June 26th, 2012 1:42pm
BREAKING NEWS: PUBLIC ACCESS STATION DENIED ACCESS TO BUILDING BY ARMED GUARD
Albuquerque public media nonprofit Quote Unquote made unable to
fulfill contract with City by force.
Albuquerque citizens along with the staff and board Quote Unquote Inc.
showed up to the station at 519 Central NW to find their access
revoked by an armed officer placed there by the City of Albuquerque.
Preliminary reports by community members and would-be “movers”
gathered on the street outside the station suggest that sometime over
the course of last night the City Attorney ordered the locks changed
on the building and used taxpayers’ money to station an armed guard
there to prevent access. Apparently, the City of Albuquerque became
aware of Quote Unquote’s very public and transparent appeal to its 30
year-long base of community supporters for help with moving all real
property owned by the nonprofit for use at the new location of the
public access television provider.
Currently still on the air (Comcast Cable Channel 27 or
www.quote-unquote.org) and fulfilling their end of the bargain, Quote
Unquote staff, employees and volunteers fully expected to be able to
“do their job” this morning when they arrived to a guard with a gun.
As you can see in the attached letter by City Attorney David Tourek,
Quote Unquote’s contract does not end until June 30th, 2012. Expectant
volunteers and outraged community members are now gathering at the
station with concerns about the City of Albuquerque’s ability to
uphold Quote Unquote’s 30 year legacy of providing working-class
citizens with a platform to exercise their right to free speech for
the remainder of this month and into the future.
Quote Unquote Executive Director Steve Ranieri is currently attempting
to follow City protocol expressed in the City Attorney’s letter and
arrange a meeting with City of Albuquerque Media Resources Manager and
Request for Proposals ah-hoc committee member Dave Mathews, in order
to gain access to the building so that employees and board members can
retrieve property that does not belong to the City of Albuquerque.
The City of Albuquerque is the defendant in a forthcoming lawsuit
regarding Quote Unquote and a possible investigation into the
misappropriation of IPEG funds.