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Celebs get pissed off too
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 5, 2001
Contact: Andrea Buffa, Media Alliance
JESSE JACKSON, ACTOR DANNY GLOVER CALL ON PACIFICA MANAGEMENT TO STOP BLOCKING HISTORIC BROADCASTS OF DEMOCRACY NOW! FROM UN WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM
Reverend Jesse Jackson and actor/civil rights activist Danny Glover have called on the management of the Pacifica Radio Network to stop blocking the historic broadcasts of its daily radio show Democracy Now! from the UN World Conference Against Racism.
"It's unconscionable that Pacifica would not broadcast Democracy Now! from these very important proceedings," said civil rights activist and actor Danny Glover, who is attending the conference. "The fact that Pacifica is not broadcasting Democracy Now! is appalling."
Democracy Now! is the only radio program in the U.S. devoting its daily hour-long broadcast to live radio coverage from the UN World Conference Against Racism. The show is broadcasting interviews with the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Danny Glover, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Rigoberta Menchu, women activists from India's Dalit, or untouchable, caste, South African trade union leaders, and NGO activists from around the world.
"It was not right for the U.S. to walk out, it was unnecessary for Israel to walk out," said Reverend Jesse Jackson, "and Pacifica as the access voice for racial and gender equality should not walk out, but should open up the airwaves and let people, let the Pacifica family hear these words."
The staff of Democracy Now! was suspended without pay by Pacifica after leaving the studios of WBAI in New York to broadcast from an offsite location, following incidents of physical and verbal harassment against host Amy Goodman on August 10 and 13.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), which represents Democracy Now! staff, has said that it is "no longer satisfied that the WBAI studios are a safe and appropriate working environment for the Democracy Now! staff."
Since August 14, Pacifica management has refused to broadcast Democracy Now! and ordered its staff to return to WBAI. The majority of Pacifica affiliates, however, including Pacifica Station KPFA in San Francisco, continue to broadcast the show live in defiance of Pacifica?s national management.
On August 30 a majority of the Pacifica National Board ordered Pacifica Executive Director Bessie Wash to immediately resume broadcasting Democracy Now! and to restore the salaries of its staff. Ms. Wash continues to defy the Board's directive.
Democracy Now! is a daily national news program on the listener sponsored Pacifica Radio Network, and normally broadcasts from the studios of WBAI in New York City. The historically progressive network has recently been rocked by turmoil surrounding the firing and banning of longtime producers and staff, many of whom are people of color.
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