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National Writers Union 5-17-01


Dear friends on the National Executive Board of the National Writers Union:

We, the undersigned members and activists of the NWU, request your support in opposing the corporate takeover of the Pacifica Radio Network.

As you may know, free speech and coverage of progressive and labor issues continue to be threatened by the Pacifica National Board. As this letter is being written, Congressional hearings are being held on this crisis, hearings at which Pacifica executives have refused to appear. Amy Goodman, AFTRA member and award-winning producer of Pacifica's Democracy Now, has been taken off the air at her home station, Pacifica's WBAI, and KPFK in Los Angeles. It's uncertain how long this removal will last.

A national financial boycott of Pacifica has been organized by the Campaign to Stop the Corporate Takeover of Pacifica, a mobilizing effort established by author and New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez, who recently resigned as Amy Goodman's co-host on Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now!".

We are asking you to endorse the the Campaign and the fundraising boycott described in the letter below, which was issued by Pacifica activists attempting to regain democratic control of this essential alternative media institution. Please note that although the letter below refers specifically to KPFA's fund drive, we fully support the financial boycott of all five Pacifica stations as a last-ditch attempt to regain control of Pacifica, which is the last nationwide non-corporate media system in the country.

We are asking you to support this effort by distributing the full text of this letter and the one below to the national membership of the NWU, in the American Writer or as a national email to the membership.

We urge the National Executive Board and other NWU members to support the financial boycott, and to redirect contributions to any of three funds directly supporting the workers in the stations or the struggle against Pacifica:

1. Over forty freelancers on four continents, several of whom are NWU members, have been on strike against Pacifica for over a year. Make checks out to Agape Foundation, and note that it is for "Pacifica Reporters against censorship". Mail to Pacifica Reporters Against Censorship, c/o Kevin Brower, 2210 Curtis St., Apt. A, Berkeley, CA 94702.

2. The Station Support Fund, which was set up to fund station KPFA directly, as we cut off funds to Pacifica. Make the check out to Agape Foundation/Station Support Fund and send to Agape Foundation, 1095 Market Street Suite 304 San Francisco California 94103.

3. The Pacifica Campaign: 51 MacDougal St., #80 New York, NY 10012 Tel: (646) 230-9588. The Pacifica Campaign is organizing nationally to cut off funds to Pacifica, and force the resignations of the corporate board members. Make the check out to Institute for Media Analysis/Pacifica Campaign.

In struggle,

Eileen Sutton, NWU Local 1 ,banned WBAI reporter and striking Pacifica Reporter
Vanessa Tait- NWU Local 3 and striking Pacifica reporter
Al Weinrub, Chair, NWU Local 3.
Jack Handler, Member, Steering Ctte, NWU Local 3
Suzanne Solomon, NWU Local 1
Brad Mayer, NWU Local 3
Dirk Van Nouhuys, Local 3/co-chair Nat. Fict and Poetry Caucus
Marcy Rein, NWU Local 3 and coordinator, diversity committee
Scott Braley, NWU Local 3

Contact: Scott Braley, 510-655-7638, scottb@igc.org

*Some NWU members who are affiliated with Pacifica stations were unable to sign this letter for fear of joining hundreds of others who have been fired or banned from Pacifica airwaves in the last several years.

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