The Free Pacifica
- presented to the Pacifica National Board of Directors
on June 14, 1998
The Radio Community Responds
number of community radio stations, most of them Pacifica subscribers,
and other independent media organizations have lent their support to our
struggle for a democratic Pacifica. Some have used their own air to offer
information banned on Pacifica Stations by the gag
order. Predictably, the Pacifica National Management attempted to pressure
these stations, and even drafted a new contract in 1998 for subscriber
stations which contained a gag rule.
The Disclaimer on Union-Busting at Pacifica
Some members of KBOO-FM's (Portland, Oregon) elected Board of Directors became aware of the use of union-busting consultants against Pacifica workers. As a subscriber to Pacifica News, and as a station with a policy against doing business with union-busters, KBOO's Board first addressed the issue by passing a resolution and sending a letter to Pacifica in July 1996.
A purged shop steward from Pacifica station KPFK and Pat Scott, Pacifica CEO, replied. KBOO's resolution even got a comment from Jerry Brown of "We the People," which sparked an interchange with several Free Pacificans: Lew Hill's biographer, John Whiting; Take Back KPFA activist Jeff Blankfort and Burt Sukhov, a KPFA subscriber disgusted by the Scott regime.
In September 1996, KO.OP-FM (Austin, Texas), another Pacifica subscriber decided to run an informational disclaimer before the daily broadcast of the Pacifica Network News. After receiving complaints from Julie Drizin, producer of the Pacifica Network News that the disclaimer was misleading, the disclaimer was revised in December 1996. WORT-FM (Madison, Wisconsin) had also begun airing an informational statement with their broadcast of the Pacifica Network News. KBOO's Board also voted to run a disclaimer in January, 1997. As of November 1997, KBOO's Board voted to drop the disclaimer amid charges of misconduct against the recent station manager Suzanne White, who signed the Pacifica gag contract in July without notifying KBOO's Board of Directors.
The issue of whether to disclaim or not to disclaim became a hot issue among the member stations of the newly-formed Grassroots Radio Coalition. Some stations, like KGNU in Boulder decided to approach the matter differently, by airing programs about the conflict at Pacifica. Other stations, including KVMR (Nevada City, California), KZYX (Philo, California) ,WEFT (Champaign, Illinois) and WERU (Blue Hill Falls, Maine) did stories on the Pacifica conflict.
Retaliation By Pacifica National
Pacifica CEO Scott and her cronies were not exactly delighted at the word getting out. They began applying pressure on the dissenting stations. KO.OP, as the originator of the action, came under the most pressure. After threatening phone calls failed, KO.OP received a personal visit from KPFK Manager Mark Schubb. After listening to him, KO.OP'ers were more convinced than ever to continue with their action in support of Free Pacificans and the workers at Pacifica. Pat Scott herself sent a letter to KOOP in April of 1997.
The effect of the pressure on KOOP was to convince them to take a stronger position against the Pacifica management. They voted to take a strong position in support of Pacifica workers and the Free Pacifica movement in August 1997.
In an attempt to prevent open discussion of the Pacifica crisis, Scott decided to write a gag order into the contract subscriber stations must sign in order to carry Pacifica programming. Stations are refusing to comply. Here are some letters on this hot topic. A number of stations, led by KO.OP, are in the process of developing their own newscast.
Various stations who subscribe to Pacifica National Programming have refused to be dictated to by the Scott regime. Here are their responses.
Syracuse Community Radio