Rafael Renteria Proposes A National Listeners Union...
A Union of Pacifica Listeners.

Rafael Renteria

Pacifica has played hardball with our movement- as hard as it could.

There must be a national force that can counter Pacifica, playing just as hard and with the capacity to match their ante and raise the bet if need be.

The only force that can do that is a national listeners union.

It is past time that our struggle is nationalized, and the only force that can do this is the listener groups in the 4 Pacifica stations where they exist. This is so for one very obvious reason, that in LA, Washington and Houston the staffs have been purged of the kind of people who have the integrity to rebel. Clearly then, we cannot rely on thse staffs to spread the rebellion, and while we can continue to encourage or exhort the WBAI staff to rebel en masse, the staffs in Berkeley and NY will be overwhelmed by events in their own cities, and as we have seen, will find it difficult to lift their heads in the midst of battle to forge a nationally organized movement, much less have full freedom to coordinate it.

Because of purges at the rest of the stations, it is not possible to follow the Berkeley model for organizing the other localities other than NY. The staffs at the 5 Pacifica stations cannot lead and coordinate the struggle

But it is possible for the listener groups in Los Angeles, New York, Houston and Berkeley to do so. That we do so is imperative.

The advantages of a national movement should be obvious to all. Given the pace of events we must have in place a body that can act, plan and respond with an eye toward developing in concert the highest level of struggle at all the Pacifica cities.

There must be a body with the moral authority to appoint a Board in Exile.

Our movement must be able to at last break the intransigence of the Pacifica Board by striking just where Pacifca most fears that we will strike. What they fear and what they are desperately trying to prevent through their prosposed sale of KPFA and through opening the doors to the staff on a temporary basis is the spread of the rebellion to WBAI and the other Pacifica stations and affiliates.

We must be able to force the question of democratization, an end to CPB funding, an end to the gag rule system wide and an end to the 5 Year Strategic Plan.

The direction of our movement must lie in the hands of those who cannot be bribed or threatened with loss of their jobs or promises of their return.

We must quickly move to create a national body that can achieve these ends. One that can speak with a single and unified voice for the concerns of all the listener groups and our interests- the interests of a free Pacifica.

I propose that we in LA, Houston, New York and the Bay Area immediately unite in a Union of Pacifica Listeners, that we establish local escrow accounts, that we move rapidly to announce a boycott of all Pacifica stations and national programs until such time as the popular 15 Demands have been acceded to, or until the entire Pacifica Board has resigned or has been replaced with the members of a Board in Exile that we as a group have selected. I also propose that while the escrow accounts be set up locally, we establish a line of accountability with respect to them at a national level- ie- that we ensure that the funds from any given local account cannot be released to that station until such time as our demands have been met at a national, Foundation-wide level.

We must also take a stand against the possible sale of any Pacifica station or any effort on the part of any groups in the localities to arrange to buy one of the stations and seperate it from the network. It is only as a Network that Pacifica can live up to its potential as a potent force in the organization and furtherance of the kind of culture of resistance we will need so deeply in the years and struggles to come.

I propose that in the course of the coming week 2 representatives from each locality be selected to represent each Pacifica city.

If it is impossible to arrange a selection process in each city so rapidly, we may consider the possibility of an ad hoc national committee. It is imperative that we circumvent and decisively defeat the latest move on the part of Pacifica to split and silence our movement and to threaten or buy off a section of the KPFA staff.

With urgency in solidarity,
Rafel Renteria
(former staff and programmer at KPFT, Houston)

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