Pacifica Radio Is In A War Over Democracy… Its Members Are Fighting For Her Survival

-by Pacifica Members, Supporters, Board Delegates, et. al.

originally published by Down With Tyranny:

By a certified vote of 6,820 to 5,471 (55% to 45%) the Pacifica Network’s Membership has voted to adopt new by-laws.

The membership and staff of KPFA, KPFK and KPFT have overwhelmingly approved the new by-laws.

But an entrenched minority has refused to accept the by-laws results as mandated by the membership, undermining the Network’s future.

The rejection of the overwhelming listener mandate to implement the new by-laws has deeply alienated that membership majority, which is an historically activist, pro-democracy constituency.

The anti-democratic rejection of Pacifica membership’s demand by a minority clique has further ruined the reputation of Pacifica and consequently worsened its finances.

Amidst a serious financial crisis, the donor base has been alienated by the Pacifica legal team’s refusal to disclose how much of the listenership’s money it has spent suing against the implementation of by-laws mandated by that same listenership.

Pacifica’s legal team has also used membership donations to fund intimidating legal threats against supporters of democracy at Pacifica.

To add insults to injury, in a recent KPFK local board election, Pacifica’s legal team arbitrarily eliminated– “disappeared– four candidates AFTER votes were cast, with no recourse for the candidates or the members who voted for them.

The raw vote count in this KPFK election showed that all four candidates eliminated by the Pacifica legal team were in fact duly elected to the KPFK board by the membership.

One pro-democracy candidate duly elected to the KPFK board was intimidated by the Pacifica legal team’s actions and dropped out, despite having legitimately won a seat. Sadly, another– the great Will Ryan– has deceased.

But some of the current “members” of the KPFK board, possibly including the chair, were not duly elected. Those who WERE democratically chosen by the membership stand ready to take their rightful seats.

Amidst rampant mismanagement (which prompted the vote for the by-laws change in the first place) the Network’s listenership, influence and credibility as a pro-democracy institution have been severely damaged.

Yet the Pacifica legal team consistently bullies those who question the Network’s current state with intimidation and public contempt, in direct violation of Pacifica’s peaceful, non-partisan mandate.

Such activities– paid for with donor funds– mock the non-violent pro-democracy mandates of the Network’s founders and the core beliefs of what’s left of its progressive constituency.

Without approval from the Pacifica membership, the legal team refused arbitration to which it had previously agreed, deeply polarizing the Pacifica community, costing the Network as yet-undisclosed sums of donor money while further undermining its reputation as a progressive organization.

Amidst public challenge, Pacifica has failed to investigate a dubious 99% outcome– hardly viewed as credible among objective observers– at an election involving 131 alleged WBAI staff. That odd outcome was wrongly used to overturn the clear democratic mandate for new by-laws registered by 6820 Network members (vs. 5471), further undercutting Pacifica’s credibility and functionality as a democratically-run organization.

To regain its listenership, its ability to function, its financial standing and its credibility as a pro-democracy progressive media institution, Pacifica must honor the mandate of its membership for new by-laws. It must also honor the democratic vote of KPFK’s membership by seating all of its duly elected but “disappeared” board members.

To regain the Network’s public credibility, and its financial balance, the Pacifica legal team must make public its detailed billings for the past three years. It must submit all proposed future billings to the local station boards and the national board for pre-approval. It must immediately be replaced with a legal team that is genuinely non-partisan, that is pledged to transparency in its billing, and to neutrality in its service to the Network’s internal governance.

Upcoming board elections must be held as mandated, despite predictable resistance from the entrenched Pacifica minority.

There must be NO self-extending terms or cancellation of elections!

But opponents of a new election (which is mandated by Pacifica’s rules) clearly fear being democratically voted out of power. They claim there is no money to conduct the election while refusing to disclose how much money has been spent by their attorney in opposition to the democratically endorsed New Pacifica by-laws.

This is not acceptable!! We are fighting for the Network’s democracy and for its future. We will keep you posted!

For over 70 years, Pacifica has been a beacon of hope and inspiration, a guiding light to challenge the status quo, and its corrupt authoritarianism. The Pacifica foundation must not succumb and yield to the tyranny of a clique of power-grabbers on the local and national boards.

Now is not the time to give up on Pacifica. Nor is it time to give up on the promise of democracy in Pacifica governance.

Please…we must support our irreplaceable media treasure which is Pacifica, and insist upon impartial and fair 2022 delegate elections. DOWN WITH TYRANNY!!!!!

(signed) Bill Crosier, Sandy Childs, Kurt Guerdrum, Pam Jenks, Evelia Jones, Ismael Parra, Robert Payne, Nancy Pearlman, Myla Reson, Mansoor Sabbagh, Harvey Wasserman, Adam Wolman