imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Pacifica Crisis: An Interview with Juan Gonzalez

by John Tarleton Friday, Mar. 09, 2001 at 11:49 PM

The former co-host of Democracy Now! talks about the nationwide campaign he is organizing to oust the Pacifica board.

The Pacifica Crisis: An Interview with Juan Gonzalez

By John Tarleton

HOUSTON--Juan Gonzalez is an award winning journalist and until recently was the twice a week co-host of Democracy Now!, Pacifica Radio's popular morning news show. His dramatic on-air resignation on January 31 reflected the deepening crisis at Pacifica. He vows to return someday but only after Pacifica's national board has been cleansed of the "corporate vultures" he accuses of hijacking the nation's only independent, listener sponsored radio network. Gonzalez, who was flooded with thousands of emails in the wake of his departure, has launched a nationwide effort ( to unseat the Pacifica board and have it reconstituted along democratic lines.

"No power sharing with these folks," he says. "...They will soon find out this is a listener sponsored radio network."

Gonzalez, author of Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America, was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and grew up in a New York City housing project. He is a veteran of many social struggles from Columbia '68 to the bitter 1990-91 strike at the New York Daily News, where he is a staff columnist. He came to Houston for the Pacifica board's March 3-4 meeting. It was a tumultuous weekend of rallies, protests, teach-ins and walkouts and Gonzalez spoke at the MECA Community Center and the Unitarain Universalist Church on back-to-back nights. He encouraged Pacifica supporters to "cut off the water and turn up the heat" on board members until they step down.

JT: Why have you chosen a more militant, direct action approach to trying to resolve this crisis instead of solely relying on legal remedies?

JG: These legal battles have been going on a couple of years. In the meantime, the Pacifica Board is creating a reality on the ground. They are systematically purging many of the stations of the most vocal, dissident and progressive programmers. If we don't do something soon, by the time the legal battles are won the network will have been dramatically changed for the worst.

What I believe is if we have an all-out campaign to cut off the money and to put pressure on the board members to resign, we can achieve success in this battle in a much shorter period of time. That's why I'm urging people not to give any money to Pacifica, to any of the stations, until this board is out and a structure for choosing a democratically accountable board is in place.

JT: Why did you leave Democracy Now! At the time you did? And, what was Amy's reaction when you told her?

JG: I had been telling Amy for several weeks that I was thinking of doing it. What finally made me do it was when a week before my resignation the new station manager (Utrice Leid of WBAI) announced a new gag order threatening to fire anybody who dared to say anything on the air about the continuing Pacifica struggle. I felt at that point I couldn't work under that situation. But if I was going to resign, I should think it out carefully and figure out the most effective way to do it.

That's why I waited a week until I could plan it out and talk to some other people so that we could get the message out not only to the five Pacifica stations but all the affiliates. As a result we've got thousands of responses from all around the country from people who heard that short statement on the air.

JT: In your work with Democracy Now!, what kind of impact do you think that show has had in recent years?

JG: I think it's had enormous impact. When we went to Seattle to do daily coverage of the WTO protests, there were a tremendous number of young people who told us on the street and in the meetings that they first learned that the protests were coming and got an idea of how to get involved from listening to Democracy Now! That's when we began to realize the enormous impact the show was having in keeping all of the growing number of anti-globalization protesters in touch with each other just by listening to the show on a daily basis.

I think it's having an enormous impact on young people, especially. Pacifica is saying that the people who listen to the show are 50-year-old white men and that they (the board) want diversity. The reality is that Democracy Now! Has enormous diversity in terms of young people and people of color. And instead of trying to build that up, they are trying to tear it down.

JT: What are some of the organizing experiences you've had that give you the confidence that you can pull this off?

JG: I've been involved in so many different battles. Not only in the Columbia student strike (of 1968), (and) in the Young Lords. In the New York Daily News we had a 5-month strike with 2,500 workers between 1990-91 that we won. But, the company was pulling the same line: we're either going to break your unions or we're going to sell off the paper. They tried to scare the workers into thinking they were going to lose their jobs. And in 1978, I was involved in a huge campaign in Philadelphia to get rid of Frank Rizzo in a voter referendum and hundreds of thousands of people were involved in that movement. And there's a few other labor strikes that I've been involved in that all involved thousands of people.

This battle is not as tough because the listeners of Pacifica are all intelligent, sophisticated activists. They all know how to wage battles of this type.

JT: You referred to the board last night as "3rd rate capitalists".

JG: Third-rate instruments of capitalism because they are not all capitalists themselves.

JT: What do you think of the way they tend to use the race card to divide people?

JG: I hit them directly on that today. JT: You sure hit a nerve with Bertram Lee

JG: I saw they had to hold him down. He must be the source of it, obviously. But, I think it's despicable the way they have attempted to use race to try to divide the Pacifica community. There's no doubt there's racism in American society. There's racism among many Pacifica listeners and programmers. But, the principle contradiction that is occurring here is that a group of neo-liberal oriented folks have gotten together with a bunch of comprador African-Americans to throw smokescreens up while they do a classic corporate grab of the Pacifica Network. Anybody with any sort of small understanding of how race has been used in American society can see through this scam. We have to confront it head on. And, we've got to educate people not to be taken in by what they are attempting.

JT: Assuming you succeed in this struggle to restore a grassroots Pacifica, where do you see the network fitting into this larger movement for a democratic media both in the US and around the world?

JG: Pacifica has the potential to be the anchor of the movement. But, as people are saying, the movement is much bigger. These Independent Media Centers have enormous potential. The public access movement within cable television, the alternative radical press, the alternative African-American and Latino press. There's a huge alternative press movement out there even though it needs to be better coordinated. But, Pacifica is the most valuable asset within that overall structure.

The Indy Media people didn't even want to have Pacifica within their structures. They only made an exception for Democracy Now! They had already made a decision that Pacifica had gone corporate. The Indy movement is the new generation. And those young kids are phenomenal. They are the next generation of journalists in the country. We have to nurture them and help them and learn from them as well.

JT: What originally inspired you to become a journalist? What's your vision

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

14 Disturbing Facts About Scott Gottlieb, Trump's FDA Head J20 10:47PM

Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy J20 2:47PM

Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies J20 11:18AM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence J20 9:08AM

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy