Following is the resignation letter Juan Gonzalez sent to Pacifica management today, portions of which he read on the air this morning during the Democracy Now! broadcast.
To: Steve Yasko, Pacifica Director of National Programing
CC: Pacifica Board of Directors
From: Juan Gonzalez
This is to notify you that I am resigning as co-host of Democracy Now! effective immediately.
I take this action with much regret since, as you know, I have worked alongside host Amy Goodman from the show's inception nearly five years ago and am proud of the groundbreaking work we have done to establish a national radical news magazine. Even more important, I have listened to Pacifica programs for more than 30 years and understand the critical role the network has played in reporting important stories the corporate media ignored, thus helping to shape progressive thought and popular movements throughout the country.
But the current management situation at Pacifica has become intolerable, and despite my hope that the majority of the Pacifica Foundation board of directors would come to its senses, the situation has only gotten worse. The last straw was the Christmas coup at WBAI last month.
Quite simply, the Pacifica board has been hijacked by a small clique that has more in common with corporate vultures than with working-class Americans. That clique has illegally changed the Foundation's by-laws, and during the past two years it has methodically sought to squash dissent throughout the network -- first at KPFA, then at PNN news, then at Democracy Now!, and now at WBAI. This group does not respect free speech. It does not respect labor or civil rights. It does not even practice due process for its own managers. And it is now seeking to radically alter Pacifica's by-laws to pave the way for the selling of one or more stations.
Furthermore, this clique insults Pacifica's loyal and sophisticated listeners by asking them to finance its shenanigans with their donations.Starting today, I will be joining other Pacifica listeners in a national corporate campaign that will not rest until every board member who has orchestrated this hijacking resigns and a new board is in place -- one that is democratically accountable to the network's listeners, community and staff.
Our campaign will call for listeners across the country to withhold donations to Pacifica in a mass referendum against your policies. Instead, we will urge them to contribute their money to a variety of groups around the country that are battling the Pacifica board -- including the legal fund for court suits which are currently challenging the board's legitimacy.
Mr. Murdock, Mr. Acosta, Mr. Palmer, you will soon find out that Pacifica
is listener-sponsored radio.