Mediations with "Pacifica" fail
It has recently been explained that though the mediation has ended, the negotiations continue.
[ earlier reports on the mediations lower on this page ]
From: Carol Spooner
November 8, 2001
Dear All --
Despite our hopes earlier this week for an agreement that would place Pacifica under the control of an interim board majority committed to restoring Pacifica & all five radio stations to their mission and would guarantee bylaws amendments creating a democratic governance structure for Pacifica to prevent this kind of usurpation from ever occurring again -- that no longer appears possible. Pacifica has notified the mediator that certain terms essential to our goals are not acceptable to them and they have terminated the mediator's services.
We are, of course, very disappointed. I thank you all for your kind wishes & (premature) congratulations.
We must now push on to trial in January.
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From: Carol Spooner
Dear All -- I want to say that Pacifica's terminating the mediation is not the result of the leaks that occurred about some of the terms under discussion.
Larry Bensky is not to blame. I am sorry that the leaks occurred. But it is clear to me at Pacifica would have backed out anyway.
All participants in the mediation are still (and forever) bound by law of confidentiality of mediation -- posted again below in case you didn't see it the first time.
I wish I could tell the whole story. But I can't, so I won't.
California Evidence Code §1119(c)
California Evidence Code §1126
There are a couple of articles online that include unauthorizied content
regarding the mediations:
Dear Everyone --
I know everyone cares as passionately about this as I do ... and it is terribly hard for you not to know what the terms under negotiation are & for me not to be able to tell. But the mediation, is not concluded under the governing laws of California until an actual document is signed. And it is very hard for the "co-relators" -- especially the "activists" -- not to be able to tell either. (Yes, I have discussed the details with the "co-relators".) But they are also bound by mediation confidentiality and cannot say anything about the details, so please don't give them a hard time. If there have been "leaks" they didn't come from us, and should not have come from anyone else.
I should also say that none of the "co-relators" have the ability to "reject" any of the terms. The California Attorney General is the official "plaintiff" in the case -- and he is the one who has to sign off on it.
(I notice that someone published the phone number of the former attorney on our case. Dan Bartley was replaced as our attorney last summer. If the person who publised Bartley's number wants to drive up our attorneys' fees by publishing phone numbers ... I'll be happy to send you the bill!)
I've pasted the law the governs "civil mediation" below. These are very different laws than the laws governing union negotiations or class action settlements. (None of the cases are class actions ... those are both extremely expensive & were not possible under applicable California laws in this kind of case over governance of a nonprofit foundation.)
Holding my breath & thanking you all for your support ...
California Evidence Code §1119(c)
California Evidence Code §1125(a)
California Evidence Code §1126
[We can release the written agreement after it is signed and mediation ends.]
[ from the message board at: http://goodlight.net/wbai ]
[posted by 90s Hippy]
"I have been informed of the terms of the possible settlement agreement, but am bound by the confidentiality restrictions on the mediation not to discuss the details until an agreement is signed and released.
If an agreement is signed, the California Attorney General will be signing on our behalf. While none of us got everything we wanted, we believe we got what we need to restore our stations to the communities and listeners who built them, and to restore Pacifica to its mission.
When the details are out, lets all keep working to democratize and rebuild our stations in the best way possible."
From: Leslie Cagan
The plaintiffs in the four law suits are happy to announce that as a result of negotiations with the defendants from the Pacifica Foundation we are confident that a final agreement will be reached early next week. We hope that everything will be completed within the next few days, and as soon as that is done we will release all the details of the agreement. Until the agreement is finalized we are forbidden by the terms of the mediation from discussing or releasing any of the details.
We believe that implementation of this agreement will begin the re-building of the Pacifica Foundation. While commitments to accountability and democratizing the Foundation are part of the agreement, we will all have to remain vigilant during the upcoming transitions.
We thank the listeners, producers, staff, LAB members, affiliate stations and others throughout the country who have been the backbone of this struggle, and whose continued support and involvement will bring us to our common goals to serve the mission of Pacifica and achieve our vision of free speech, community and corporate free radio.
[Additional message from Carol Spooner of the Listener's lawsuit]
Personally, I want to express my deep gratitude to all of you who have supported the "listeners' lawsuit" -- with your prayers, courage, faith, commitment, hard work, letters, emails, advice, criticism, encouragement, moral support and money since July 1999 --and especially to my co-plaintiffs in the listeners' suit -- John Biello, Carolyn Birden, Arturo Griffifths, Kurt Guerdrum, Dick Hague, Leigh Hauter, Patty Heffly, Barbara MacQuiddy, Rick Potthoff, Chuck Scurich, and Ron Swart -- and to all the plaintiffs in the other three lawsuits -- and my husband Gregory Wonderwheel (who gave all that and more) -- without every one of you I would never have found the courage to bear the burden or to make the decisions that fell to me.
The only experience in my life of comparable intensity was the birth of my two children over 30 years ago. I hope now for a rebirth for Pacifica and that the results will be every bit as interesting and beautiful.
From: Lynn Gerry
COMMUNITY RADIO ACTIVISTS REACH AGREEMENT WITH EMBATTLED PACIFICA FOUNDATION
Mediation results in an agreement that could end years of conflict within the Pacifica Radio Network.
Berkeley, CA--Plaintiffs in four lawsuits that have been filed against the Pacifica Foundation announced today that they expected to reach an agreement with Pacifica that could put an end to the struggles at Pacifica, the only independent radio network in the United States. "We thank the listeners, producers, staff, LAB members, affiliate stations, and others throughout the country who have been the backbone of this struggle and whose continued support and involvement will bring us to our common goals to serve the mission of Pacifica and achieve our vision of free speech, community, and corporate-free radio," reads the statement issued by the plaintiffs on Saturday afternoon.
In response to what appeared to be a corporate takeover of the Pacifica Network, founded by pacifists in 1949 and dedicated to airing diverse perspectives that promote peace and social justice, four lawsuits had been filed against the Pacifica Foundation--by listeners, local advisory board members, and national board members. They sought to regain control of the community radio network from a clique of board members and national managers who had eliminated community input at the network and censored and banned journalists who disagreed with them. Freelance journalists refuse to work for Pacifica because of its notorious censorship policies. And a national campaign was launched earlier this year to boycott Pacifica fundraising efforts and unseat the board of directors members who created the imbroglio at the network.
Plaintiffs began mediation with Pacifica Foundation representatives on November 1. Representing the Pacifica Foundation were its newly elected chair, Bob Farrell, former Los Angeles City Council member; and Marion Barry, Pacifica board member and former mayor of Washington, DC.
The statement released by the plaintiffs, including Miguel Maldonado and Leslie Cagan of New York, David Adelson of Los Angeles, and Pete Bramson, Sherry Gendelman, Barbara Lubin, Tomas Moran, Robbie Osman, and Carol Spooner of the San Francisco Bay Area reads as follows:
"The plaintiffs in the four lawsuits are happy to announce that as a result of negotiations with the defendants from the Pacifica Foundation, we are confident that a final agreement will be reached early next week. We hope that everything will be completed within the next few days, and, as soon as that is done, we will release all the details of the agreement. Until the agreement is finalized, we are forbidden by terms of the mediation from discussing or releasing any of the details. We believe that implementation of this agreement will begin the rebuilding of the Pacifica Foundation. While commitments to accountability and democratizing the foundation are part of the agreement, we will all have to remain vigilant during the upcoming transition. We thank the listeners, producers, staff, LAB members, affiliate stations, and others throughout the country who have been the backbone of this struggle and whose continued support and involvement will bring us to our common goals to serve the mission of Pacifica and achieve our vision of free speech, community, and corporate-free radio."
"I'm taking a moment to celebrate," said Sherry Gendelman, chair of the KPFA local advisory board and one of the plaintiffs who sued Pacifica. "The task of rebuilding and democratizing the network will be a great one."
Pacifica has been embroiled in controversy since 1999, 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. Most recently, Pacifica suspended Amy Goodman, host of the network's award-winning show Democracy Now, and removed Democracy Now from the airwaves of four of the Pacifica stations.
Pacifica listeners and community supporters are invited to a celebration at KPFA, 1929 MLK Jr. Way in Berkeley, on Sunday, November 4, at noon.