Stop the War Machine Newsletter:
When members of Quote-Unquote arrived at the Channel 27 station yesterday morning (Tues, 6/26) in order to move out belongings, they found that the locks had been changed by the city of Albuquerque during the night and armed guards were standing at the front and back doors. The following letter was posted on the window and door:
“Office of the City Attorney
PO Box 2248
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103
June 25 2012
Re: Public Access and Local Origination Services Contract
To Whom It May Concern:
As you are aware, the Contract expires 6/30/2012. The City of Albuquerque is in the process of transitioning to a new operator of the public access stations. Your company had applied to the Court to stop this transition but the 2nd Judicial District court refused to grant an injunction. A copy of that Order is attached for your information. In order to assist in this orderly transition and to protect the significant amounts of equipment the City has provided, the City is releasing Quote… Unquote, Inc. from its cable programming obligations under the Contract and taking possession of City property effective today. However, Quote… Unquote will be paid in full for the month of June despite this early release. Check No. _____ in the amount of _____ is enclosed as final and full payment. Personal property of Quote… Unquote and its employees may have been left at 519 Central NW. Please contact security at 768-3041 to make arrangements to claim such belongings in the !
next two weeks. Two individuals at a time may be allowed to enter the building to claim personal property that is not owned by the City. If you dispute the ownership of any personal property, please make an appointment with Dave Mathews via email at [email protected] to discuss provenance.
A business card was taped to the letter with the following information:
City of Albuquerque
Chief of Security
What does it mean when the mayor’s office treats a group of people who have been maintaining a community access station, most of them volunteers, as suspect, as thieves and criminals? What does it mean when community members who on a voluntary basis produce programming for a station, a station which serves as one of the public plazas of a city, are routed out publicly and then locked out of the building without warning, locks changed, armed guards placed at doorways? These are things you do when you think you are dealing with thugs.
Many of us knew Pat Dolan, who gave her heart and soul to Channel 27. Pat, who did not have access to health care (a mammogram) at the crucial time when she needed it, died of breast cancer several years later, which was several years ago. The weekly Indymedia Show, in which various people were interviewed about political events, was Pat’s brainchild. Although you almost never saw Pat’s beautiful face in front of the camera, she was constantly behind it, working to show the world with her camera what she saw with her eyes wide open. I visited her in her last weeks. Her main concern as she died was what would happen to her life’s work, the shows and documentaries she had created throughout her life both before and during her time at Channel 27.
Channel 27 as it was managed by Quote… Unquote was personified by Pat. She was not unique there – her earnestness and passion about putting small voices together into a community voice can be found in almost every volunteer or employee that worked with Quote… Unquote. If the city chooses to terminate a contract, it is reasonable for citizens to expect it to do so with honesty, communication and at the very least an amount of gratitude for 30 years of hard work. For such people as Quote… Unquote and the volunteers at Channel 27 to be treated as thieves and thugs by the mayor’s office is appalling and outrageous and speaks volumes about the mayor and his staff.
What you can do:
1. Call the mayor’s office (768-3000) and express your indignation that people have been locked out of the TV station 3 days before the contract expires. Ask for an explanation of this.
2. Call 702-4203 or 304-3144 and see how you can help.