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Downtown Brooklyn Green Resolution 5-19-01


We the Downtown Brooklyn Green Party Local submit this Resolution in Support of the Restoration of the Pacifica Foundation and WBAI to contribute to the ongoing struggle to save Pacifica from destruction by government and corporate infiltration.

We the Downtown Brooklyn Greens hereby declare our solidarity with the many listeners, producers, Concerned Friends of WBAI, the Pacifica Campaign, and the countless individuals and groups who have resoundingly condemned the recent events at WBAI. We further declare our solidarity with all of the WBAI producers, workers, and staff who have been locked out of the station or silenced by "interim station manager" Utrice Leid with the collusion of Pacifica Executive Director Bessie Wash and the Pacifica Board majority. We fully support those courageous producers who have not yet fallen victim to the scourge of political firings by Leid and who bravely continue to violate the current gag-rule, either by speaking out themselves on Pacifica issues or by giving air time to "dissident" listeners to express their views.

We reject the characterization of what has happened at WBAI as an "internal matter" and the attempts by Leid and various producers to manipulate perception of this issue by propagating the inanity that the events of the last four months implicate "private" labor issues only and have nothing to do with freedom of speech, or with the larger, undemocratic developments within the Pacifica network that have been coming to fruition over the last several years. There are labor issues here. To be sure, there are labor injustices! But after all that has happened at WBAI, it is hard to believe that any honest person would continue to deny that Utrice Leid is suppressing freedom of speech, and that this is not the most visible consequence of the abuse of authority by the Pacifica Board majority. We say that the abuse of labor and the suppression of dissident speech are intolerable and are no one's private business.

We further reject the manipulation of the concept of character assassination to prevent the people taking part in the subversion of Pacifica's mission from being held accountable for what they have done. To call Bessie Wash and Utrice Leid bad names is one thing, to point out that they should not be in positions of authority at Pacifica because of the censorship they have either colluded in or imposed is another.

We are disgusted with the use of the "race-card" tactic to divide the listenership along racial lines and within racial groups. The practitioners of this tactic ought to be ashamed of themselves, and they know, or should know, who they are. To paraphrase the insight of one Pacifica activist, Pacifica is not simply about a diversity of races, but a diversity of ideas as well. That is to say, African-Americans and Latinos can also stump for anti-democratic forces. Furthermore, the notion that WBAI, or Pacifica for that matter, was not diverse before the Christmas Coup is simply not true. To appreciate the elephantine hypocrisy of these racial divisionsists, one need only look at the roster of those fired and banned from WBAI since December 22, 2000, or listen to current programming on WPFW and KPFT. How diverse are these two stations now?

We are outraged by the crass attempts by the Pacifica Board majority and their collaborators at the five Pacifica stations, e.g., Garland Ganter, to falsely accuse anti-Pacifica Board activists of violent acts, as Bessie Wash did so gracelessly, or by insinuating that those who oppose the hostile takeover of Pacifica by the Board majority are some sort of secret cabal of devilish infiltrators. These allegations have been made in a cloud of CIA-brand secrecy without the accused, whose identity is often implied but unstated, being given an opportunity to respond in the same manner in which they were accused, i.e., on the air. There is thus every reason to believe that these allegations are, in classical totalitarian style, either lies, sheer inversions of truth, or both, and are cynically being used to demonize anti-Pacifica Board activists in order to discredit their dissent.

The Downtown Brooklyn Greens, along with many others, understand the true nature of this hamfisted, anti-democratic attack on freedom of speech within the Pacifica network, and we join in the demands for the complete democratization of Pacifica and the unqualified reinstatement to WBAI of all banned and fired staff. We can only marvel at the audacity, and the crudity, with which the Pacifica Board has carried out its subversion project over the past several years. We take heart in the proof, however, that Power is not always as shrewd as it seems.

Downtown Brooklyn Greens

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