Pacifica Campaign report with comments
by wbai.net and Carol Spooner
Juan Gonzales wrote in the 9-24-01 Pacifica Campaign statement: "Court battles are important, but this fight will be won by the listeners and the staff of Pacifica, not by ! lawyers and judges in a courtroom."
When the so-called Pacifica national board illegally re-wrote the bylaws to make them self selecting they became answerable to no-one, except the law. That means courts and lawyers. That means we cannot get Pacifica back without the lawsuits (in combination with the efforts and tactics of those in the Pacifica Campaign and elsewhere). Even if all the scum on the board were to resign today, legal process will still be required.
The Pacifica campaign rocks. They really do. I'm truly grateful for all their efforts. But if they are raising mega-bucks in the name of regaining Pacifica, they are obligated to put a substantial portion towards the lawsuits. To do so otherwise is misrepresentation as the lawsuits are of equal, if not greater importance than any other aspect of the struggle to regain our network. This is reality.
From: Pacifica Campaign
To: Pacifica Campaign Supporters
Note: This is the only e-mail the Pacifica Campaign has sent out since the summary of last week's Pacifica National Board meeting. Pacifica Campaign e-mails are sent directly to individuals on our list with the firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address. If you have any questions about the origin of an e-mail, please feel free to contact our office.
As you all know, our movement suffered a setback last week. In an "election" that resembled dictator Rafael Trujillo's farcical caricatures of democracy in the Dominican Republic decades ago, the small corporate clique that seized control of the Pacifica Board nearly two years ago succeeded in reinforcing its rapidly diminishing majority by adding five new board members.
First, the "meeting" was held by telephone with the public allowed to "listen" but not participate. This was an outrageous maneuver aimed at getting around the public meeting requirements of both the F.C.C. and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. And while the board clique used the meeting format to hide an unseen secret advisor, his whispering voice could be heard queuing vice-chair Ken Ford throughout the conference call.
Second, the first new board member "elected," former Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry, is an insult to the Pacifica community. While he may have once had a good reputation as a civil rights activist, Barry has been an embarrassment for years. Not only was he forced from office years ago after being caught on tape buying and smoking crack-cocaine, but only a few months ago he pleaded out a second degree assault charge in return for the dropping of an indecent exposure complaint. The moment Barry was selected onto the Pacifica Board, he suddenly appeared on the phone meeting and then voted on all the other members to be "elected."
Third, we understand that all the new members except one -- George Barnstone of Houston, Texas -- are from Washington, D.C. When those four are added to the five board members currently from Washington, it means that 13 of the 16 Pacifica directors are men and nine of 16 directors (nearly 60%) are from the nation's capital -- from the signal area of Pacifica's second-smallest station. Only one board member is from Pacifica's largest station in New York, and only two from its second-largest in Berkeley. At the same time, three out of the four Board officers -- Vice-Chair Ken Ford, Treasurer Wendell Johns, and Secretary John Murdock -- are also from D.C. This represents an enormous and dangerous concentration of inside-the-beltway power at a network that has always prided itself on being a grassroots people's network.
Some of the new board members such as Barnstone, a member of the Texas ACLU, and comedian-activist Dick Gregory, do have credentials as progressives. But their selection in a process that was opposed by thousands of listeners has stained their membership on the Pacifica Board.
We in the Pacifica Campaign urged the board and its lawyer, Greg Craig, not to escalate the on-going conflict by repacking the board. We urged good-faith negotiations to fashion a solution acceptable to both sides. We understand that the litigants in the three lawsuits against Pacifica also made a last-ditch attempt to start negotiations. But Craig, vice-chair Ken Ford, Washington, D.C., board member John Murdock, and Executive Director Bessie Wash were determined to repack the board and initiate talks later.
It has been extremely difficult for any of us to pay attention to this crisis during the past two weeks, given the far greater crisis confronting our nation and the entire world after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. But if anything shows why a strong Pacifica is so needed, it is this crisis. And if anything proves that Bessie Wash and the current crew in charge of Pacifica are not capable of running a progressive network, it is their blatant refusal to air the two-hour live broadcasts of Democracy Now! that Amy Goodman and the Democracy Now! team are preparing each day from Ground Zero in New York.
More than that, it took WBAI interim manager Utrice Leid several days to figure out a way to begin broadcasting from another location, and even then it was on a much reduced schedule. This past weekend, Leid banned coverage of the crisis on WBAI, insisting on "healing" music instead. Some of the programs ending up canceled were the progressive Jewish program "Beyond the Pale," that had prepared full coverage of the crisis, and "Asia Pacifica Forum," a one hour weekly program that was going to deal with the racist incidents against immigrant groups, particularly Arab- and Asian Americans. Clearly, Leid, Wash and the Pacifica Board are determined to eviscerate progressive, hard-hitting programming in favor of music and soft features. To add insult to injury, Leid has been promoted to National Program Director, the No. 2 slot in the network by Bessie Wash.
But enough of the recent past. What do we do now?
I once believed that our movement could win this fight in a few short months if we mobilized sufficient force against the Pacifica Board. We had a window of opportunity to reach a negotiated settlement in early June, after the resignations of David Acosta and Karolyn van Putten. But that window closed quickly once Bessie Wash and her top managers seized control of the situation and hired new lawyers and a new public relations firm.
We are now headed for a long, difficult and debilitating fight. But our prospects for victory are still good. First of all, the listener boycott campaign we launched in February continues to gain strength. From all reports we have, the Pacifica network is in dire financial straits. Throughout the network, unpaid bills are mounting up, legal expenses are skyrocketing, and revenues are plummeting. At some stations, the health insurance premiums of staff members have not been paid. So the pressure remains strong on the board to negotiate a settlement before the costly process of legal depositions and an actual trial begins.
So the first thing we must do is revitalize and expand the listener boycott beginning in early October. Now that Democracy Now! has been driven from Pacifica everywhere except at KPFA, we must redouble that boycott effort. And we must keep up the campaign of individual direct action pressure on the board, but especially on those new officers of the board who have been put in charge of the current situation -- Chair Bob Farrell, Vice-Chair Ken Ford, Treasurer Wendell Johns, and Secretary John Murdock.
But it is not enough just to picket and protest and boycott. In the critical political environment we are in, with our nation heading toward a new war, we must find ways to fulfill Pacifica's mission even without the original Pacifica stations. That's why we in the Pacifica Campaign are moving forward to support the fired, banned, exiled, and striking Pacifica workers even as we fight to oust the corporate raiders. Not only will we continue to assist the growth of Free Speech Radio News (now heard on more than 40 community radio stations around the country), but we are urging Democracy Now! not to return to any Pacifica station (except KPFA) until the network has been democratized. Instead, Democracy Now! should expand into other community and public radio stations, onto public access cable television, onto the Internet -- anywhere it can be heard or seen, except Pacifica. Finally, we hope to announce the formation of one or more local Pacifica stations-in-exile similar to W! BIX-in-exile in New York.
At the same time, we need to tackle a suggestion - however difficult -- that many listeners have made to us during the past year -- the creation of a listener escrow fund. In other words, money that would be pledged or donated to a special fund and that would not be released until the current board has been replaced by a democratically-accountable board.
We must do all these things: the boycott and pressure campaign, the alternative network-in-exile, and the escrow fund. But most especially, since a new fund drive begins at Pacifica in early October, we must solidify the boycott.
While we reach out to the public, we must also tackle contradictions within our ranks. We should seek to avoid divisions and fights among us, but we should not shy away from clarifying and debating our differences in strategy and tactics. At the Pacifica Campaign, for example, we have not been happy with some of the uncompromising tendencies within our movement. Some have demanded the complete surrender of the entire board immediately. They have been unwilling to recognize that in the real world, whether it was in Vietnam or South Africa, liberation movements have always had to engage in negotiations and at times compromises with their enemies in the hope of preventing even greater bloodshed among the people. At the same time, others have wanted to put all their faith, and the fate of our movement, in the hands of the courts. This is a leap of faith we should not take. Court battles are important, but this fight will be won by the listeners and the staff of Pacifica, not by ! lawyers and judges in a courtroom. The request of the litigants for Pacifica to be put into a limited receivership, we believe, was an example of that erroneous tendency.
Finally, the biggest problem is that our movement has not publicly tackled or debated the essential aspects of what we would consider a "victory". Since we don't know or don't agree on what a victory would look like, some don't know how to end this struggle or how to begin negotiating an end to it. Some are afraid of ending it because they don't want to be accused by others of "selling out." The litigants, who since early June have been conducting the only "exchanges" with the board's lawyers, have pursued a policy of telling the broader movement as little as possible about what a possible settlement would look like. They have done that sometimes for good reason -- because of lawyer-client confidentiality or because they fear that they will expose their tactics to the other side or because they cannot agree among themselves about the best approach to take. But in doing this, they are keeping everyone else in the dark and paralyzing themselves.
While we at the Pacifica Campaign respect the work the litigants have done, we do not believe the current situation can continue. We thus encourage the litigants to pursue their own negotiations over their lawsuits. During the past two weeks, members of the Pacifica Campaign have opened up our own direct lines of communication with several members of the board majority. If the opportunity arises to sit down with some members of that majority to discuss how to restore democratic accountability to Pacifica in exchange for ending our boycott and pressure campaign, we will not hesitate do so. However, given the way that majority chose to escalate this conflict by repacking the board, our current feeling is that any full-scale negotiations should probably wait.
In the meantime, not one dime to the corporate raiders and failed politicians who are trying to seize control of this great network. Their fate will be the same as all the Trujillos, Duvaliers, and Pinochets who have tried to govern without the consent of the governed.
From: Carol Spooner
These are some of my own personal ruminations after reading Juan's Pacifica Campaign report of September 25th -- which I read with a great deal of interest, agreement, and empathy, and with some disagreement and sadness.
I speak only for myself -- not for the "litigants" as a group. (There are 4 lawsuits, and a total of 38 litigants + the California Attorney General all suing the Pacifica Foundation and members of its Board of Directors, on various legal theories and "causes of action", and with varying perspectives on the scope of this fight, on what is driving the "other side", and on what would be an acceptable resolution.) The litigants are not really a "group", but a collection of people working terribly hard to prosecute lawsuits of national political importance to those who care about free speech and dissemination of alternative news and information in this age of "manufacturing consent" for the new world order and the wars and misery "necessary" to maintain it.
Because the cases have been consolidated by the court for trial and discovery, it is necessary that we cooperate and work in a coordinated fashion -- and, to the best of our limited human abilities under pressure, we do that with good will and mutual appreciation. But, ultimately, each lawsuit must prove its own case, and may even take contrary legal positions on some issues.
When I started the Committee to Remove the Pacifica Board (the name says what I think "victory" means) in July 1999, it was because I believed then, as I believe now, that ultimately a court can stop the political propagandists' takeover of the Pacifica Foundation -- by removing the illegally elected board of directors who would not otherwise willingly negotiate in good faith with anyone, much less resign, and by requiring bylaws amendments that would protect Pacifica from such takeovers in the future. The board, by making itself self-selecting in 1997, had become completely unaccountable to anyone ... and the Executive Director, working in concert with key people on the board who controlled the majority of the votes, and key people within the station managements, could carry out their plan for Pacifica ...
I believed then, as I believe now, that the subversion of Pacifica is deep, has been in the works for years, and is the work of government propagandists (operating through the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting as "advisors" and suppliers of key staff and as a potential grant maker if Pacifica "behaves" itself) whose objective is to neutralize Pacifica either by: (1) depoliticizing it like WPFW & KPFT (and to a lesser extent KPFK) while continuing to use the name Pacifica and passing it off as "leftist" radio (while narrowing the scope of political discourse in this country), or (2) bankrupting it and selling off stations, and then using the money to do syndicated productions (probably in joint venture with NPR and/or PRI) of little political value or content.
I never saw this simply as a fight with a few misguided or vindictive individuals whose resignations or removal would constitute a "victory" -- Mary Frances Berry & Lynn Chadwick were not the "enemy" in 1999. They could be replaced, and were replaced, by others who carried on with the same plan, just as those before them had, and just as those now in control can be replaced with more of the same or worse.
The plan, in 1999, was to "shut down & reprogram" KPFA on the KPFT/WPFW model, and then to "discretely" market it and WBAI to a commerical radio chain. (Former director Michael Palmer's July 1999 memo to Mary Frances Berry was quite clear about this.) Nothing has changed since then except that the California Attorney General got involved and forced them to back off of KPFA (for awhile) and concentrate elsewhere -- PNN & WBAI have both been "shut down & reprogrammed" since 1999. The board and executive director were taken by surprise by the size and determination of the protests in Berkeley, and were forced to retrench and temporarily move elsewhere. However, that was not a "victory" in any final sense. It was merely a postponement of the showdown over KPFA. I am certain that they will be back to sell both KPFA and WBAI if we lose at trial -- and I am equally certain that the only thing that has prevented sales of stations over the past 2 years was the fact that the lawsuits prevented it -- no judge would permit a sale until the issue of who the lawful directors are is resolved at trial.
>From the August 1999 re-opening of KPFA until the December 2000 coup at WBAI they moved pretty carefully -- although many people were alarmed during that period by the changes at PNN and the harassment of Democracy Now!
Still, the legal fight -- supported by many listeners -- continued to wind its way through the slow and tortuous legal byroads to trial. It took 10 months to get approval for the listeners' suit from the Cal. Atty. General, then another 5 months when Pacifica removed the case to federal court and we had to file motions and briefs to get it sent back to the state court. So, it has only been since last February that we were actually in discovery phase and preparing pre-trial motions, etc., etc., to bring our (listeners') lawsuit to trial.
The court held up the LAB lawsuit (which did some of their discovery & pre-trial work in 2000) to be tried together with the other 3 suits. (Robinson/Kriegel filed in September 2000 & were removed to federal court and returned to state court along with our suit in February. Moran/Cagan/Bramson filed their cross-complaint in May 2001). The judge has said that the trial date of January 7, 2002 is "firm and, barring a castrophe, will not be changed."
In the meanwhile, since the WBAI coup last December, and since the end of February when the Pacifica Campaign was launched, a great deal of new energy has come into the fight from New York. It reminds me of the period in 1999 from April 1st (when KPFA manager Nicole Sawaya was fired) to July 13th (when KPFA was boarded up and taken off the air). Our movement here grew as staff were fired and banned over those months -- but it might have died had Pacifica not made the mistake of shutting our station for 23 days. People do get tired and they might have given up. The Pacifica controllers learned from that mistake and did not take WBAI off the air, but kept firing & banning in a war of attrition. Still, they kept re-energizing the movement with stupid moves like driving Democracy Now! out. (Demonstrating that they really do feel invulnerable to listeners' and staff outrage.)
The worst moment for me in this fight, however, was when KPFA was re-opened after the lockout and the staff went back inside and declared "victory." Many of us knew that Pacifica management would be back for KPFA as soon as they were free (from lawsuits) to do so. And I do fear that the Pacifica Campaign will negotiate a separate peace and declare "victory" again. And if we lose in court in Janualry Pacifica will be back next year free to sell stations and carry out their plans, with nothing whatsoever capable of stopping them.
Since July 1999 (until the WBAI Christmas Coup) even though there was no "gag rule" at KPFA, there has been very little air time to educate our listeners about the reasons for and purposes of the attack on Pacifica or even the fact that the fight was still ongoing. (Larry Bensky, Kris Welch, Robbie Osman & Dennis Bernstein were the exceptions.)
Lawsuits are "boring" & a deep analysis of the changes at Pacifica over the past decade -- including KPFA, which is a pale shadow of its former self -- linking it to the CPB-sponsored watering down and commercialization of "public broadcasting", generally, and the FCC deregulation that permitted mega-media mergers in commercial broadcasting -- all part of the control of information & propaganda in this country -- none of that was ever analyzed or explained on KPFA. So, for the most part, people did not realize the true danger to Pacifica and KPFA and many people thought all was well since we "won" back in July 1999.
With the Christmas Coup some of our KPFA staff got fired up again and made common cause with their brothers and sisters at WBAI ... but not many of them. The ostrich syndrome was widespread. But, with the takedown of Democracy Now! -- and the repacking of the board -- and the fact that Pacifica is not paying KPFA's bills -- the seriousness of this fight has come back to KPFA's airwaves.
When the Pacifica Campaign was launched, I had serious misgivings that I publicly expressed: (1) that coercing resignations by going to board members' employers with pickets, & their homes, and so forth, was personally unethical to me (& could backfire in court), and (2) that it wouldn't work because it was quite likely that the court would allow the board to replace those directors who resigned. My public statements about this certainly did not endear me to the Pacifica Campaign. This disagreement has always been terribly painful for me. I know how dedicated they are and how hard they have worked, and how much this fight means to them ... as it does to me. And I have so much admiration for those who do stand up to fight for Pacifica ... rather than silently giving up and getting on with their lives (as many have over the past decade). And I know the outrage that motivates them ... I feel it myself, deeply. Besides, it is hard to argue with success ... four directors did resign under pressure, and for awhile, it looked like the balance on the board might shift. But it was not enough.
However, Juan is mistaken when he says there was a "window of opportunity" to negotiate a settlement last June. In reality, there was only a "window of opportunity" to negotiate a surrender -- leaving in place a majority of the board (or their hand-picked successors) to continue the subversion and depoliticization of Pacifica and leaving Bessie and Utrice in place. There seems to be a common myth that there was a "window of opportunity" to negotiate a settlement after Acosta and van Putten resigned in June. I don't know where that myth came from -- except maybe wishful thinking.
Pacifica's former lawyer, Daly Temchine, said he thought his clients might be willing to negotiate a "transfer of control" if we "packaged it right." We said we'd be glad to talk about "packaging" a transfer of control. The next we heard, Valrie Chambers said "no way", she wanted to "fight on" (she said she was mad about the leafletting in her neighborhood with reports she said were "libelous" about her and David Acosta) -- then Bessie fired Temchine & that was that. It has always been clear to me that those truly in control on the other side do not want to negotiate & that they will prevent it out of fear that some on "their side" might break ranks.
The week before the court hearings on our motions on Sept. 18th ... their new lawyer (Greg Craig) called to suggest the lawyers might all meet and "work it out." He said he didn't know what had transpired re: negotiations with Temchine beforehand, and that he didn't know what his clients' settlement position was -- but that maybe the lawyers should try to settle the cases before the judge ruled on the motions. Our lawyers said we are always willing to talk with them, but to date, we have received no proposal or any suggestion that they are willing to meet with us.
The "dissident" directors have worked tirelessly to "turn" one of the votes on the other side. But, in the end, no matter how atrocious Bessie and Utrice continued to act, none of the board majority directors were willing to "change sides" when it came to a vote. (Yes, Valrie Chambers signed a letter to Bessie, but she would not agree to call a board meeting to adopt a binding board resolution to deal with the Democracy Now! situation -- and she voted to pack the board. Yes, Bob Farrell "unaligned" himself in court, but he apparently traded the chairmanship of the board for his vote to pack the board last week. Yes, Bert Lee was wooed and briefly looked like he might change sides for a couple of days just before the board packing vote -- but Ken Ford got to him and got him signed up with the board majority again, and he voted to pack the board.)
So, where are we now? Right about where we were six months ago. Preparing for trial in January, with nothing stopping a hostile board of directors and Executive director from continuing the destruction between now and then. But many more people are now aware of the fight than were aware six months ago -- and I think many do understand what is truly at stake.
One thing most people do understand is that lawsuits can't be managed by public debate and taking a vote on tactics & strategies. All of that information gets back to the other side -- and it also gets into court. Ultimately, legal decisions are made and must be made in confidential discussions between clients and attorneys. That doesn't mean I don't try to keep people informed (risking, perhaps, giving too much information to the other side). I have always welcome peoples' thoughts and considered them deeply.
I understand that some people in New York were quite upset about the motion for a temporary limited receiver. (For the most part, however, I received positive encouragement from people for that motion.) However, even the limited negative response was quite surprising to me since there had been so many pleas from NY that we "do something" to try to stop the carnage at WBAI -- and a temporary limited receiver was the only legal option available to "do something". I think some bad information got out there (from people uninformed about California law) about what such a receiver in this kind of case could and could not do. But, had one been appointed, I am certain it would have been a good thing to preserve some of Pacifica's assets for rebuilding Pacifica after trial -- they are now liquidating reserves in the stock market (at a loss, no doubt) in order to make payroll at KPFA!
What would a "victory" look like? Well, speaking for myself as a 40-year KPFA listener, I got into this fight for love and gratitude. I loved many of the KPFA programmers I had been listening to for years -- some of them long gone but not forgotten. I loved the passionate realities they brought into my life. They pierced my heart with music, lifted my spirit with poetry and stories, opened my mind with inquires, analyses, news, and political protests ... made me laugh at good jokes, made me yell at my radio in disagreement with some point of view or stupidity or at some of the idiotic programming failures they took the risk to broadcast (and I'm glad they took those risks because sometimes something truly sublime and original came across) ... and, I think they changed my life in ways unaccountable but significant. Radio reaches across distances and links people in a strange way. The broadcaster doesn't hear the listener ... doesn't know when a listener is singing along or crying or yelling -- or when a life is changed forever by something the broadcaster has read or said ... but it happens. And it happened to me.
So, a "victory" would be a place where people like that could continue broadcasting for the next 50 years in whatever technology develops that can reach many people -- particularly low income people who have few other resources. It would be an end to measuring success by Arbitron ratings, an end to "target market programming", an end to the safe, uninteresting, uninspiring, non-political pablum they have been pushing for a decade (from what I understand, WBAI was the last to be subjected to this mediocre pablum, but since the Christmas Coup WBAI listeners have had a taste of it and worse). For me, it isn't any particular program or programmer that I fight for. I take the long view. Good people come and go ... the best have their time and then move on. On the national level, I think it would be a tragedy for Pacifica to lose Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! at this point. It is a terrific program, and has been a tremendous contribution to Pacifica -- and one that has brought a great deal of prestige (and money) to Pacifica as well as invaluable information to Pacifica's listeners. (But, if she is driven from Pacifica, I think Amy will get the finanical backing she needs to find a way to get her program out by alternative means -- to the many community stations not owned by Pacifica across the country.) We need a national news program that is probing, incisive, and provides what is not available in other media. And local news programs at all stations that reach into the communities and report issues of local concern.
A first essential step in achieving any "victory" means removing most of the current board of directors followed by election of directors who are committed to Pacifica's mission & who will fire the executive director and adopt policies and give directions to a new executive director aimed at restoring Pacifica's soul -- and who will get the CPB plants out of the mix, and bring in new life.
Right now, however, we have no mechanism for electing those directors. The bylaws will have to change to provide that mechanism. In the meanwhile, and for a short period (a year at most), I think it will be important to find a few visionary pacifists who are large in spirit, able to bring people together, and who understand the lay of the land to serve as an "interim board." This might be possible in a perfect world. Whether it is possible in the real world, I don't know. We may have to work with less than perfection. <grin> But I do believe the bylaws and governing structure of Pacifica must be radically changed. Even "good people we trust" (assuming there could be agreement about who they were -- which is a BIG assumption) cannot protect Pacifica for long. The assaults on Pacifica will not end just because we win this fight to remove the current board. The political forces at play will come back time and again.
I think the best protection for Pacifica's mission lies in the hearts, minds and memories of the listeners. The staffs are too easily manipulated by "station politics" and the never-ending competition for limited air time. >From within, it is easy lose the big picture. So, I think each Pacifica station must have a local board with a majority of its members elected by the listener-subscribers (some minimal contribution in money or volunteer hours required), and with some safeguards built into the system to insure balance of gender and minority representation. I also believe the staff should elect a significant number of the local board members. I believe one thing that facilitated the Pacifica takeover was that the station staffs really didn't know or care much about what was going on at an organizational level -- they just came in and did their jobs and were pretty powerless. I think the staffs need elected representatives who participate in policy decisions. And I think each local board should be a "governing" board, not an "advisory" board -- with real power to set policy, evaluate success, and hire & fire managers. This could be done legally if the local boards were "committees" of the national board of directors. The national board should be limited in scope, I think, to overseeing national programming, coordinating and cross-fertilizing among the Pacifica stations, developing the archives and the Pacifica affiliate system.
That would be a good beginning. But it won't be enough. I think it will take years to rebuild what has been systematically destroyed. A new generation of inspired staff will be needed who have not become jaded and cynical by years of mistreatment and intrigue, who believe in Pacifica's mission, who want to work together in a collaborative system. New means of evaluating programming will have to be found -- and that will not be easy, but I think it can be done -- perhaps with program councils made up of people from the community with depth and knowlege.
I have found a lot of inspiration from the IndyMedia folk and from the anti-globalization movement.
I've run out of steam for this writing ... but not out of love and passion and hope. Over the past two years so many people have written to me who share their versions of these dreams. I trust them .... and their good sense, given the opportunity. I don't think they are concerned with personal power and control ... but with preserving something precious and necessary for this generation and the next.
From: Carol Spooner
In expressing my personal feelings and thoughts -- I neglected to mention those who joined this fight long before me. I always assume people know about that ... there were many crying in the wilderness going back several years. Maria Gilardin, Jeff Blankfort, Vince Ivory & others from KPFA and KPFK filed a complaint with the CPB in 1995 about Pacifica's illegal closed board meetings -- and the CPB fired their investigators (twice, I believe) before coming out with a report that slapped Pacifica on the hand.
Dave Adelson & Lyn Gerry worked together for years to get the word out -- and were belittled and disparaged. Without Dave's perseverence and foresight the LAB lawsuit would not have been ready to file in July 1999 -- and without that suit, there would have been nothing preventing sales of stations until the Calif. AG gave the listeners' suit the go-ahead in September 2000. Carol Spooner
From: Carol Spooner
I must be getting tired ... to forget to mention Patty Heffley & the CdP-NY people who also worked for several years to get the word out in NY -- and who also were belittled & disparaged. Were it not for Patty & Carolyn and John, there would have been no one to stand for WBAI listeners in the "listeners' lawsuit", because in 1999 almost none of the WBAI listeners were aware of the threat to their station.
It's really hard to give enough credit to those who fought for so long before anyone would listen to them. It has been much easier for those of us who came later, after the KPFA lockout & after the WBAI coup, when the whole listener community was alerted to the threat. I don't know how they had the heart to keep going, but they did, and their strength and perseverance is an inspiration.
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