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News from the May 22 Picket outside KPFK

Mark Cooper Breaks Gag Rule - recalled by Leigh Goldstein

On Tuesday 5-22-01 at about 4pm, Mark Cooper was soliciting pledges, and he broke the gag rule (apparently its ok for the management to break this rule at will, since I heard that the manager at WBAI broke it the day before to accuse the campaigners of being racist.].

Mark Cooper said something like this, as I recall:

"I have tried to keep this crap [sic] off the air. I am sure you don't want to listen to the stuff that goes on around here- sometimes it is like Peyton Place. You are interested in listening to a soap opera. Maybe there are 200 or 300 of you that would be happy to listen to a soap opera all day"

"There is a small group of people who are attempting to jam the phone lines, to prevent YOU from expressing your support for this radia station. So please, if you weren't able to get through, or if you have a long wait, don't give up. They are jamming the lines, they are phoning in, they are using computer dialing, and right now the police are tracing their calls. Rest assured we are dealing with it. We should have called in the police, and I'm GLAD we called in the police.

"These people think we are not PURE enough? OK. Good for them. I support their right to their opinion"

"The station has survived the HUAC hearings, it has survived [a long list of government attacks on the station goes here] and we will survive this latest attack on Pacifica. We need you to make statement. This is the only forum for corporate-free information. We are the only network not sponsored by corporate funding. We need some large contributions, now. [He lists some large contributions- $250, $500, etc.].

"Thanks to you we have raised $10,000 in just the last 45 minutes."

I think this went on for about a half hour altogether, and that Mark Cooper was successful in using the phone-in campaign to motivate many listeners who only knew his side of the story to make pledges.