July 20, 1999


Momentum for Resignation of National Leadership Grows as Supporters Continue 24 Hour Vigil at Station

BERKELEY, CA - The Pacifica Foundation's national leadership is attempting to install ISDN line at local broadcaster KPFA's Berkeley Hills transmitter in a move that would enable managers to broadcast from outside the station. The Communications Workers of America, which represents station staff, has established a picket line around the transmitter. Pacifica has tried to cross the picket line three times without success. Station staff and supporters are condemning the ISDN installation as evidence of Pacifica's antagonism toward station workers and listeners.

"Pacifica is escalating this conflict by taking such provocative steps," said KPFA news co-director Aileen Alfandary.

Alfandery pointed out that even as Pacifica -- which took over the station by force one week ago -- insists it is willing to mediate with KPFA supporters, it is taking acction that will allow management to circumvent the station's role in broadcasting altogether.

Also today the Berkeley City Council will hold a special meeting at 7pm to consider the deepening crisis at the station. And on Wednesday July 21 La PeŇa Cultural Center will host a hip hop and spoken word benefit for station supporters.

"We're not giving up," said musician and San Francisco State professor Dr. Loco (a.k.a. Dr. Jose B. Cuellar) at Monday's sold out benefit concert. "They can't take away our station."

Media activists continued to call for the resignation of the Pacifica board leadership as well as the foundation's executive director, Lynn Chadwick.

"Pacifica's leadership has shown itself to be unwilling to work with the KPFA community in good faith," said Andrea Buffa, Executive Director of Media Alliance, who has spent most of the past week camped at the station. "The best way to restore diverse, accountable free speech radio is for the people who got us into this mess to bow out."

Pacifica national management locked out all staff on July 13, arrested staff members and supporters and pulled the plug on all local programming.

Dozens of peaceful protesters have been arrested in the week since Pacifica took over the station. Those arrested include Street Spirit editor Terry Messman, Global Exchange Program Director Ken Preston, civil rights attorney Osha Newman, and Prison Radio Project Director Noelle Hanrahan, as well as a KPFA staffers.

For background information, see www.radio4all.org/freepacifica.

Andrea Buffa 415-546-6334 x309/415-309-6334
Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi 510-841-9684
Aileen Alfandary 510-644-3971

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