VIEW FROM CAMP KPFA

I am Dorothy Jesse Beagle, member of reporting team for LUVeR (Love Underground Vision Radio) - reporting on KPFA protest since June over the internet, coverage of rallies, Camp KPFA, and special interviews, all of which is at our SITE www.eroplay.com/luver/ and under archives you will find all of that coverage.

After going alone Sunday evening to Camp KPFA. the block where 20 tents at a time have been present supporting the protest since the firings and before and since the lock-out, to secire interviews, hear conflicting stories. The first, from one of the persons running the camp, was that they must close down Camp KPFA completely by noon tomorrow (MOnday) when everything will be gone from the front of the building (this was confirmed by others) and was extensively explained as 'in order to be true to our commitment that we would be here until the keys are back in the hands of KPFA and the staff go back to work!! I replied that KPFA staff were forced by Pacifica to return when Pacifica said, "the doors will be unlocked and no one will be there if you don't take over." (thereby, still attempting to be in the control position). There were campers disillusioned and who felt betrayed because they had vowed to stay there and they themselves as one said, "would guard the doors of KPFA" but after all the arrests, all the protest, why now must they disappear - certainly it deflates the protest in my opinion, because as I was told, they are doing it feeling it is a victory that they return to the station, but I feel it is by no means over. Then there was the information from someone part of CAMP KPFA from the outset, saying he was quoting one of the KPFA staff, that at first they were going in tomorrow (Monday) at 2:00, with a no gag-rule applying, until the Steering Committee came to them with the fact that the gag-rule would be on. (Another lie of Pacifica who had said they go in with no gag-rule) That doesn't mean they won't obviously, break the gag rule. And it was predicted they broadcast by Thursday. Why have I seen nothing yet of the disbanding of Camp KPFA on the usually up to date news on freeKPFA site???????? I have heard and met with and talked to so many people since June, the older, the long time listeners, Union people, Rafael Renteria and many strong writers during this period, and the hip thinking young who know exactly what's happening, and heard the incredibly strong speeches in the park on Saturday and heard by internet, those great speeches, etc, Sather Gate before the march, so many have put all their energy into HOW to save KPFA, people from many organizations, who have helped build the support across the country, coming from the organization nationwide of People of Color, coming from Belgium and other foreign countries (to our internet site)- saying, Berkeley and KPFA protest give them hope.

People finally marching in the streets replacing the apathy reaction to oppression we have been experiencing and increasinginly experience through Draconian laws. It was as though we had been waiting, as we have steadily been losing our citizens' rights, for assault on KPFA and freespeech as the catalyst. Now, with the failed mediation process, KPFA steering committee has finally 'had it' with Pacifica, let's hope they stay with this resolve. Many of us had written thousands upon thousands of words between us, it has become a much larger issue than KPFA's rights, but for freespeech and constitutional rights for individuals everywhere in this country, of every race and on every level except the top wealthy corporate level.

The listeners and the supporters ARE KPFA and they are concerned first and foremost as to HOW the station will evolve - will free speech without racism REALLY win. (and how can it be 'free' with racism) Now, on Monday evening having returned to see for myself if the Camp was disabandoned, and interviewing protestors there from 8 until 10.00 pm, I listened to people who do not know what the next steps will be, including angry voices from some young people saying they felt betrayed, they said, "we would have guarded the doors, why would they go in when nothing (to their knowledge) is settled after we have been arrested, slept out here every night, and would go on doing so and now they tell us they are entering the building, when we know it isn't over." The abandoment of the camp sounds typically like a "cautious, we don't want to look foolish" credo of KPFA when one of the organizers said to me, "well, we said we were going to end the protest when the staff had the keys and returned to broadcast so we wouldn't want to stay after that and look like "typical Berkeley professional protesters." That was on Sunday when I had asked explanation for closing the camp, then today, Monday, I was to find out from a camper who has been part of this encompnment from the beginning, and slept there sunday night: "the legal people came from KPFA and said the camp would have to shut down. "

(NOTE as of early Tuesday a.m. an e-mail from Frank Moore (LUVeR) indicates that KPFA is free of Pacifica now. that we have the victory. so the 'other half' of the news team probably has direct information on what is going on inside the KPFA studio, and mine is from the perspective of Camp KPFA)

So Sunday night was a depressing night at Camp KPFA, and the only steering committee member I talked to, was 'not a happy camper.'

The KPFA lock-out brought so many divergent people together at a time in this country when, if ever there was a time to come together, this is it! As one of the great hip-hoppers said, "Now is the time."

I spoke with a long time vendor and excellent potter, who laboriously packs and unpacks his huge quantity of wares every day on Telegraph Avenue - this was Monday, August 2, again on my way to University and Martin Luther King Way....... I MUST go see if anyone remained at what once was Camp KPFA. The artist, Russell, who has been selling for over 25 years on the Avenue and has been there for all of the major protests said he was astounded with the crowd on Saturday that he estimated, with his experienced eye, to be more like 20,000 marching to the Park, because, he said, it took them fully one hour just to leave Sproul Plaza. "It is the largest demonstration I have seen in Berkeley since the vietnam war demonstrations," he said.
page-turner's note: I sold on telegraph with Russel for a number of years... He's the most solid, faithful, true solid soul imaginable... Watching him walk to the lottery in the morning in People's Park, if cold, under his sleeping bag... an ethereal form floating down the sidewalk.
It's good to know some things remain on an even keel.

The Steering Committee, many of us felt, needed all the advice and help they could get, hence much has been offered from the listeners, but the Steering Committee is making all the decisions in this intricate chess game. It has been suggested they consider bringing in (especially since several on the committee have complained in my hearing of being depressed, exhausted and should therefore welcome some strong leadership who would be fresh and rested) a strong leader from the pool of oustanding leaders from among the listeners - as Consultant to what still appeared to me as of Sunday, as the floundering steering committee (by the way of course a listener cannot be on the steering committee and all sorts of other prohibitions.........so change that rule - at this point, what difference does the changing of one rule make, is it that inflexible?????? ) We'll see, the next move I suppose is Pacifica's move and they will be watching for any and every loophole, running scared as they are, (having shamed themselves so thoroughly nationwide and around the world) they have little left to lose of individual reputations so there will be no end to their cunning, because this kind of compounding error feeds upon itself. - they are - can we say it one more time to KPFA'ers, NOT TO BE TRUSTED, NOT TO BE APPEALED TO NOT TO ASK ANYTHING OF --

Rather, tell them what is unacceptable in simple terminology, and demand resignations of the entire Board, firing of Chadwick and Berry, and autonomy for KPFA Berkeley at which then WE (listeners and staff and programmers) can do the rehiring of those fired under the gag-rule including the first firing which KPFA neglected to protest and THAT is when the protest should have started - with the firing of Bill Mandel, so when it says rehire those fired under the gag-rule it should follow that it includes Bill Mandel.

To us, KPFA represents free speech and that affects us as the supporters, the listeners the 'real owners' of the station, and is the catalyst for a much bigger movement that we have all vowed to keep together as a movement in this country, for the people, all the people, in great peril now in this country.

Sincerely, Dorothy Jesse Beagle - Sunday night and Monday night after visit to Camp KPFA ps - This Monday as we were all leaving Camp KPFA at about 10:00 pm - someone from KPFA came to remove the last vestige of "Camp KPFA" by removing the table that was used throughout, that held leaflets, recording equipments, etc.

And then one lone figure came, walking purposefully, from the corner near the THai restaurant, silently, without a word, with a sleeping bag thrown over his shoulder which he threw down in the doorway of KPFA, crawled in for the night and we left feeling reassured that CAMP KPFA still existed tonight, in the form of that one individual.

djb

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