Report from Don White.
See photos posted on the freekpfk website: www.freekpfk.net
A spirited, focused and noisy group of Pacifica listeners, motivated by an almost hourly escalation of the attack on the 50-year-old network, chanted, marched and leafleted outside the KPFK affiliate in Los Angeles earlier today, Thursday. Thirty-five protesters at the noon hour event sounded more like 135 as they chanted about issues ranging from "Defend Amy," "Bring Back Juan," "No to the corporate take-over," and "Defend Free Speech Radio -- End the Gag Rule." Many chants denounced the outrageous new bylaws proposals, put forth by national Board members to consolidate their power and prepare for sales of network affiliates and marginalize progressive listeners and their input and control of the network.
Early in the hour, the crowd heard a militant solidarity address by Scott Wildman, recently of the California State Assembly, who has worked in Sacramento to check the corporate misdeeds of Pacifica in California. The former assemblyman called on the protesters to continue the struggle and escalate the militancy.
The puppets, banners, chants and signs brought to the sidewalk some members of the station's management. Protesters directly requested of the management personnel an immediate "on-the-air" live program so that listeners could explore the elements of the current crisis now motivating a nationwide outpouring of protests and mobilization. Unscreened call-in programs, so that listeners could raise questions about the direction of Pacifica, were also demanded. No management commitments were made.
A breakthrough in our media work encouraged protesters. Fox News did comprehensive coverage of the demonstration and did interviews with our spokespersons. KPFK News did not show up.
Following an hour of spirited protesting, three speakers from the KPFK Listeners Group updated the crowd on current developments and announced several upcoming events pertaining to this struggle, including the Forum on Feb. 17 at the Southern California Library For Social Studies and Research.
The Forum is at 2:00 p.m. with a showing of the video "KPFA On The Air" at 1:00 p.m. Panelists at the forum include Carol Spooner, Kwazi Nkrumah, Miya Iwataki and a spokesperson for the stringers' strike.
An upbeat and optimistic crowd ended their strong street protest and talked informally for a while about upcoming events designed to save the station and the network.
A new site devoted to saving Pacifica geared toward the KPFT
community is now on line:
The site lists several teach-ins in Houston that will take place shortly
Sun. Feb. 11
Sun. Feb. 18
Sun. Feb. 25