by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair


BERKELEY, CA – At a press conference at 1:30 p.m. today, Media Alliance Executive Director Andrea Buffa will release a controversial email she received yesterday that describes plans by Pacifica Radio to close KPFA and possibly sell another Pacifica station, WBAI in New York. The email appears to have come from Pacifica board of directors member Michael Palmer.

“We are working to confirm the authenticity of this email and call on Michael Palmer and Pacifica Board Chair Dr. Mary Frances Berry to immediately publicly confirm or refute this email,” Buffa said.

Phone calls by Media Alliance and several Pacifica board members to Palmer have not been returned. Local Internet service provider IGC was contacted about verifying the path by which the email was sent to Media Alliance. IGC’s tech services department has stated that the email looks to have legitimately been sent from Palmer’s account. The full text of the email is available at www.zmag.org or www.counterpunch.org.

The press conference takes place immediately preceding a hearing at Berkeley Municipal Court at which charges will be filed against a group of peaceful protesters who blocked the entry to Pacifica Foundation’soffice in Berkeley last month. The demonstrators prevented PacificaFoundation Executive Director Lynn Chadwick from entering her office on June 22. Chadwick initiated a citizen’s arrest when Berkeley police refused to cite the activists. Local community leaders decried the decision, calling it a terrible contradiction.

Meanwhile, a group of local stations’ advisory board members from Los Angeles, Berkeley and New York is pressing ahead with a lawsuit intended to reverse Pacifica’s recent governance changes that eliminated local say on the national board. Oakland attorney Dan Siegel will file suit within the next few days to restore the last shred of local control at Pacifica: the ability of local station boards to recommend members to the national board. Seigel will also attend the press conference. “Pacifica, when faced with the question of changing its method of choosing its leadership, opted for the least democratic option imaginable. It is time to revisit this issue, and it should be unnecesssary to require a court order to do so,” Siegel said.

Yesterday, Pacifica national board chair Dr. Mary Frances Berry arrived in Oakland, told neither staff nor listeners of her visit, and attempted to negotiate with KPFA’s union leaders. Shop stewards met with Berry to remind her of her promise to meet with the KPFA steering committee, which both listeners and staff have designated as their representative, and refused to negotiate further.

KPFA paid staff, volunteers, local advisory board members, subscribers, and listeners will continue to press Pacifica to: 1) Rehire respected KPFA station manager Nicole Sawaya, whose termination touched off massive protests in Berkeley and the firing of two veteran programmers because they violated Pacifica’s on-air “gag rule”; 2) Participate in mediation and allow for investigation of the dispute between local interests and the national bureaucracy; and 3) Reverse the disciplinary or adverse actions taken against KPFA and Pacifica staff since Sawaya’s termination.

Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch. Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.

November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”
November 23, 2015
Vijay Prashad
The Doctrine of 9/11 Anti-Immigration
John Wight
After Paris: Hypocrisy and Mendacity Writ Large
Joseph G. Ramsey
No Excuses, No Exceptions: the Moral Imperative to Offer Refuge
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS Thrives on the Disunity of Its Enemies
Andrew Moss
The Message of Montgomery: 60 Years Later
Jim Green
James Hansen’s Nuclear Fantasies
Robert Koehler
The Absence of History in the Aftermath of Paris
Dave Lindorff
The US Media and Propaganda
Dave Randle
France and Martial Law
Gilbert Mercier
If We Are at War, Let’s Bring Back the Draft!
Alexey Malashenko
Putin’s Syrian Gambit
Binoy Kampmark
Closing the Door: US Politics and the Refugee Debate
Julian Vigo
A Brief Genealogy of Disappearance and Murder
John R. Hall
Stuck in the Middle With You
Barbara Nimri Aziz
McDonalds at 96th Street
David Rovics
At the Center of Rebellion: the Life and Music of Armand
Weekend Edition
November 20-22, 2015
Jason Hirthler
Paris and the Soldiers of the Caliphate: More War, More Blowback
Sam Husseini
The Left and Right Must Stop the Establishment’s Perpetual War Machine
Mike Whitney
Hillary’s War Whoop
Pepe Escobar
In the Fight Against ISIS, Russia Ain’t Taking No Prisoners
Ajamu Baraka
The Paris Attacks and the White Lives Matter Movement
Andrew Levine
The Clintons are Coming, the Clintons are Coming!
Linda Pentz Gunter
Let’s Call Them What They Are: Climate Liars
Paul Street
Verging on Plutocracy? Getting Real About the Unelected Dictatorship
Nur Arafeh
Strangling the Palestinian Economy
Patrick Howlett-Martin
The Paris Attacks: a Chronicle Foretold
Vijay Prashad
Rebuilding Syria With BRICS and Mortar
Brian Cloughley
Why US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is the Biggest Threat to World Peace