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Statement from Pacifica Litigants


Dear Friends,

We have won an important legal victory today. A California judge has refused to allow the Pacifica Board majority to call an emergency meeting to stack the board with their supporters. Further, one of those nominated, Democratic party stalwart Susan Estrich, withdrew her name following our education campaign. Congratulations to the plaintiffs and the legal team who have been waging the struggle through the California courts. Enclosed is a statement they released today. The Pacifica Campaign will be issuing a statement in the next few days. In the meantime, keep the pressure on the board hijackers!!!

Venceremos,

Juan Gonzalez

JULY 17, 2001

STATEMENT FROM PLAINTIFFS AND CLIENTS:

Thank you! To the thousands of Pacifica listeners, hundreds of producers (including the fired and banned, the paid and unpaid) and the countless media activists around the country, we thank you all for the years of principled work you have poured into the struggle to reclaim Pacifica.

Today, in the Alameda County Superior Court, Judge Ronald Sabraw told the Pacifica Foundation and the Board majority that they cannot have their "emergency" meeting to elect five new directors to the Pacifica National Board today as they had planned. Their arguments that an emergency situation had been created by the resignations - and the expected resignations - of Board members was unambiguously rejected by the judge. Pacifica had claimed that the departure and impending resignation of directors from the majority faction of the Board constituted an emergency for the foundation. (A stipulation signed by all sides in May specified that election of any new directors must be preceded by thirty days notice, but that emergency meetings could be held on seven days notice.) His decision was not merely a victory in our struggle to save Pacifica, but it was also a clear defense of free speech and our constitutionally protected right to protest, to make our voices heard.

In his ruling the judge also said that Pacifica can convene a meeting as long as the proper 30 days written notice is given, and that at such a meeting elections for new Board members can take place. While the present Board majority might decide to do this, we are confident that the tide is turning and tremendous changes will unfold in the coming weeks. For instance, in court today, Daly Temchine, the Epstein, Becker, & Green lawyer who represents the Pacifica Foundation, announced that at least two of the present Board members are prepared to step down. He also announced that one of the people whose names was being put forth for possible nomination, Susan Estrich, has declined nomination.

While we are extremely pleased by the Court's decision today we also know that our work is far from over. We are optimistic that in the not too distant future the five dissident Board members will become part of a newly constituted Board majority. An interim Board will need to be constructed, and the important work of building a democratic, accountable and transparent organization will begin. This work will be grounded in the long history of Pacifica and the five stations. It will be strengthened in its relationship to the progressive social change movement in this country and around the world. And it will be dependant on the participation and continued support of our listeners and the staff who have supported us so courageously and tirelessly thus far.

Again, we thank you all for the energy you have poured into this struggle. We hope you will all take a moment of pleasure in our victory today, and then roll up your sleeves for the work that lies before us.

Plaintiffs and Clients:

David Adelson: chair Local Advisory Board, KPFK Los Angeles
Pete Bramson: Pacifica Board member
Leslie Cagan: Pacifica Board member
Sherry Gendelman: Local Advisory Board member KPFA Berkeley
Rabbi Aaron Kriegel: Pacifica Board member
Barbara Lubin: Friends of Free Speech and client
Miquel Maldonado: chair Local Advisory Board, WBAI New York
Tomas Moran: Pacifica Board member
Robbie Osman: Friends of Free Speech, KPFA producer, and client
Rob Robinson: Pacifica Board member
Carol Spooner: lead listener plaintiff and KPFA Local Advisory Board member