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.

Weekend Edition
January 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Dr. King’s Long Assassination
David Roediger
A House is Not a Hole: (Not) Caring about What Trump Says
George Burchett
How the CIA Tried to Bribe Wilfred Burchett
Mike Whitney
Trump’s Plan B for Syria: Occupation and Intimidation
Michael Hudson – Charles Goodhart
Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations be Reintroduced Today?
Marshall Auerback – Franklin C. Spinney
Boss Tweet’s Generals Already Run the Show
Andrew Levine
Remember, Democrats are Awful Too
James Bovard
Why Ruby Ridge Still Matters
Wilfred Burchett
The Bug Offensive
Brian Cloughley
Now Trump Menaces Pakistan
Ron Jacobs
Whiteness and Working Folks
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Keeper of Crazy Beats: Charlie Haden and Music as a Force of Liberation
Robert Fantina
Palestine and Israeli Recognition
Jan Oberg
The New US Syria “Strategy”, a Recipe For Continued Disaster
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Return of the Repressed
Mel Gurtov
Dubious Partnership: The US and Saudi Arabia
Robert Fisk
The Next Kurdish War Looms on the Horizon
Lawrence Davidson
Contextualizing Sexual Harassment
Jeff Berg
Approaching Day Zero
Karl Grossman
Disaster Island
Thomas S. Harrington
What Nerve! In Catalonia They are Once Again Trying to Swear in the Coalition that Won the Most Votes
Pepe Escobar
Rome: A Eulogy
Robert Hunziker
Will Aliens Save Humanity?
Jonah Raskin
“Can’t Put the Pot Genie Back in the Bottle”: An Interview with CAL NORML’s Dale Gieringer
Stepan Hobza
Beckett, Ionesco, and Trump
Joseph Natoli
The ‘Worlding’ of the Party-less
Julia Stein
The Myths of Housing Policy
George Ochenski
Zinke’s Purge at Interior
Christopher Brauchli
How Trump Killed the Asterisk
Rosemary Mason - Colin Todhunter
Corporate Monopolies Will Accelerate the Globalisation of Bad Food, Poor Health and Environmental Catastrophe
Michael J. Sainato
U.S Prisons Are Ending In-Person Visits, Cutting Down On Reading Books
Michael Barker
Blame Game: Carillion or Capitalism?
Binoy Kampmark
The War on Plastic
Cindy Sheehan – Rick Sterling
Peace Should Be Integral to the Women’s March
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
No Foreign Bases!
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: Across the Boer Heartland to Pretoria
Joe Emersberger
What’s Going On in Ecuador? An Interview With Wladimir Iza
Clark T. Scott
1918, 1968, 2018: From Debs to Trump
Cesar Chelala
Women Pay a Grievous Price in Congo’s Conflict
Michael Welton
Secondly
Robert Koehler
The Wisdom of Mass Salvation
Seth Sandronsky
Misreading Edu-Reform 
Ann Garrison
Full-Spectrum Arrogance: US Bases Span the Globe
Louis Proyect
Morality Tales on the American Malaise: the Films of Rick Alverson
David Yearsley
Winston and Paddington: Marianelli’s Musical Bears
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail