Listeners to Picket Pacifica’s KPFK to Demand Democracy Now 'Live' be Reinstated- Call for End of Harassment of Host of ‘Most Popular Program in Pacifica's History’
LOS ANGELES, (August 14, 2001)-- Today's live broadcast of "Democracy Now!" was yanked off the air by Pacifica Radio and replaced by a tape of an old Democracy Now! show. Listeners of Pacifca's KPFK 90.7 FM will picket tomorrow in protest of the continued harassment of Amy Goodman the popular show's award-winning host.
This action occurred after all-night negotiations between the management and Goodman broke down early this morning. Goodman notified Pacifica yesterday that she could no longer originate the show at WBAI in New York due to the continual intimidation and harassment she was experiencing at the hands of interim station manage Utrice Leid.
"No one should be forced to work under such conditions," said Juan Gonzalez, founder of the Pacifica Campaign and former Democracy Now! co-host. "Certainly not the host of the most popular news program in Pacifica's history."
What: Picket to demand the immediate reinstatement of live episodes of Democracy Now!
Where: Outside KPFK studios 3729 Cahuenga Blvd., North Hollywood
When: Wednesday August 15, 2001 - 7:00-10:00 AM
Goodman offered instead to originate the program from Downtown Community Television (DCTV) in Lower Manhattan until management could assure her a safe working environment, and she proceeded to do just that this morning. The originating of programming - national and local – from remote locations is not unprecedented. Gary Null's Natural Living and Armand DiMele's Positive Mind show originate in other locations and are fed to WBAI for broadcast.
But Pacifica lawyers, who had not responded to numerous letters and complaints from Amy about the increasing harassment she had faced in recent weeks, refused yesterday to either guarantee her a safe work environment or agree to allow her to broadcast from someplace else.
The escalating harassment against Goodman included an incident last Friday where Leid physically shoved her during a heated discussion; the removal of Democracy Now! from the main production studio of WBAI, continued on-air personal attacks on Amy by staff members close to Leid, racist and sexist remarks by staff members that are not censured by management, even slanderous statements about Goodman that continue to appear on Pacifica's official web page.
Democracy Now! did air today in a few locations. Pacifica's KPFA in Berkeley aired it at 9:00 am Pacific time today and WMNF in Tampa aired it at noon. To listen to the show, go to posted to http://www.wbix.org. But hundreds of thousands of loyal Democracy Now! listeners were denied the show by a Pacifica management that according to witnesses is growing more irrational and desperate with each day.
Democracy Now! normally airs live on KPFK 90.7 FM at 6 AM and is repeated at 9 AM.