North Bay for KPFA Report from Houston - Day One

So much is going on! It's very exciting to be here.
No sooner had we gotten off the plane when we heard that there had been a fire at KPFT this morning, which is assumed to be arson because it began in two places. The spin on this in the local news here is that these California radicals were arriving, fresh from the "shots" which were fired at KPFA in April, and now here we are and another station is experiencing violence. It's those darned California radicals. Garland Ganter made a statement on the 6:00 news here that the KPFT building which was set on fire was a garage apartment, used to store equipment. He mentioned the "dozens of protesters from California where shots were fired..." Reportedly, the Doubletree Hotel, where the Board is meeting, is "beefing up" its security for the remainder of the weekend to handle the perceived threat. Andrea Buffa and Van Jones immediately started to counter the perception that violence follows us around by stating that this attack is an attack on free speech radio, and we condemn it. We're here to save Pacifica, not to destroy it. There will be a press conference tomorrow at 11:00am at which this subject will be thoroughly discussed.

This afternoon we had a preliminary meeting, introduced ourselves to each other, and stated why we were here and what we hope to accomplish. Forming a network around the country was a very popular statement. Democratization, which several of us take to mean listener elections, were mentioned frequently as well. Folks are still arriving; some won't get here until tomorrow. Here's a partial list of names:
Peter Frank
Dan Siegle
Van Jones
Weyland Southon
Barbara Lubin
Barbara Russell
Lisa Rothman
Andrea Buffa
Father Bill
Tomas Moran
Liam Kirsher from Marin P & J Center
Sheila Harris, Shannon Smith, Rick Potthoff, Lee Loe (Houston Peace Press), and Duane Bradley, former KPFT program director, all from Houston area
Arturo Griffiths and Acie Byrd from Washington DC
Bascam Guffin from New York, and someone else arriving tomorrow.
and numerous KPFA other staff.
We have formed into 4 committees for the weekend: Media, Lobbying, Action, and Long-range Planning. Jeff and I have joined the planning committee, along with Peter Frank, Dan Siegle, Arturo Griffiths, Duane Bradley, and David Adelson from KPFK, who just arrived about 10 minutes ago. We will have a major long-range strategy meeting with the entire delegation Saturday afternoon. Mella, I'm trying to use your Steering-Committee-meeting format as the format for this meeting.

Here's what's on tap tomorrow:
8:30 -- more committee meetings for us
11:00am -- press conference
noon -- demonstration at the Doubletree
2-4:30PM -- big strategy meeting
7:00pm -- teach in on KPFT and Pacifica organized by the Houston Committee for People's Radio.

My big project here so far is to compile an email list of all participants for contacts after this is all over. Everyone wants to join forces to increase strength and power. I've got a very good list started.

More bulletins as events warrant, so watch this space!

Love to all!
Alice and Jeff Chan

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