FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Lawsuit Readied to Reverse Takeover By Pacifica Foundation Directors

by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair

Legal counsel for community members from Local Advisory Boards of FM radio stations KPFK (Los Angeles), KPFA (Berkeley) and WBAI (New York), has informed the Pacifica Foundation, which owns the non-commercial stations, that they will take legal action unless Pacifica’s Board of Directors reverses recently enacted changes in Foundation by-laws that give the Pacifica Governing Board exclusive right to nominate and elect its entire membership.

Attorney Dan Siegel, of the Oakland firm Siegel and Yee, in a letter dated June 14, informed Pacifica Chair Mary F. Berry and Pacifica Governing Board members of the complaint on behalf of sixteen members from Local Advisory Boards (LABs) at Pacifica’s three largest stations. The letter charges that the by-laws changes approved by the Governing Board in September 1997 and February 1999 violate provisions of the California Corporations Code. Further, Siegel wrote, “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 unnecessary to require a court order to do so.” Prior to the contested changes, LABs elected a majority of the Pacifica Governing Board. Station staff representatives on LABs have also seen their voting rights removed, along with their ability to serve on the Governing Board.

This is the latest development in a nearly 5-year long conflict over the issue of governance, democracy and community control at Pacifica, the largest non-commercial radio broadcaster in the United States. The Pacifica Foundation is a network of listener-supported radio stations founded 50 years ago to provide a venue for the open discussion of ideas that would lead to peace and social justice.

Prior to the most recent vote to change Pacifica By-Laws, prominent progressive authors Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Edward Herman, wrote Pacifica urging it to respect the democratic principles it broadcasts and noted, “As long-time admirers and supporters of Pacifica, we are troubled by apparent tendencies toward increased centralization of power and decision-making that bring Pacifica closer to the private corporate model.” Nonetheless, the Governing Board approved the changes unanimously.

Pacifica’s Governing Board meets this coming weekend in Washington DC. The agenda includes consideration of new board members according to the provisions of the amended by-laws. Siegel indicates that the sixteen LAB members he represents are prepared to file suit if Pacifica fails to establish contact to enter into negotiations by Friday.

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. Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
Mark Weisbrot
Castro Was Right About US Policy in Latin America
David Swanson
New Rogue Anti-Russia Committee Created in “Intelligence” Act
George Ochenski
Forests of the Future: Local or National Control?
December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
Norman Pollack
Taiwan: A Pustule on International Politics
Kevin Martin
Nuclear Weapons Modernization: a New Nuclear Arms Race? Who Voted for it? Who Will Benefit from It?
David Mattson
3% is not Enough: Towards Restoring Grizzly Bears
Howard Lisnoff
The Person Who Deciphered the Order to Shoot at Kent State
Dave Archambault II
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Statement on Dakota Access Pipeline Decision
Nick Pemberton
Make America Late Again
Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail