The conflict at Pacifica Radio is intensifying.
Attorneys for the current majority on the Pacifica Board of Directors last week requested an unprecedented emergencyboard meeting to elect five new board members. The board meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, via conference call.
The request, dated July 10th, was sent to the Alameda County Superior Court judge Ronald Sabraw in California. He isoverseeing the three lawsuits pending against Pacifica. The letter cites the need to replace several board memberswho have resigned or wish to resign as a result of a national pressure campaign.
In the letter, the Pacifica lawyer names the five proposed new members. They include former Washington D.C. MayorMarion Berry, Susan Estrich, who was the campaign manager for Michael Dukakis’ presidential run and is a well-knownTV commentator and Democratic Party activist, and comedian-activist Dick Gregory.
The move is the latest in an intense battle over control of the network. In August 1999 in Berkeley, California,Pacifica management shut down Pacifica’s first station, KPFA, for 23 days, which ultimately led to protests of 10,000in the streets, and the reopening of the station. In New York this past December, Pacifica fired and banned thestation manager, the program director, and the union steward. Since then, many more producers have been banned fromthe station and protests around the country have increased.
After repeated requests, Ken Ford, the vice chair of the Board, and John Murdoch, head of the governance committee—the two people Ford said could address this issue-both declined to join us. They say they could not join us live,and refused to be taped. Both wanted to do the program on Wednesday, after the judge’s ruling. In the interests offairness, we will begin by reading excerpts of the letter from Pacifica lawyer Daly Temchine to the judge.
- Leslie Cagan, dissident Pacifica Board member.
- Bernard White, former Program Director at WBAI who was fired and banned from the station in December. Henow is a leader of campaign against the current Pacifica management and board majority.