Jim Curtis' notes from The Bernstein Event

I'll try to Share my notes with you this morning. They may come in installments depending on my schedule. Heidi, Marsha, Jeff, Alice, Kathy, and Bill were there from Northbay besides, Linda and myself.

There were about eight speakers with three people moderating parts of it, including Berstien, and no question and awnser time. People did talk in groups for a little while after, however. The subjects of discussion were what the various groups involved were up to and/or their perspective.

Two relevant dates for upcoming events:
Les Radke's Station Board Election Jam; Feburary 6th, SUNDAY 10 AM North Berkeley Senior Center.

MONDAY NOON January 31st, Northbbay and CdP Picket at the KPFA radio station at MLK Jr. Blvd. off University Ave. during Press Conference about the Pacifica National News "Stringer" Reporter's Strike and resulting boycott.

Berstien explained the format of the meeting and his hopes that the "stakeholders",represented by the various groups there, by understanding each other better and better understanding our cppression from the National Board of Directors, in the person of Dr. Mary Francis Berry, we could form new collaborative stradegies to win this conflict and Boycott the News!

Waylon Southon, who is station staff like Bernstien, spoke highly of the apprenticeship program and its effectiveness as outreach, although only a few out of a hundred graduates ever recieve jobs at KPFA. He said little or no change had been made at the station. There was a need for sharing, diversity, and transformation. He introduced Toma`s Moran and then Bruddah? Kaloy (sp.) who co-hosted the new "Hard-Knock" radio show with him.

Toma`s Moran, who is a newly appointed National Director from our area board, spoke of going to the Feburary National Board meeting. This time he would be on the adgend committee prior to it, unlike at the last meeting, and so, have a chance to present four proposals:
1) To have the NO Sale Of the Station Pledge put into the Pacifica By-Laws;
2) To abolish the gag rule and end censorship;
3) To be able to have the finances accountable to himself and the rest of us, so that, we can understand it and always know how much of KPFA's surplus funds we can spend and what the National Office is doing with their 17%, etc.
4) To present a motion to a person not specifified that can't be revealed as of yet.

Kaloy(sp?) who is united with us in the struggle against the cabal which rules the national baord is focused on overcoming the intitutional racism represented by the old guard at the station. He wants to see changes on the program council, funding, changes in schedules, live events as fund raisers for the station, compensation for programmers during the lock-out, child-care for programmers ear-marked in the funding, and to have Dr. Mary Berry talk to the grassroots people.

Next Noelle Hammerhand was introduced, but she was unable to speak, because her infant daughter, whom she had with her, had not fallen asleep yet.

Les Radke then spoke about power and how little of it we actually had, except when we were in the streets everyday with huge demonstrations; that it was a conflict of intrest for Dr. Mary Berry, a Carter and Clinton Presidential appointee to the Civil Rights Commission to be the director of a non-profit, community based, free speech and dialogue organization; and futher, what ever her wishes for democracry for South Africa have been she has taken 100% of the democracy out of the Pacifica Foundation. Elections in themselves weren't going to save us. We needed Press Conferences, lawsuits, mass demonstrations, and the political support of many other organizations and groups.

There was a shout for, "More Younger Women of Color!"
Bernstein announced, "Co-incidentially, I was just about to call on Alice Chan." Alice said, "Well, I am a woman, but I'm not of color."
She vehemently denounced the censorship and called for an end to the gag rule.
She explained that we had revived the KPFA Folio to give a voice to the listener subscribers and the staff again in this struggle to take back the station.
Also she mentioned the scholarship program we started to send a teenager to the Washinton D.C. National Board meeting as part of his high school agenda and her wish to talk to others making the trip about instituting similiar programs in their areas.

I believe an orange-haired woman from the program council, who was making introductions, had already mentioned Carol's lawsuit to remove the Pacifica Board before Alice spoke, and also, the efforts the CdP and others had already made to bring elections to the Local Station Board, sometimes called the Advisory Board. No one mentioned that I can remember, Iain A. Boal's draft of the Statement of Purpose for the Coalition for a democracratic Pacifica, but they should have. It's very beautiful and transendental. She may have mentioned the addition of the "Hard Knock Radio" program and moderator Andrea Lewis to the "Morning Show." After Alice spoke, she introduced Andrea Buffa from Media Alliance.

Andrea's group was thinking of writing a position paper on what they thuought a healthy radical radio station looked like and how it would relate to radical movements. Currently, they were working on planing for the group traveling to the D.C. Board Meeting. They are trying to get representatives from the support groups for the stations in New york and D.C. there. Over the year they have done a number of Press Releases on crises as they occurred: one to bring people out for the first courtdate for the Siegal & Yee lawsuit, another over the firing of Dan Coughlin, and immeadiately one about the Stringers Boycott. This strike is helping unite the East and West Coast as we all work on it. The Media Alliance also has come up with these new ideas: to have staff/ listener boards to decide what excess funds could be used for; to have a hiring committee; to have community councils to bring news stories to the staff of socially just ideas; to have regular time slots for news of the Pacifica crisis on the air; & to attract young people of color to the station by giving a program to those who are working to oppose proposition 21, which will incarerate juvieniles as adults are in our prison system.

Enter, Helen Von Putnam, appointee to the National Board from Washington D.C., in the guise of dispelling negative thoughts, having us "Om" to an "Aa" sound in that echous slightly spooky Catholic Church then says that she is only in 99.5% agreement with the first two speakers, meaning the programmers of color and some of the privous young speakers enthusiasm. She herself is of color. Then she endorses Dr. Mary Frances Berry, people of diversity and youth, without acknowledging the conflict of free speech we are all engaged in. Shouts for Kahlil ended her spell. She said she was not prepared to made a statement, neither was she ready to awnser any questions, although Kahlil did corner her with a crowd in the Narthex as everyone was leaving about something.

(A couple corrections: Martha not Marsha, and Caroline not Helen)

Kahlil arrived to rescue us as Van Putnam exited in hisses. He explained his experience of being able to observe social injustice really up close, as he said. He didn't feel that he did any wrong. Nor did he feel that he had done anything which was out of line from what the rest of us also felt called upon to do at the time. Beyond that he sees his being singled out,as if being made into an example, as not been unpresidented in his view of the injustice we are opposing. Nor would he have done anything differently. He still feels he did the right thing and that he acted in unison with the rest of us. He also, really appreaciates our continued support of his/our cause. His next court appeareance is Thursday Feburary 24th at 2PM.

The next speaker was Kelly Ramaras (sp.?) She stated from the git go that she was going to say things that some people would disagree with. That she worked with news writing and that it could be just as important as the apprenticeship program. She was sick of worrying about whether everybody was age, gender, and diversified correctly. She would share her job, but she wasn't about to give it up. These issues diffused our energy away from the fight against Pacifica. She believes the entire board has to go, including the three members here in the room. Instead of just worrying about worring about hate speech and voting for the gag rule, they should have tried to save the first amendment. The FCC is bound by the 1st amendment inspite of Dr. Mary Berry's lies.

The last speaker was Aaron Glance (sp.?) and he spoke about the stringer's strike. (free lance reporters working for Pacifica National News Service) He began simply by reading a very long list of names and locations about the world of the reporters who have gone on strike or are about to as read this, because Pacifica is being asked to agree to these six demands by Monday:
1) That all acts of censorship cease immediately.
2) ? the action , about?
3) That reporters are free to make their own editiorial decisions in their own areas.
4) That Coughlin be reinstated.
5) A likely replacement is found for Verna Avery Brown
6) Replace Charra Rash (sp.?) (the Chicono Radio Programe at kpfk L.A. which was dropped for mentioning the Pacifica crisis).

There was some mingling of groups as the meeting dispursed, but probably not the confluence Bernstein expected. Nevertheless, it was another oppertunity to comprehend the nature of the conflict, we are in as it evolves. Thanks Jim

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