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KPFK: Welcome to the Madhouse

by Leslie Radford, KPFK LSB candidate Monday, Nov. 19, 2007 at 2:39 AM

Years ago, in the days before back in the day, Pacifica waited three years for its license renewal while the House Un-American Activities Committee and the FBI tried to pin Communist conspiracy charges on the network.  A decade later, in a free speech fight that stretched to the U.S. Supreme Court, Pacifica fought for the right to broadcast George Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words" monologue.

Years ago, the police busted into KPFK and hauled the manager off to jail as the programmers aired the Patty Hearst tapes, secretly hand-delivered to the station, as I hear the story.

In 2003, General Manager Eva Georgia brought all the resources of the station to sponsoring international anti-war protest, and the station brought 60,000 people into the streets, the largest anti-war march in Los Angeles since Vietnam. This is the woman leading members of the Committee to Strengthen KPFK sought for years to drive out of the station.

Today, as I write this, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who smashed the South Central Farm encampment and tore up the food, is in the studio as a guest, and the host, a member of the Committee to Strengthen KPFK, wraps up with "You're a good man, Lee Baca."

What will KPFK become?

KPFK must serve the future, not the past. It should serve those who seek to preserve life and foster liberation, not those, like Lee Baca, who destroy  the hope of us all for a new and better world. The issues for activists of today and our future are enormous.  Dismantling a world empire.  Liberating the people from the social control of brutality, terror, surveillance, incarceration, and genocide.  Dismantling the machine of perpetual war.  Rescuing the ecosystem.  Overcoming Euro-american cultural supremacism.  Surviving technological, economic, and societal disintegration.  These are the defining challenges confronting the 21st century.  They demand leadership from those who will live with the consequences of the decisions we make now.  Will KPFK take the lead?

The question of KPFK's future has become an ugly "debate" at Los Angeles Indymedia. What you read in L.A. Indymedia comments is an authentic reflection of the culture at KPFK now: name calling, snitchjacketing, mocking people with literacy problems or learning disabilities, intimidating other independent media.  "Politics" today inside KPFK is little more than scapegoating, hunting down people who speak truth to power.  The Committee to Strengthen KPFK struck the coup de grâce: a petition denouncing the general manager because she was being sued,  and spreading unproven accusations to the mainstream media.  Eva left, after suffering through five years of what you see on L.A. Indymedia and much worse.  And now they're coming in for the kill, an election that will determine the next general manager.

I got sucked into the mire.  L.A. Indymedia asked me to repost an article from my website here, and I did, knowing full well that the vitriol at KPFK was toxic.  Nobody has proven that anything I wrote was wrong, but such is the outrage of a bruised privileged class.  They can take their unproven crap about the general manager to the L.A. Times and the L.A. Weekly, but how dare I tell the truth on an open publishing site?  L.A. Indymedia has caved: they distanced themselves from the article with a disclaimer the likes of which I've never seen there.  They allow personal attacks to remain in plain view, a part of the "debate" they called for.  But, knowing the pressure, the threats, I can hardly blame them.

Except that L.A. Indymedia is open publishing, people.  You wanna pitch some other story, you wanna try to spin the facts, you wanna promote your own candidacy or candidate there, go for it.

But the Committee hasn't done that and and won't do it.  Their supporters' debate of choice is anonymous smears, snitchjacketing, mockery, fear-mongering, implicit threats.

KPFK, bastion of radical free speech, at the end of this election in a little more than three weeks, could be the voice of a faction of the Democratic Party and their allies, the voice of those who posted their vicious attacks on L.A. Indymedia, the voice of Sheriff Lee Baca.

TAKE OVER THIS RADIO STATION!  Do it for Will Lewis, the former KPFK manager who refused to give the Hearst tapes to the FBI, for Carlin, for communists, for anarchist Pacifica founder Lew Hill, for radical-ass, in your face radio--take over this station.

My words here are carefully chosen: vote the fuckers out.  And vote in fresh, authentically radical voices. Vote for Kahllid A. Al-Almin , currently in jail framed by the LAPD.  Vote for Joaquín Cienfuegos of Copwatch, vote for Rufina Juárez who led the South Central Farm resistance, vote for Lawrence Reyes of the Puerto Rican Alliance and a former affiliate of the Young Lords Party.  Vote for Schyna Pour , a budding high school radical and daughter of anti-Shah Iranian Reza Pour .  Vote for Jubilee Shine who organized the rally to stop the minutemen from taking Leimert Park.  Vote for former student radical against the Shah Moe Mansour , driven out of his country decades ago.  Vote for anti-racist, anti-war activist Chuck Anderson who screams at the system from inside the darkness of Orange County.

Don't vote for Grace Aaron, the head of the Committee to Strengthen KPFK, who led the public campaign of lies against Eva Georgia, or Aaron's supporters.  Don't vote for Donna J. Warren who brags about her twenty years with the Department of Defense as her qualification to run KPFK.  Don't vote for Ahjamu Makalani, vice chair of the California Democratic Party Progressive Caucus or Democratic caucus members Linda Sutton, Ricco Ross, and Dan Wang.

If you're not a voter, or if you are, spread the word on your facebook, your myspace, your email lists.  Use this article, use your own words, but tell people: the station is yours by all that's right in the world, and it's time to claim it.

The Committee and its supporters inside and outside the station won't let that happen, of course.  They've already concocted a joke of a lawsuit asserting that the station should have distributed their glossy, high-priced brochure in the envelope with the ballots or some such nonsense--after all, that's their privilege--so that, if they can't buy the election, they can void it.  If they win this fraud of an election in spite of your vote, or if they go to court to disqualify you, take over the station.

KPFK is your legacy, you've earned it through your struggle in the streets and in your communities.  Learn what KPFK was, dream of what it could be--the most powerful radio signal west of the Mississippi, capable of mobilizing sixty thousand people to take the streets from Santa Barbara to Riverside to San Diego.  The doors are open.  Take over KPFK.  Claim it, own it, make it yours.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 60 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
knowing the difference Leslie Monday, Nov. 19, 2007 at 4:25 AM
How should be fill out ballots? KPFK Listener Monday, Nov. 19, 2007 at 11:50 AM
Voting Leslie Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007 at 1:34 AM
Ballot is in mail KPFK Listener Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007 at 6:15 AM
Leslie's Omissions Let's get less serious Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007 at 9:10 AM
Don't Forget to Add Leslie's Name Robert J Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007 at 10:12 PM
hey Bush admirer Atheist Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007 at 4:01 AM
hey Bush admirer Atheist Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007 at 4:01 AM
Add Israel Feuer Larry Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007 at 12:06 AM
Add Isreal Feurer to Ballot Larry Z Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007 at 3:27 AM
Commissar Radford's Anti-Semitic Agenda Reality Check Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007 at 5:43 PM
Reality check, you need one list Friday, Nov. 23, 2007 at 4:48 AM
Why is Leslie Always on The Attack? Reality Check Friday, Nov. 23, 2007 at 8:01 AM
Are you now or have you ever been . . . Les Serious Friday, Nov. 23, 2007 at 6:34 PM
Oh my God, it's a conspiracy? Les Serious Friday, Nov. 23, 2007 at 8:53 PM
Amazing, the conjecture Leslie Friday, Nov. 23, 2007 at 11:57 PM
PERSONAL ATTACKS SUCK just another listener Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007 at 8:29 AM
Confusion over who wrote irresponsible comment on Israel Feuer Weiss Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007 at 8:29 AM
STOP PERSONAL ATTACKS just another listener Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007 at 8:42 AM
WHOA! KPFK Story and comments now gone! This isn't suspicious, is it? Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007 at 9:52 AM
Committee to Strengthen hit below the bow. This is suspicious, isn't it? Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007 at 5:22 PM
Radford Regina Les Serious Monday, Nov. 26, 2007 at 8:50 AM
SLATES AND ENDORSEMENTS Mapache Monday, Nov. 26, 2007 at 10:24 AM
Momentum Building for Israel Feuer Santa Monica Listener Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007 at 5:43 AM
ADVERTISING was sent with ballot sidestepper Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007 at 12:42 AM
ADVERTISING was sent with ballot sidestepper Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007 at 12:42 AM
Here's what I know Leslie Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007 at 3:23 AM
Rescind your ballot, get a ballot Leslie Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007 at 3:41 AM
Hate and Mistrust Listener Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007 at 7:20 PM
Hate and Mistrust Listener Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007 at 7:20 PM
Response to "Listener" Les Serious Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007 at 8:20 PM
Nice to have a namesake Leslie Friday, Nov. 30, 2007 at 5:29 AM
BAD-NAME calling proliferates by Les Serious seriously ! sidestepper Friday, Nov. 30, 2007 at 6:29 PM
Truth and Consequences Leslie Wednesday, Dec. 05, 2007 at 7:26 AM
Lila's bandwagon Leslie Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 at 7:34 PM

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