photographing what's left

july 14, 1999
kpfa/pacifica offices

           (click on fotos)
Image of t714locked.jpg
     kpfa doors are locked
Image of t714msmith.jpg
             mike smith
Image of t714quartet.jpg
Image of t714plywood.jpg
       strong words expected
Image of t714tmcguire.jpg
              terry mcguire
Image of t714soong.jpg
             cs soong
Image of t714walker.jpg
             alice walker
Image of t714scoop.jpg
              scoop nitzker
Image of t714poets.jpg
Image of t714crowd2.jpg
Image of t714bensky.jpg
             larry bensky
Image of t714renteria.jpg
            rafael renteria
Image of t714maudell.jpg
              maudelle shirek
Image of t714harper.jpg
              wendell harper
Image of t714crowd1.jpg
Image of t714ellsberg.jpg
              daniel ellsberg
Image of t714osman2.jpg
            robbie osman
Image of t714university.jpg
           university ave
Image of t714announce.jpg
Image of t714street1.jpg
Image of t714street2.jpg
            street blocked
Image of t714street3.jpg
            university ave
Image of t714street4.jpg
             to the freeway
Image of t714mandel.jpg
           bill mandel

fotos dick wood

the demonstrations on july 14th were in protest of the prior evening's arrests of kpfa staff and supporters. when the morning staff arrived  on july 14th they found the doors chained shut, a lock out.
i hope these fotos provide a visual sense of what is occuring in berkeley.
i try to arrange the fotos of each demonstration in chronological order, but there are exceptions.




    The Pacifica board of directors and the executive staff continue to escalate the crisis at KPFA by hiding behind bureaucratic, legalistic arguments.  When they have deigned to speak to the listeners and the community, they have been condescending. 

We need to be much more creative if we are going to dislodge this self-congratulating, smug cabal of directors.   We must figure out where the power is if we are going to force them to reveal their plans and to abandon their violent and destructive course of action at KPFA.     

Mary Francis Berry has spoken of the need to increase the listener-ship at the station and she has also complained about the race of the local advisory board and of the listeners.  

The staff and the local advisory board have written eloquently about the charges of racism and the loss of several staff members has made it clear that Chadwick's policies have reduced racial diversity at  KPFA.  They are creating the outcomes they claim to be solving,  just like Clinton did with his bombings in Kosovo.   

So what does Berry mean about listener-ship?  

There has been much talk and rumor about the finances of the stations and the foundation, which has included talk about selling a station to raise funds.  Berry and the board of directors have all denied these rumors of selling a Pacifica station.  What if we took them at their word on this?  None of them have denied that finances are an issue.  So, perhaps a combination of expanding listener-ship and increasing income are a real issue for them.  

Their solution, then, might plausibly be that Pacifica is planning to force a change in the programming to  make it more palatable (i.e., more bland)  to a group of listeners who would give up more money.

And, in addition, they will seek out corporate sponsorship, just like they do at the so-called "public" broadcasting stations.  

The model for this was Van Gordon Sauter's,  Kathleen Brown's husband, who pioneered the placement of corporate advertising on the "public" TV station KVIE in Sacramento, presaging the future of all non-corporate means of communication where the "people" are not vigilant.

This erosion of listener-sponsorship by a single-minded obsession with the financial "rent" that can be extracted from the public airways is perhaps more insidious than selling KPFA outright.

 Let's call it the "neutron bomb strategy";  leave the signal and destroy the voices.  This is the perfect strategy for fin-de-siecle Clinton liberalism, of which Mary Francis Berry is an embodiment.   

If the Pacifica board really had a viable plan that would find a constituency, wouldn't they be promoting it?   Wouldn't they be using the 50th anniversary to trumpet their plans?  Why are they acting like a board for a private corporation,  deliberating secretively and using un-democratic decision-making?  

Since they do not represent the listeners and the communities created by the radio stations, who do they represent?  

In trying to find out answers, I have tried to call all the board members, and half of them have phones that simply ring endlessly, and a couple have message machines that still accept messages.  

I was able to talk to Bob Farrell in Los Angeles, and he was confident that the board had TRUTH  on their side, that they could win any legal challenge,  and that they had the best interests of the stations in mind.  I was supposed to accept his word on this.  

It was my distinct impression that he (and undoubtedly all the other board members) are victims of the propaganda stream they are getting from Chadwick and Berry.  They are not receiving phone calls from us listener-sponsors, and they need to hear our side of the story.     

For example, when I spoke with Bob Farrell, I gathered that the board is under the illusion that a small group of malcontents and  trouble-makers in Berkeley are at the root of the opposition to their plans for KPFA.  It has certainly become more obvious this week that the Pacifica board has taken on the whole of the Bay area and the whole of the listener-ship in Northern California with their assault on KPFA.  

Board members need to hear about this broad-based support.  

Those of us in the Sacramento Valley, for whom KPFA is crucial to sustaining our progressive communities, must also make ourselves heard.      Each listener-sponsor needs to take individual and collective action.  We each need to call one board member a day to tell them how upset we are and tell them that they need to abandon the disastrous course they have set for KPFA (and the rest of the stations, in due time).  

We also need to collectively figure out where the real pressure points are that will move them to take action to end the occupation of KPFA by Pacifica.  The board members need to understand how extensive the support for the staff and programmers at the station is.  

They need to understand that KPFA and Pacifica are not a corporate body, but a democratic organization which needs to be taken back from its usurpers.     

 If  KPFA is to remain a beacon of non-corporate radio,  we each need to make our pledge to ACT in defense of that promise.   Our inaction enables  Pacifica's executive and board to assume that they have an autocrat's right to take care of the station for you.      --PR