About Red Wave

The Red Wave collective is a group of socialist organizers who came together through our shared membership in the New York City Democratic Socialists of America. We are socialist-feminist, abolitionist, anti-imperialist, anti-Zionist, anti-racist, anti-fascist, pro-tenant, and pro-worker. Our practical experiences as organizers reflect those values. We’ve participated in strikes, worked on electoral campaigns, organized against new jails and new luxury buildings, created mutual aid networks, executed direct actions, produced socialist media, and helped advocate for new legislation that protects tenants, immigrants, and sex workers. In 2019, four Red Wave members were elected to the Local Station Board of WBAI.

Today, Red Wave consists of active LSB members, candidates for the 2021 Local Station Board elections, and comrades who organize behind the scenes to support our mission to preserve, protect, and revitalize WBAI. You can join Red Wave through our online signup form.

Our shared goals and practices include:

  • Keeping WBAI independent and in the hands of the community. Rather than surrender this autonomy to Manhattan Neighborhood News, which the Supreme Court declared a private institution not accountable to First Amendment protections, WBAI needs to collaborate with this growing network of independent media producers.
    • Maintaining internal democracy and become a leading force for worker owned and independently funded media is the way forward for WBAI, not becoming a cog in the non-profit industrial complex.
  • Working with the WBAI community (management, staff, producers, listeners, and Board) to transform the station into the nexus for worker owned collectives of journalists, comedians, podcasters, and artists.
    • Members of Red Wave Slate have direct personal relationships with both organizers in the growing social movements across the city, socialist politicians in Albany and New York City, and popular podcasts and journalists with a significant social media following.
    • We can utilize these relationships to develop new programs that attract more listeners and funders to the station which will in turn broaden the audience for the most crucial programs at WBAI that center the voices of our most marginalized communities.
  • Adjusting to the constantly changing protocols around COVID and prioritizing the needs of the unionized workers at WBAI.
    • Red Wave members were instrumental in moving Local Station Board meetings to Zoom when the COVID pandemic hit New York City. We continue to bring our organizing skills and technical savvy to help WBAI stay connected to its board and listeners in a time of remote broadcasting.
    • We commit to following the lead of the unionized staff at WBAI with regard to station re-opening and COVID protocols and to respecting their collective negotiation with station management.
  • Supporting paid and volunteer producers in their substantial work for the station.
    • With two staff representatives on the Local Station Board and a strong connection to the production collective of NYC-DSA’s weekly radio show, Revolutions per Minute, Red Wave is committed to aiding current and future organizing by WBAI’s producers. We recognize the need for clear and appropriately noticed standards and expectations around programming, schedule changes, fundraising, and disciplinary procedures and will support related resolutions that come before the Local Station Board.
  • Supporting independent reporting and maintaining channels of feedback for fact-checking and uplifting the most underrepresented stories and voices.
    • Content on the airwaves must be evidence-based. It should represent the interests of those most marginalized and oppressed in our society who are most likely to be silenced by corporate funded media. Red Wave maintains a commitment to scientific inquiry and democratic and artistic freedoms, free from persecution and authoritarianism in an era of “fake news”, climate change denial, anti-vaccine misinformation, the rise of authoritarian governments around the world, and the repression of free speech.
  • Working with underrepresented communities– communities of color, immigrant communities and communities that speak different languages– that are already creating their own content.
    • We will work with other board members to organize community town halls, reach people at live tapings of podcasts catering to young millenials of color, and research ways that WBAI can make inroads into Arabic and other languages.
    • We are committed to helping revive working class organizations and defend thriving communities. This can include direct outreach with many organizations and collaboration with unions, workers centers, bail funds and organizations like Make the Road NY, New York Taxi Workers Alliance, or tenants unions, to see if they’d use WBAI to reach their bases, where they take questions from workers who want to call in about their rights on the job or as tenants, how to organize a union, how to report abuses in wage theft, sexual harassment, landlord abuses, etc.
    • We can only do this if we are also committed to extending bilingual programming. This is a clear and direct way in which working class organizations can support WBAI.
  • Consistently checking-in with the communities we represent: holding listener-socials with different hosts and guests, asking listeners to vote in straw polls for important policy or funding issues, holding town halls for members and the LSB to have open conversations as well as transparent presentations on financing.
    • Part of encouraging democracy and encouraging members to exercise their rights, is creating content that is meaningful to their lives and communities, content with real stakes for our listeners.
  • Revamping WBAI’s website and social media for more transparency, communication with our listeners, and community engagement.