Letter of
the Progressive Activist Coalition for Democratic Media


To the Pacifica Foundation Executive Director, National Board members, and to the entire KPFA community:

We are writing this letter as progressive activists concerned with the current crisis at KPFA/Pacifica Radio.

KPFA has played a cutting edge role in the cultural and political life of the San Francisco Bay Area and northern California for 50 years. It has given exposure to issues and trends historically ignored or suppressed by the mainstream media.  For this reason it is vital to the work of progressive social activists.  KPFA provides a pipeline to those in the diverse progressive community who are sympathetic to the various causes around which we work, and a gateway to the larger public who may be
unaware of them.

We work on a wide variety of important social, political and environmental issues.  Nevertheless, the activist community recognizes our collective interest in a healthy KPFA, an institution that is accessible and accountable to the diverse communities that use it, depend on it, and support it.  We feel that diversity, creative thought, intelligent political analysis and questioning of the status quo are KPFA's, and Pacifica's strengths.

With this letter we have come together to create the Progressive Activist Coalition for Democratic Media as a means to express our deep concern for the future of KPFA and Pacifica.  Activists, as a constituency with a significant interest in media access, and who serve as information resources to programmers and producers, should be acknowledged as legitimate stakeholders in the current controversy within Pacifica.

The Progressive Activist Coalition for Democratic Media fully support the paid and unpaid staff of KPFA, and we join our voices with the many others backing their demands.  We call for the reinstatement of Nicole Sawaya and Larry Bensky.  We find it ironic that "listener-sponsored, free speech radio" would have censorship in the form of a "gag rule" designed to keep listeners in the dark.  We call for a permanent end to that rule.  We call for mediation that takes into account the issues underlying the ongoing crisis within Pacifica and the compilation and release of a full public report on the circumstances leading to the current controversy.

Most importantly, we call on the Pacifica Foundation, as it enters its second 50 years, to embrace the values so often promoted on its airwaves of openness, accountability and democracy.

Karen Pickett, Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters;  Earth First! *

Barbara Lubin, Middle East Children's Alliance;  former Berkeley
  School Director *

James Vann, Co-Chair, Nat'l Committee for Independent Political Action
  (NCIPA);  Oakland Tenants' Union *

Marsha Feinland, State Chair, Peace & Freedom Party;  former Berkeley
  Rent Board Commissioner *

Mary Moore, Editor, Sonoma County Free Press *

John Iversen, East Bay ACT-UP *

Terri Compost, People's Park community gardener *

East Bay Food Not Bombs Collective

boona cheema, Director, Building Opportunities for Self-Suffiency
  (BOSS) *

Father Bill O'Donnell, Parish Priest, St. Joseph the Worker Church,
  Berkeley *

Phillip Klasky, The Bay Area Nuclear Waste Coalition *

Jack Heyman, Executive Board member, ILWU Local 10 *

Juan Reardon, USA-Cuba InfoMed *

David Wald, USA-Cuba InfoMed *

Kristen McGivney, School of the Americas Watch *

Judi Hirsch, Steering Committee, Progressive Alliance of Alameda
  County;  Oakland Library Commissioner;  Resource Specialist,
  Oakland Unified School District *

Oren Simpson, Contractor

Angela Davis, History of Consciousness, University of California
  Santa Cruz;  Critical Resistance *

Yvette Tannenbaum, Project Censored *

Hank Chapot, Green Party *

Medea Benjamin, Co-Director, Global Exchange

Eric Mar, Acting Executive Director, Northern California Coalition
  for Immigrant Rights *

Paul George, Director, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, Palo Alto

Lisa Stevens, Berkeley Parks and Recreation Commission;  People's
  Park Council *

* Organizations for identification purpose only


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