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[LAAMN-ANN] Activists: Support the Pacifica Strikers

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  • Save Pacifica
    Dear fellow progressive activists, We are writing to ask you to support the strike by freelance reporters of Pacifica Network News (PNN) by signing the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 18, 2000
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      Dear fellow progressive activists,

      We are writing to ask you to support the strike by freelance
      reporters of Pacifica Network News (PNN) by signing the
      attached statement of support.

      Since the crisis at KPFA Radio last spring and summer, when
      armed guards were brought in to lock out the KPFA staff,
      Pacifica management has repeatedly censored or altered PNN
      news stories and public-affairs programming, or prevented
      segments of programs or whole programs from being aired. In
      November of last year Pacifica news director Dan Coughlin
      was "reassigned" after airing a story describing a boycott
      by sixteen Pacifica affiliates over the issue of censorship.
      More recently, news anchor Verna Avery Brown has left
      Pacifica over issues including censorship and a trend away
      from progressive coverage in Pacifica's national news.

      The strikers' demands are that Coughlin be re-assigned as
      news director and that Pacifica renounce censorship of the
      news throughout the network. The striking journalists
      comprise a majority of active contributors and reporters to
      Pacifica Network News, a daily, half-hour news program that
      airs on some 70 radio stations nationally. Those committed
      to the strike include journalists from ten states and four
      continents. Virtually the entire news staff of the network's
      flagship Berkeley station, KPFA, and its New York station,
      WBAI, are supporting the action. The demands have been sent
      to the Pacifica governing board. Since they have not been
      met, the reporters have begun a three-month strike. The
      reporters' January 24, 2000 letter to Pacifica management,
      describing the censorship and their demands for change, can
      be found here:


      Since its inception, Pacifica has been a bastion for free
      speech. For fifty years Pacifica has been a voice of protest
      against repression and injustice, and an invaluable resource
      for progressive movements. We cannot afford to lose it.

      Pacifica Network News relies on interviews with progressive
      activists. One way you can support the journalists' strike
      and fight censorship is to refuse to "cross the picket line"
      by refusing to provide comments to the reporters of Pacifica
      Network News. We urge you to refuse to support PNN in any
      way until they have ended their policy of censorship. Note
      that the news staff of the five Pacifica stations -- KPFA,
      WBAI, KPFK, KPFT, and WPFW -- and the news staff of
      Pacifica's _Democracy Now_ show are not on strike: please
      continue to provide interviews to them.

      Please sign the accompanying petition to affirm your
      opposition to censorship of the news by Pacifica management
      and to affirm your refusal to be interviewed by PNN
      reporters or any other journalists who intend to provide a
      news report to PNN. This petition will be sent to Pacifica
      Foundation Chair Mary Frances Berry and the other Pacifica
      National Boardmembers.

      Also, please forward this message to colleagues and friends.


      Activists United in Support of PNN Reporters

      ** To sign this statement, send your name, organizational
      affiliation and title to: picketline@..., or
      phone (650) 326-8837 or fax (650) 321-4464

      Statement in Support of PNN Strikers' Demands

      To Pacifica Foundation Chair Mary Frances Berry and other
      Pacifica National Boardmembers:

      We, the undersigned, are activists working to implement
      progressive ideals of freedom, justice, honesty, democracy,
      and compassion. We are deeply concerned about Pacifica
      management's attempts to intimidate and censor those who try
      to report on matters of vital importance to the Pacifica
      network. This kind of censorship is intolerable and creates
      a chilling effect throughout the network, a network founded
      on the principles of free speech and open debate. Therefore,
      we support the demands of Pacifica Reporters Against
      Censorship, as outlined in their January 24 letter to you.

      In particular, we recognize their strike and will honor
      their "picket line" by refusing interviews with any reporter
      intending to file a story with PNN.

      Barbara Lubin, Executive Director, Middle East Childrens
      Alliance, Berkeley, CA

      Medea Benjamin, Founding Director, Global Exchange, San
      Francisco, CA

      Erik Gustafson, Executive Director, Education for Peace in
      Iraq Center, Washington, DC

      Norman Solomon, Syndicated Media Columnist, Point Reyes, CA

      Kathy Kelly, Co-Coordinator, Voices in the Wilderness,
      Chicago, IL

      Laura Herrera, Co-Coordinator, Mobilization to Free Mumia
      Abu-Jamal*, San Francisco, CA

      Fadi Saba, Arab American Caucus, California State Democratic
      Party, San Jose, CA

      Rachelle Marshall, Middle East Task Force, Women s Int l
      League for Peace and Freedom-U.S. Branch,* Palo Alto, CA

      Paul George, Director, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center,
      Palo Alto, CA

      Alison Harris, Director, San Jose Peace Center, San Jose, CA

      Teri Shore, Sea Turtle Restoration Project, Forest Knolls, CA

      Todd Steiner, Sea Turtle Restoration Project, Forest Knolls, CA

      Marcy Darnovsky, Ph.D., Hutchins School of Liberal Studies,
      Sonoma State University, CA

      Bill Mandel, KPFA Broadcaster 1958-1995, Berkeley, CA

      Stephen Rock, Treasurer, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center,
      Palo Alto, CA

      Michael Parenti, Author, Berkeley, CA

      [*Organization listed for indentification purposes only]


      website: http//www.savepacifica.net

      email: savepacifica@...


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