Late last month, Temple University canceled all Pacifica programming on its Philadelphia radio station WRTI because Democracy Now was airing commentaries by Pennsylvania death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Yesterday at Temple Law School, Professor Burton Caine — a First Amendment expert at the school — organized a public forum entitled, "Censorship at WRTI?" He invited all the parties concerned with the decision to cancel Pacifica programming at WRTI and to have, in his words, a free speech forum on free speech.
Professor Caine invited the Temple University administration, the management of WRTI, and the Fraternal Order of Police, which opposes the airing of commentaries by Mumia Abu-Jamal. Democracy Now was also invited and we spoke. So were other voices from the community.
But no one from the University, the radio station or the police spoke. In fact, Professor Caine who organized the event, said the university tried to obstruct him from holding the forum, demanding that he pay $1000 for security.
TAPE: CHRIS LEHMANN, a student volunteer at WRTI.
TAPE: RAMONA AFRICA, of the Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
TAPE: REVEREND PAUL WASHINGTON, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.