New York Times National Edition Page A20
Wednesday 18 August 1999

An Open Letter to Members of the Board of the PACIFICA FOUNDATION And Mary Frances Berry, Chair

Dear Dr. Berry and Members of the Pacifica Board, The present crisis at KPFA and throughout the network regrettably compels us to write the following. Under your direction, a unique institution meant to serve as an island of free speech in a sea of commercialized broadcasting has abandoned and betrayed that mission.

Your administration's actions in locking out union workers, community volunteers, and the hundreds of people who regularly use KPFA to speak out on social, political, and artistic causes has proven intolerable to the community which supports and depends on the station.

Your administration's use of armed guards and anti-labor consultants, its' insistence on the arrest and prosecution of more than one hundred non-violent staff and protesters, its' imposition of a "gag-order" to silence those who speak their conscience or even to report on the crisis is antithetical to the network's mission. Under your direction, Pacifica has violated U.S. citizen's rights to free speech, peaceful public assembly, and freedom of the press.

You have made your board self-appointing and impervious to outside input. You have kept its' deliberations and financial records secret. You have squandered the contributions of KPFA's donors on security and public relations firms. While claiming that this conflict ids about "diversity" you have ignored three written requests signed by all people of color at KPFA to abandon your reclaim divisive tactics

Intentionally or not you have done what decades of right-wing attacks failed to accomplished: you have weakened Pacifica to the point of collapse.

We the undersigned academics, elected officials, labor leaders, artists, writers, and activists find these actions and events both reprehensible and omnibus in the light of the rapid monopolization of mass media. We demand that all staff fired in the present crisis be reinstated, That censorship throughout the Pacifica network be lifted, that donor funds be accounted for, and that democratic governance be instituted in a network founded fifty years ago to encourage open discussion and active participation by those it serves. In addition we demand that the Board Chair Mary Frances Berry, Executive Director Lynn Chadwick, and those members of the Pacifica Board who have led us into this crisis resign immediately.

Adrienne Rich, Alice Walker, Andrea Buffa, Angela Davis, Authur Kinoy, Barbara Erenreich, Barbara Lubin, Ben Bagdikian, Brian Williams, Charles Kernaghan, Chuck Mack, Carlos Munoz jr., Danial Ellsberg, Danny Glover. Dave Dellinger, Don Rojas, Dennis Brutus, Dolores Huerta, Doze Green, Dorothy Thigpen, Elihu Harris, Elizabeth Martinez, Father Roy Bourgeois, Frances M. Beal, Gus Newport, Hari Dillon, Helen Caldiccott, Howard Zinn, Jerry Brown, Joan Baez, Jose Cuellar, Josephine Moreno, Juan Gonzales, Kathlees Cleaver, Laurance Ferlenghetti, Linda Burnham, Margret Ratner Kunstler, Melissa Nelson, Michael Albert, Michael Tarif Warren, Michael Moore, Michael Franti, Noam Chomsky, Norman Solomon, Pam Africa Peter Frank, Pete Seger, Ramona Africa, Rashidah Ismailli Abubakr, Richie Perez, Sal Roselli, St. Clair Bourne, Theresa Bonpane, Tillie Olsen, Tom Ammniano, Tom Rankin, Van Jones, Vinnie Burrows, William Harrel

Now let's see if this is mentioned or read on the news at WBAI New York as suggested to the news department - as it is believed it is OK for staff to read anything that appears in the papers.

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