Respnse to the Chronicle - Marianne Torres, Take Back KPFA organizer
Fri, 2 Apr 1999

Matier & Ross:  By way of background (3 paragraphs, if you please):

The audacity of the Pacifica National Board knows no limits.  KPFA staff's outrage against this week's firing of their general manager Nicole Sawaya is just the latest in a long series of outraged reactions by either listeners or staff or both to Pacifica's mad rush to "clean up" and become "respectable" in order to qualify for more mainstream funding (foundations and corporations) sources, and to remove community control of this community radio network.  Why do they prefer mainstream funding to their historic listener support?  That's what we're all asking.

Please know that Sawaya's firing is just the most recent event in this long (1993) Pacifica-wide struggle.  Groups and staff have been resisting Pacifica's new direction in New York (WBAI), Houston (KPFT) and Los Angeles (KPFK) as well as KPFA.  For more information on the nationwide aspect of all this, please contact Lyn Gerry in Los Angeles at or Maria Gilardin at or check the website at

Know too, that while Pacifica prefers to label objecting supporters as "just a bunch of people who didn't like our programming changes", the truth is far larger than that. The objections (to put it mildly) came in response to the new and secret Strategic Plan that moved Pacifica in an entirely new direction, away from progressive politics, and away from community control. There were objections to their use of union-busting labor lawyers, and more, including objections to Pacifica's strategic choices as to which programs would be eliminated, the unethical and even
inhumane way in which programmers were removed, and the new-age, easier-on-the-psyche kinds of programs that replaced such specifically targeted issues and audiences as labor, women's issues, gay rights/life, politics. These issues are network-wide.

Thanks for listening

Marianne Torres (an early organizer of "Save KPFA"/TBK)
Oakland, CA

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