters.weebly.com .
It was first e-published 2011 April 4,
and last revised 2013 December 25.
If you are looking instead for the official Co-op Radio Web publication, see www.coopradio.org .
You can listen on-line there to the broadcast while reading this (or on your radio 100.5 FM, our new frequency, etc.).
Conflict in other stations (revised 2013 12 25)
Conflict is in many so-called progressive and co-operative radio stations. I've heard of recent intra-station rifts in Victoria, BC; Nanaimo, BC; and the Pacifica network in the USA. For the latter, the issues seem quite different than what is happening here, but perhaps what they all have in common is the lack of due process and democracy.
See this article about Jared Ball: http://sfbayview.com/2013/the-ethnic-cleansing-of-broadcasters-from-pacifica-continues-nationally-jared-ball-speaks/ . "The ethnic cleansing of broadcasters from Pacifica continues nationally: Jared Ball speaks; 2013 December 13; by The People’s Minister of Information J.R. Valrey."
(2013 11~ report by Korky Day, revised 2013 12 25)
I was expelled from the co-op 2013 Nov. 17 in a lop-sided vote orchestrated by the elitist ruling clique at the meeting below. Debate on my expulsion was cut off after one speaker (against me)! I am the first and only person ever to be expelled from membership, making me theoretically the worst member ever. (Actually, the one least willing to go away quietly!) At the meeting, the chair had to break Robert's Rules even to let me speak in my own defence. Even he seemed embarrassed by the vehemence of the anti-co-operative anti-due-process hate in the room against me!
Facebook 2013 Dec. 7
Here's what I just posted on Facebook at Vancouver Co-op Radio CFRO (sic), and which was censored out a couple of days later:
42 dissenters harassed at Co-op Radio 100.5 FM by the ruling faction and the board! Their harshest crack-down (expulsion) was on me, a member for 38 years, for pointing out the many recent examples of wasting money and other reckless decisions and negligence. They claim that I made the premises ‘unsafe’ because I pointed out that the billboards had the radio frequency too small to read, and many similar examples. I was even shoved in anger, but I never responded physically. I’m posting here to see how many minutes my message will remain published before it is censored by the ruling clique. If they surprise me and leave it up, it means that there is hope that the factions might yet reconcile at Vancouver Co-operative Radio 100.5 FM (spelled right, unlike the name of this Facebook page). Sign my petition on paper. You’ll find me picketing the studios at 360 Columbia at Hastings, Vancouver. We dissenters have a Democracy Movement: http://Co-op-Radio-Matters.weebly.com
If you participate, you can help save a great endangered radio station!
Join, renew, attend, and vote at the next AGM of Co-op Radio:
(to be announced)
You can join and renew on-line at www.coopradio.org (click on that!), or telephone 604-684-8494 office, or 604-684-7561 studio.
So poor people are included, the cost is now pay-what-you-can.
Please contact us at the DM-VCR, too:
e-mail Korky Day at email@example.com !
Table of Contents (complete)
1. Beginning page (this page), with AGM announcement (above) and introductory material, then these articles:
Conflict in other stations.
Korky expelled 2013 11 17.
Facebook bit posted, then was censored.
"Perhaps your last chance to save Co-op Radio!" (2013)
"Your editor loses board election" (2011).
"Let's Reclaim Our Radio!" (your signature needed!)
2. Why we publish Co-op Radio Matters.
3. "Vote 2012!" (2012 Nov. 18), the next AGM and the crucial board election, which your editor is contesting. 5 articles are here:
a. Please vote for Korky.
b. Candidate questionnaire.
c. Korky barred and threatened with police arrest.
d. 5 worst failings of the board in the last year.
e. Public opinion poll about our new billboards.
4. Public discussion at Co-op Radio Matters.
5. Requests to board 2010 Dec. 19.
6. Requests to Programme Committee 2011 Feb. 17.
To open pages 2-5, please click on their names in the black horizontal bar at the top of this page.
Published in Coast Salish Nation
(Vancouver, BC, Canada),
which is also where Co-op Radio broadcasts on 100.5 FM (new frequency).
The Democracy Movement in Vancouver Co-operative Radio (DM-VCR) is a self-authorized caucus of people from "Co-op Radio" (VCR) who are striving to improve our station, especially by promoting process, practices, and activities within the co-op which are more unifying, welcoming, open, progressive, and democratic.
We publish this e-publication, Co-op Radio Matters, which invites participation by everyone:
our caucus, VCR members, and the public.
DM-VCR and Matters are not recognized officially yet by any organ of VCR.
Matters is controlled solely by the DM-VCR caucus.
It is moderated to ensure that all the contents are constructive, respectful, legal, and beneficial to Vancouver Co-operative Radio and to humanity.
(Of course, we can't stop anyone from commenting elsewhere.)
Unless otherwise stated, all opinions are of the authors, not the caucus or the co-operative.
Korky Day, editor
korkyday (at sign) yahoo (dot) com
2013 November update (revised 2013 12 25)
Perhaps your last chance to save Co-op Radio!
by Korky Day
I am contesting my 3rd board election, having lost in last place the other 2 times (2011, 2012). However, the board is not satisfied with keeping me off the board. They hate me going to board meetings at all, even if I don't have a vote there, and even when they won't even let me talk in the board meeting. One of them got so mad that I spoke AFTER a board meeting that she shoved me (a criminal offence). But they still know that I am criticising them (never threatening or violent), so they want me banned from the premises AND from the off-site meetings forever. They have upped the ante by moving to expel me legally from the co-op altogether. Come and vote. They can't expel me unless you vote Nov. 17 to confirm their proposed expulsion.
Co-op Radio could go bust next year easily, with our eviction, or when the Pattison money runs out around 2017. What we need is a united community, but the board has spent the last 3 to 5 years concentrating on deepening the rift between themselves (with their allies) and everyone else. They have persecuted 43 people (as of 2013 12 25), not just me. It's a purge.
So don't get fooled into thinking that their efforts are just to get rid of one lone crank (me). No, it is 43 of us. Many of the 43 have left in disgust. Some have lost their programmes. Many are keeping their heads low in order not to lose their programmes. (Perhaps one or 2 actually deserved to be ousted.)
For one example, Charles Boylan and Donna Peterson used to host Wake Up with Co-op, our 2nd-most popular programme, donation-wise. The board (and Programme Committee) persecuted them, giving them no reasonable options, which resulted in them being cut back from 7 hours a week on the air, to one hour. Now, instead, we have 5 hours a week of Spanish language in our morning commute, which almost everyone says is when we should have English only.
For another example, of many, we wasted our entire $150,000 billboard credit last year on designs which the public found boring and negative (proven in a survey). Worse, the designer knowingly tried to withhold our new frequency, 100.5 FM, from being readable (it was so tiny), as he finally admitted to me.
So me refusing to keep quiet about all their errors is the real reason they want to expel me. Not the incredible idea that they are physically afraid of me. That's silly. I don't make the workspace 'unsafe', as they claim. I merely make it embarrassing to them that they can't sweep all their big errors under the rug with me around. That's why they are horrified to think that I might win a board seat. Even if I did, though, they still will control the other 8 votes on the board, but it takes only one dissident (me) to report incompetence to the members.
So get out and vote 2013 Nov. 17, as at the top of the page!
(End 2013 Nov. 7 article.) (I lost, as latter reports say, above.)
2011 December 17
Your editor loses
by Korky Day.
I lost election to the board 2011 November 27. So the members present didn't seem to appreciate my efforts to improve the station. However, the ballot used is not really democratic. It is the same disproportional ballot we use to elect Vancouver City Council.
The 3 new people elected have much less experience at the station than I have. In fact, I have more years of experience than anyone on the 9-person board.
However, I was not a candidate because of my long experience, but on the principles expressed throughout the several pages in this e-publication. I sincerely believe that the members simply knew too little to realize that the violation of those principles is what is endangering our co-op.
Below is a letter from the Voice of Palestine Collective from around 2011 December. The Voice of Palestine programme formerly broadcast on Co-op Radio until they quit in disgust around 2012 September. The call (below) for a special general meeting (SGM) is now obsolete, as we are nearing the next (2011) regular annual general meeting (AGM). Please also attend the 2014 AGM.
Your signature now needed to call
a special general meeting! (2011)
Let’s Reclaim Our Radio!
Dear Friends and Supporters of Vancouver Co-operative Radio:
The Voice of Palestine Collective (VOP) is issuing this position paper on the first motion we introduced at the Co-op Radio AGM on Nov. 27/11 regarding the formation of a committee to investigate the process around Co-op Radio’s recent “frequency swap” deal. The second motion called on Co-op Radio to support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel and we will issue a second position paper on that motion at a later date. We were disappointed that both of these draft resolutions were defeated because of the ramifications for the reputation, democracy and future health of our station. As members who have dedicated a quarter of a century both to our own show Voice of Palestine and to Co-op Radio and alternative media, we present our ideas in the spirit of furthering dialogue and strengthening progressive principles. We feel that such a process is clearly not “a waste of time” and that this kind of constructive interaction is something that is urgently needed at Co-op Radio with open debate on the role and parameters of alternative media.
We were hoping that our first motion, which called for an independent investigation into Co-op’s “swap agreement” with Jim Pattison Industries and the secrecy that surrounded it, would ultimately answer all questions about the deal. Since that option has failed, we are left with no choice except to go to the membership at large and raise our major concerns regarding this action, and its possible violation of the democratic process and universal co-operative principles. It is worth noting that we had discussed this motion with two Board representatives the week prior and had even agreed to amendments they had suggested; we were under the impression that the Board saw the value of this resolution and would support it, but regrettably, when it came to the AGM, they were either curiously silent or voted against.
The Co-op Board started negotiations in secrecy with Jim Pattison Broadcast Group and Jim Pattison Industries representatives before July 2, 2010, which is the official date the application first went to the CRTC. However, the negotiations were never brought to the attention of the membership at the November 2010 AGM and during that whole period, may never even have been recorded in the Board minutes. The first time Co-op members were made aware of this huge undertaking was when the CRTC opened the application to the public for comment on Dec. 9, 2010; as members, we had no more rights or privileges than any other member of the general public regarding this pivotal action of our Co-op. We do not understand why the Board did not include a clause in the agreement that the deal must be verified by the members, similar to the process in trade union negotiations i.e the negotiating committee operates in confidentiality, but with the provision that the final deal must be approved by the membership. Although in that situation, members at least know in principle what their representatives are negotiating about; Co-op’s membership never empowered the Board to negotiate on their behalf regarding the sale of Co-op Radio’s assets, and a simple election of Board members cannot be considered a mandate for such an action.
Frequency Swap or Frequency Sell-out?
To call the deal with Jim Pattison Industries a frequency swap is misleading; what actually happened is the sale of the majority of our frequency capabilities to a reactionary commercial multinational corporation and we feel that this is against co-operative principles and the public interest.
Let us look at the “frequency swap” deal. It was not a simple exchange between Co-op Radio’s frequency 102.7 MHz (channel 274B) with the 100.5 MHz frequency (channel 263C) held by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. It also included the reduction of the average effective radiated power of Co-op Radio from 5,500 watts to 2,800 watts and increased the average effective radiated power of Pattison’s station from 2,800 to 51,000 watts. In plain terms, Co-op radio lost (actually sold for $1,437,000) 48,200 watts of average effective power to Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited. (1) It is worth noting that the “radio spectrum is an essential and increasingly scarce resource”(2) and is a strategic asset that can be used in cell phone and internet technologies. (3) Further, it is no secret that Pattison is known for his long term business planning. (4)
Was there an obligation to get membership approval?
We feel that to sell the assets of Co-op Radio in secrecy without any mechanism for consultation with the members is not only undemocratic (the concept of democracy being that members legislate ... board executes), it is also against Co-op Radio’s Memorandum of Association. Rule 56 of that Memorandum states “All meetings of the directors shall be open to all members of the Association provided that the directors may meet in camera with respect to personnel matters including matters concerning union negotiations affecting its paid staff. The board of directors shall have the power to formulate and implement the policy of the Association and to co-ordinate the activities of the Association in conjunction with the direction of the membership”. It is clear the only exception for secrecy is: “personnel matters including matters concerning union negotiations affecting its paid staff”; it is also clear that all Board activities should be carried “in conjunction with the direction of the membership”. Further, in regards to the assets of the Association, rule 64 (when talking about a less serious transaction such as using the assets as collateral for borrowing money) states: “PROVIDED that if any security proposed to be given in the exercise of this power is intended to charge the whole or substantially the whole of the undertaking of the Association, this power shall not be exercised by the directors without the authority of a special resolution of the membership of the Association.” And even if the Association has gone bankrupt, according to rule 74, the “assets shall be given or sold to another Association, society, corporation, whether incorporated or not, having similar objects to this Association.” We doubt Pattison’s multinational corporation would qualify for any of the co-operative objectives.
A universal definition of a co-operative’s General Assembly is that it is “the highest policy-making body of the co-operative and is the final authority in the management and administration of the affairs of the co-operative.”(5)
One of the powers of the Co-operative General Assembly is: “To approve developmental plans of the co-operative”. (6)
In a recent interview (7) on our sister station CKUT in Montreal under the title of “NCRA: reclaim your Radio”, an American activist Petri talked about the struggle to reserve public frequencies on the airwaves for community radio and social justice work; he likened it to the preserving of public parks, the concept that our community frequencies are an important asset to be guarded for future generations. It is always more convenient and profitable to sell public spaces to commercial developers for profit; regrettably, this is what the Board of Co-op Radio did because we were short on money, even though lack of finances has been a constant theme throughout our history. Co-op Radio never believed in commercialism in its programming, always believing we should count on our own resources rather than seek commercial advertising. However, what is the lesser of the two evils:- commercial advertising or selling out the assets of the members and the public? Why did the Board not consider both (or other options)? And again, all options should have been put to a vote by the membership for a final decision.
Most of the universally recognized co-operative principles were sacrificed by this sell-out deal, especially the first and the seventh. The first is volunteerism and the seventh is “the concern for community by working for its sustainable development through policies approved by the co-operative members” (8) (item3). These principles were not honoured; democracy was replaced with back-room deals and self-reliance was replaced by reliance on corporate handouts that may lead, despite the best intentions, to the demise of the station when Co-op runs out of money.
Who is Jim Pattison Anyway?
Jim Pattison, sole owner and CEO of the Jim Pattison Group, is worth $US 5.8 billion (as of March 2011), and was ranked by Forbes as the 3rd wealthiest person in Canada and 173rd in the world (9). His media group is the largest in Western Canada and owns 29 radio stations and three TV stations (10) and is still expanding. Pattison is a true representative of the 1% Canadian rich who are monopolizing wealth for their personal interests. He is also a reactionary Evangelical Christian Zionist (or as the Israeli media called him, an “Evangelical billionaire”) who has financially supported many right-wing projects, including just this year a donation of $2.9 million to “Israel Journey”, a project co-funded by the Israeli state that even some teachers in Israel have called “incessant indoctrination”. (11)
All the above issues need to be discussed and clarified. We believe that the Board’s decision to sell off the assets of the station and the subsequent CRTC decision (in which the CRTC claimed to have concern for Co-op Radio’s future) are damaging and do not serve the public interest at large. We also believe that the crux of this debate is the understanding of the function of community and alternative media. Is it the role of alternative media to constantly challenge the political status quo and distance ourselves from the corporate media, even if it involves risks? Or are we simply here to protect whatever gains we have achieved? Can we do both and which approach actually endangers our future more as the “voice for the voiceless”? This is why we are calling for a special general meeting to be held in the spring of 2012 to discuss ways to rectify what we feel is a deviation from co-operative principles, to learn from our mistakes and to reclaim our radio station. Perhaps we can learn from our own history – in a final note of irony, it seems Co-op Radio actually intervened with the CRTC to try and block (unsuccessfully) Jim Pattison’s early expansion into the Kamloops broadcast market back in 1987. (12) We may be moving to the left on the radio dial, but we seem to moving in the other direction in our policies and practice.
We ask Co-op members who support our position to email us at hkawas (at sign) msn (dot) com and add your name to this request for a special general meeting.
Voice of Palestine Collective
End of letter from the Voice of Palestine Collective.
Your editor's comment: The board might try to use the loop-hole that our frequency is not technically an "asset" because it is public property which we are allowed to use by the CRTC. I believe that to use such a legal technically would be a blatant violation of co-op principles and of the entire spirit of our movement and of our station, abhorrent to any informed member, if they are honest.
I don't agree with the entire letter above, but do think that the board should do much more than they have.
This page first e-published 2011 April 4, revised as at top.
Unrelated link to http://nfirc.weebly.com .
End of beginning (home) page.