Democracy Now! returns to Pacifica Monday 1-7-02
[ Pacifica Campaign alert lower on page ]
NEW YORK (January 4, 2002)-- Democracy Now!, the award-winning national radio show that was banned in August from the progressive Pacifica Radio Network returns to the Pacifica airwaves on Monday, bringing to the general public the voices of some of the harshest critics of the "war on terrorism."
On Monday, Goodman will be reunited on -air with former co-host Juan Gonzalez for the first time in a year, when Gonzalez resigned to found a national grassroots campaign to reclaim the Pacifica stations. Guests will also include filmmaker Michael Moore.
Democracy Now! was banished from Pacifica as part of the Pacifica Radio crisis, which many community radio activists say was an attempted corporate takeover of the only progressive radio network in the United States. The crisis moved toward resolution last month when three lawsuits against the Pacifica board of directors were settled, and the board of directors was reconstituted. The new board majority is determined to return the 50+ year old listener-sponsored network to its peace and social justice mission. One of the first moves of the new board was to vote at their first board meeting, a conference call on December 29, 2001, to bring back Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! is the flagship national program of the Pacifica Radio Network, and its host Amy Goodman has won numerous journalism awards. But, as part of the ongoing conflict within the Pacifica Radio Network, Goodman was forced off the airwaves at most Pacifica stations and joined the ranks of dozens of journalists who were censored or banned by Pacifica. Democracy Now!'s host and producers were physically and verbally harassed out of the studios of WBAI in New York City when that station was "re-programmed" by Pacifica management and board leaders and subsequently banned from four of the five Pacifica Radio stations: WBAI in New York, WPFW in Washington, DC, KPFK in Los Angeles and KPFT in Houston.
But rather than stop producing the show, Democracy Now! has expanded. In addition to broadcasting on Pacifica Station KPFA in Berkeley, the program aired on community radio stations around the country and has begun broadcasting a daily national TV show which airs on Free Speech TV--channel 9415 of dish network (Satellite TV)-- and public access cable tv stations around the country.
Since the attacks of September 11, Democracy Now! has provided some of the most incisive programming on war and terrorism to be found anywhere on radio or television. On December 10, 2001, Democracy Now! broke the news of a University of New Hampshire professor's study documenting that close to 4,000 civilians have died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S. bombing. Other recent guests on the show have included Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani journalist and author of 'Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia', discussing the oil-slicked road to war in Afghanistan, Tahmeena Faryal, spokeswoman for Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), Arundhati Roy, activist and author of The God of Small Things, Howard Zinn, Professor Emeritus of History at Boston University, author of A People's History of the United States, and Noam Chomsky, author and linguist at MIT.
Pacifica Radio has been embroiled in controversy since1999, when the Network's managers shut down KPFA of Berkeley. That shut down caused the largest protests in Berkeley since the Vietnam War. In December 2000, Pacifica "re-programmed" its New York City station, WBAI, by firing and banning long-time programmers and eviscerating the station's progressive political programming. Last August, Pacifica suspended Amy Goodman and removed Democracy Now! from the Pacifica airwaves.
But on December 12, 2001, it was announced that plaintiffs who sued the Network reached a settlement with the Pacifica board of directors that could end years of strife at Pacifica. The settlement created a new interim board of directors that draws its members from Pacifica's local advisory boards, its current board majority, and its board minority. Now there is hope among Pacifica Radio activists that the crisis is coming to an end and they will have a chance to rebuild the progressive radio network. Among the issues yet to be resolved are the return of the fired and banned producers at network-wide and resolution of the news stringers strike against Pacifica Network News.
For more information about Democracy Now!, see http://www.democracynow.org.
ACTION ALERT: from Pacifica Campaign LA
Several General Managers of Pacifica Stations have made grumblings hinting that they will be refusing to broadcast DN! on their station.
If you live in the signal area of WBAI- NY, KPFK-LA KPFT-Houston or WPFW-DC and on Monday January 7 and you DON'T hear Democracy Now! In Exile on your Pacifica Station Call the Pacifica General Manager at your station and demand Democracy Now! be broadcast immediately
Pacifica Station General Managers
WBAI 99.5 FM
KPFT 90.1 FM
WPFW 89.3 FM
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