Date: Wed, 04 Aug 1999 19:58:16 -0700
From: savepacifica <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
KPFA STAFFERS PLAN TO BE BACK ON THE AIR AFTER PACIFICA FINALLY ALLOWS NEEDED REPAIRS
State Lawmakers to Hold Hearing on Pacifica's Conduct
Palo Alto Forum Thursday Night on KPFA/Pacifica Crisis
BERKELEY, CA - The KPFA staff will return to the airwaves at 7 a.m. tomorrow. A press conference will be held in front of the station at 9 a.m. The delay in the return to local programming resulted from the Pacifica Foundation's refusal to conduct or allow needed repairs, both to the station's transmitter and to equipment at the station's main facility in Berkeley. The KPFA staff, in consultation with its listening community, will offer a modified program schedule to inform its listeners about the ongoing dispute with Pacifica as well as other local, national and international developments.
“Going back on the air to serve our community is an important step, but the struggle against Pacifica is far from over,” said KPFA producer and Steering Committee member C.S. Soong. “Although we retook the station unconditionally, Pacifica could still pull the plug on us at any time, and of course the possible sale of the station still hangs over our heads. Sale of the station to the highest bidder would endanger the staff, abandon the community, and constitute a severe blow to progressive alternative media in this country.”
When Pacifica ended its 17-day lockout of the KPFA staff last Friday, the staff discovered serious damage to equipment, windows, and other items at the station -- damage that occurred during Pacifica's watch of the premises. Requests by KPFA staff earlier this week to access and fix the station's transmitter in the Berkeley Hills were rebuffed by Pacifica Executive Director Lynn Chadwick in a move that contradicts Pacifica's repeated suggestions that the KPFA staff has delayed the return to local programming.
Also today Assemblymember Scott Wildman, chair of the California Assembly's Joint Legislative Audit Committee, announced that the Committee will hold hearings to examine the Pacifica Foundation's conduct during its ongoing conflict with KPFA staff and community. The hearings, to be held on Friday, August 20, are being convened at the request of Berkeley Assemblywoman Dion Aroner and 24 other state lawmakers. The hearings will begin at 10:30 am at the Elihu Harris State Building in Oakland. Among the issues to be addressed are those relating to the governance and accountability of the Pacifica Foundation, issues important to many who are calling for the democratization of what is perceived as a secretive, self-perpetuating Pacifica leadership. For additional information about the hearings, contact Greg Campell at (916) 319-2043 or Hans Hemann at (916) 319-2014.
And in Chicago today free speech demonstrators from California joined Chicago community activists to protest the presence of Dr. Mary Frances Berry as a panelist on a town hall meeting about human rights and social justice in the United States. Dr. Berry, in addition to being chair of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, is chair of the Pacifica Foundation, which oversees a network of independent radio stations, including KPFA in Berkeley, and stations in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Houston. Under Berry's watch Pacifica has used armed guards to drag programmers off the air, locked-out KPFA's entire staff, and had scores of peaceful free-speech demonstrators arrested.
For background information, see www.radio4all.org/freepacifica or www.savepacifica.net.
PALO ALTO FORUM ON PACIFICA CRISIS
Listeners in the South Bay area are invited to a free forum Thursday, August 5, at the Unitarian Church, 505 Charleston Road (at Nelson) at 7:30.
Among those expected to speak are KPFA's Mary Berg, Dennis Bernstein, Wendell Harper, and Larry Bensky.