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"
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.
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
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.