I went to the KPFK demo yesterday. The focus was Marc Cooper's viscious attack on Mumia Abu Jamal, and the demo was set for the first day of the KPFK fund drive, during Cooper's show.
There were about 75 people at its height, so overall there were more than that. It was, then, according to reports,the same size as the Berkeley demo in support of the PNN strike, a fact that impressed me.
The demo was very spirited. Marc Cooper didn't poke his head out the door this time. The Los Angeles Times also had a reporter there, a first.
There were some brilliant signs done on xerox which juxtaposed Mumia's image with that of a very ugly photo of Cooper. Some women did a "Ladies Against Women" type thing, only it was called something like Listeners Against Democracy. They'd made a whole bunch of signs which they revealed one by one, pulling one from behind the other, with statements mocking Pacifica's anti-democratic spirit.
There was one sign calling for listener elections that I saw. Both Mike Novic of People Against Racist Terror and Vince Ivory of PAC gave excellent speeches. The day closed with the playing of Rage Against the Machine's piece for Mumia- Voice of the Voiceless, from their CD the Battle of Los Angeles.
Also of note was a mock pledge form titled KPFK Pledge on hold, which gave the listener sponsor a # of choices on when to send their $ to KPFK- ie, under what conditions.
The conditions one could circle to apply included abolishing the gag rule, open books, re-establishing a report to the listener, a return to diverse community programming, re-establishment of the apprenticeship program and the removal of KPFK management. There were also several blanks to fill in your own conditions. At the bottom in bold print was the following "I WILL DOUBLE MY CONTRIBUTION IF CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING ( CPB) FUNDING IS ELIMINATED AND KPFK BECOMES SOLELY LISTENER SPONSORED.
One was to return this to the demo's sponsors and they would then submit it to KPFK. It seems that the openess to a listener strike against Pacifica is fairly high in LA.
All in all it was a really good action. Clearly, the LA contingent of the movement is here to stay. Congratulations to the organizers for a job well done.
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