Just got a telephone report from Alice and Jeff Chan who are representing North Bay for KPFA in Houston.

Today at noon the listener's alliance held a rally across the street from the Double Tree Hotel during which there was some chanting and street theater. The staff of the hotel, where the Pacifica Board is holding its meetings, declared that the chanting was awakening their guests and that they would not allow any of the demonstrators or their friends into the hotel to attend any more meetings. Up to this point some witnesses were being allowed into some committee meetings. Jeff Chan says the meetings were very contentious and that the board tried to prevent video taping by the audience.

The Pacifica Board is apparently required by the rules of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to hold open meetings. When the Double Tree Hotel essentially closed the meetings, the Pacifica Board contacted the CPB and requested permission to close the meetings because of the "extraordinary" circumstances. The CPB granted this as long as Pacifica publishes the minutes of the meetings. Why the CPB could give Pacifica permission to do this is not entirely clear.

There have been requests to change the venue of the next meetings so that they could be held openly but this is not acceptable to Pacifica. This means that the open public meeting where testimony was going to be taken will now be closed. Only two representatives of the press will be allowed to attend.

A group was formed to personally give the members of the Board a letter from the KPFA Steering Committee. Alice Chan drew Ken Ford's name. When Alice handed Ken Ford the letter she told him it was from the KPFA Steering Comm. and he tore it in half right in front of her. So far there has not been any civil disobedience or arrests. Security at the doors of the meetings has consisted of two Houston PD and a couple of security guards who have been searching purses etc.

Jeff Chan describes the feeling at his time as being in a war zone. No one is happy.

Here is the address of the Double Tree Hotel, perhaps a phone number can be gotten from information and calls made.

Double Tree Hotel, 2001 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, Texas

So, there you have it.

Michael Costello

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